|Wednesday, 26 February 2014 05:24|
Home to the second BFT that has been established in Magpet, Brgy.Pangao-an is located at the Northeastern portion of the Municipality of Magpet, North Cotabato and is fourteen (14) kilometers away from the City of Kidapawan. Although it is accessible by land, the poor road condition renders it difficult to reach. The most common means of transport is a motorcycle bike.
Brgy.Pangao-an is among the 32 barangays of the municipality of Magpet. It has a land area of 1,334 hectares and an estimated population of 2,605. It is characterized by rugged slopes and rolling hills. Most of its inhabitants are farmers comprising 57% of the workforce. Its main agricultural products are rubber, banana, coffee, cacao, fruit trees, tiger grass and lowland vegetables.
BFT Pangao-an was launched on July 30, 2010 through the efforts of the barangay executives then headed by Hermana Talotalo. It now caters to at least 1,000 customers weekly and services the residents of Pangao-an and the neighboring barangays of Manobisa, Sallab, Imamaling, Ilian, Panaca and Amabel. With the view of expanding their operation, the management of the BFT decided to organize themselves as a farmers’ association named Pangao-an United Producers Association (PUPA) and transfer the management of the BFT to this association. In this way, they can have more members at the same time political conflict can be minimized if not totally avoided.
Prior to the establishment of the BFT, most of the local farmers would deliver their produce to the Kidapawan Public Market which is around 14 kilometers away from Brgy. Pangao-an. Others would bring their produce to other localities like Kabacan, North Cotabato, Tagum City or General Santos City. Transporting agricultural produce from Pangao-an is not an easy task due to the poor road condition and the unavailability of public transport that could carry their produce in the barangay. The most common means of transportation is by means of a motorbike locally known as “habal-habal.” One passenger jeepney also ply the Pangao-an – Kidapawan route. Those which cannot be reached by the motorbikes nor by jeepneys transport their produce on horses and carabaos. Transport cost is quite prohibitive. The fare from Pangao-an to Kidapawan is Php30/person. Cargoes, like agricultural produce, are charged separately at Php1/kilo. On top of this, depending on the distance, additional transport costs are incurred from the farm to Pangao-an proper.
The establishment of BFT Pangao-an brought relief to the farmers in the barangay by serving as a ready market to farmers’ produce. Apart from the higher buying price that the BFT offers, the farmers save on transportation cost. These two benefits raise the income of farmers in Brgy. Pangao-an by almost 50%.
Marianne Paña Taping narrated her personal experience in dealing with the BFT: Dati dinadala ko sa Kidapawan market ang aking ani. Mababa ang presyo ng bilihan doon at binabarat ka lalo na kung individual seller ka. Kung minsan nadadaya pa ako sa timbang. Ngayon sa BFT na ako nagbebenta. Bukod sa maganda na ang presyo sigurado pa ako sa timbang.
Danilo Rallon Penuela also relayed the convenience of dealing with the BFT: “Gaya ni Marianne dinadala ko sa Kidapawan ang aking ani. Kung minsan karga ng kabayo pero kung walang kabayo ako ang nagkakarga. Malaking tulong ang BFT sa akin dahil ngayon sa BFT ko na dinadala lahat ng aking ani. Bawas sa pagod at bawas din sa gastos”.
Aside from helping the farmers with a ready market, the BFT also helps augment their income by creating alternative livelihood for them. Danilo continued narrating: “Ngayon nag-aalaga na rin ako ng baboy dahil sigurado ako na bibilhin ito ng BFT. Kaming mga hog raiser ay may schedule na kung kelan kukunin ng BFT ang aming alagang baboy. Dahil sure ang quality ng aming produkto nakapila na ang mga mamimili. Mas malaki ang aming kita pag sa BFT kami nagbebenta. Halimbawa, Php95/kilo ang presyo ng live weight sa BFT samantalang sa Kidapawan market ang presyo ng live weight ay Php75/kilo. Ito ay higit sa doble na kita kaysa kung ipagbibili namin ito sa Kidapawan. Sa isang baboy kami ay may karagdagang kita na mahigit kumulang na Php1,600 depende sa laki nito. Bukod dito may savings pa kami sa pamasahe”.
Carol Gamboa Dacean undertook a business that is complimentary with the BFT. Whereas before she was peddling her produce to the neighborhood, she now sells her vegetables to the BFT and buys groceries from the BFT which she sells to the neighborhood in a village quite far from the BFT. She recounted: “Noon karga-karga ko sa basket na nilalako ang aking ani. Ngayon, binebenta ko na sa BFT ang aning gulay. Bukod sa pagtatanim, nag buy and sell na rin ako. Binabarter ko ang aking ani ng ibang produkto gaya ng mga grocery items para ibenta sa Palo Dos”.
In line with the desire to create alternative livelihood for the farmers and improve their economic condition, the BFT organizes trainings. Among these trainings are improving the quality of “Tahiti/Tambo” or soft-broom and organic farming.
The BFT buys the soft broom produced in the community and sells them to the Provincial Government of Cotabato and the public. The training on organic agriculture helped reduced production cost of the farmers. The BFT also buys whatever excess production the backyard farmers have in their barangay.
The consumers also enjoy similar benefits as that of the producers. They enjoy the convenience of having a market that is close to home. They get to save on time, fare, not to mention of getting fresher and good quality agri-products at affordable prices.
Martina Hervana’s experience illustrates the benefits a typical BFT patron receives from the BFT. Before the establishment of the BFT in their community, Martina used to buy her household needs at Kidapawan Market. It takes a lot of her time since she would leave her house at 6:00 am and comes back in the afternoon. She would also spend a lot on transportation since the round trip fare is already Php80 not including what she has purchased. She said that one carton of groceries would cost her Php10 and one sack of rice would cost Php30. Now that they have the BFT in their community, she need not go to Kidapawan for her marketing. Aside from saving on time and transportation cost, she enjoys a patronage refund of 2%.
Apart from the economic and health benefits to producers and consumers alike, BFT Pangao-an also brought other notable changes in their community. Among these is the noticeable change in the attitude of the local people who have become industrious since they were encouraged to go into farming because of the certainty that the BFT would buy their produce. As a result, peace and order in the community improved, by-standers were reduced and incidences of stealing were minimized and idle lands started to become productive. They also adopted organic farming method and thus malnutrition was lessened since the residents are able to eat fresh and healthy foods which they can harvest from their backyard. The women were empowered having been the ones who engaged in backyard farming and hog raising. Literacy likewise increased since the additional income they earn was used to pay for the education of their children.
Part of their expansion plan is to be the supplier of passion fruit and cardaba banana to Philippine Fruits International Corporation whose estimated demand for passion fruit is six (6) tons per week. They plan to construct a warehouse and acquire a hauling truck. (Lea Deriquito, DA-AMAS)
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 February 2014 06:04|