by: CRISTINE C. CANTES, CDS II
Albay Dairy Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, located at Purok 4, Banao, Guinobatan, Albay, supplies fresh milk in the locality through dairy production, marketing and offers lending activity to members. By pooling all resources and expertise, the cooperative help members access more markets, improve production techniques and improve prices of their products without sacrificing quality. Although the coop has faced challenges and various factors affected their operation including the Covid-19 pandemic, there is still a high demand on fresh milk that makes them persistent to continually produce fresh milk with different flavors. However, with the limited supply of raw materials, market competition, production costs and lack of equipment, there is still a lot to improve on the coop’s productivity to meet the high demand of fresh milk in the province. Through the collaborative effort of LGU-Guinobatan, Cooperative Development Authority and Department of Agrarian Reform with the support of Provincial Government of Albay, the cooperative was able to comply with the mandatory reports, trainings and other requirements to receive the grant amounting to Php 3,000,000.00 from the office of Senator Francis N. Tolentino through the Cooperative Development Authority headed by Chairman Usec. Joseph B. Encabo. This funding is a great help to address their struggles on milk collection, processing and storage that will hopefully lead to an efficient utilization of resources and increase on sales at a reasonable cost of products.On December 13, 2023, an awarding ceremony was held at Banao Covered Court, Brgy. Banao, Guinobatan, Albay. After the preliminaries and acknowledgement of guests and participants, Ms. Althea P. Papina, SARPO/OIC Supervising Agrarian Reform Program Officer delivered her opening remarks. This momentous event was also graced with the presence and inspiring messages from Mr. Rodrigo O. Realubit, CESO IV, Assistant Regional Director for Admin of Department of Agrarian Reform Region V, Atty. Emilio D. Escueta III, OIC Regional Director of Cooperative Development Authority Region V Extension Office and Hon. Ann Y. Ongjoco, Vice-Mayor of LGU-Guinobatan. Senator Francis N. Tolentino, who hails from Guinobatan, Albay, was actually a blessing to the coop as Hon. Ann Y. Ongjoco, Vice-Mayor of LGU-Guinobatan shared the story behind how she was able to meet and talk with him for a possible intervention or project for the dairy coop to continually improve the production and achieve sustainable growth. This meeting led to an answered prayer for the coop to increase its production and innovate their products as they were notified for possible grant from the office of Senator Tolentino. Ms. Lucille L. Arcilla, Acting APCEMDO Head from Provincial Local Government Unit of Albay also delivered a message on behalf of Hon. Governor Atty. Edcel Greco A.B. Lagman. Mr. Edison C. Batalero, Area Tech Support of National Dairy Authority (NDA) has given his message of support for the coop to continually produce quality fresh milk. The event was also attended by Municipal Councilor July Tingzon, newly elected Brgy. Chairperson Engr. Rally P. Mamisao and former Brgy. Chairperson Domingo Rañeses. The cooperative officers and members were beaming with smiles as they received the 3 Million cheque. Ms. Zenaida M. Orbigo, coop Chairperson gave her acceptance speech and shared how grateful they are as this huge amount will help their coop grow and develop. Engr. Zaldy G. Bermejo, Acting Assistant Regional Director of CDA R5 gave his speech during the closing remarks reminding the coop to use this fund for more production and ensure that the coop will continue to create more quality products.The cooperative members extended their warmest appreciation to the government for their full support. This will aid upgrading their milk processing, storage and modernized equipment that will lead to cost-efficient production. In addition to this, building partnership with the government and other stakeholders help them to collaborate ideas, create a network on achieving their goals and at the same time avail capacity building for product development, quality control and other training. This will also open a new opportunity on innovating or developing value-added products such as cheese, yogurt and more flavors of milk to offer. With a high demand on fresh milk, the coop aims to supply more products to different schools and communities to help alleviate malnutrition. Lastly, the cooperative can work towards a sustainable and viable operation contributing to improve the quality of life of their members as well as their community and economic development of the province.