A dairy processing center was established in this town to help boost the livelihood of farmers.
Through its Village Level Farm Focused Enhancement Development program, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned over the facility to the Bongabon Dairy Cooperative (BDC) on Thursday.
In an interview on Friday, Mayor Allan Xystus Gamilla said the facility, which qualifies BDC to further support from the National Dairy Authority, was constructed on a 62.5-square meter area within the cooperative’s 144-square meter lot in Barangay Pesa here.
Gamilla said the DAR also turned over PHP300,000 to the cooperative for the purchase of processing equipment and the enhancement of its dairy processing center.
In addition, BDC received PHP500,000 from the local government of Bongabon.
To further equip farmers who are mostly agrarian reform beneficiaries with knowledge of dairy processing, the Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) of the Department of Agriculture, and Department of Science and Technology 3 (Central Luzon) provided the cooperative with technical training and extension assistance.
Gamilla said government agencies also provide markets and linkages to BDC.
“Tutulungan na rin sila ng PCC sa paggawa ng milky bun (The PCC will also help them produce milky buns),” he said, referring to the dairy-fortified bread for the town’s school feeding program.
He lauded the farmers for withstanding crises, including the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
BDC chairman Mario dela Cruz, meanwhile, said members of the cooperative, which was established in 2016, are happy that they can now produce toned milk, chocolate milk, and pastillas.
He said they now have more than 100 milking carabaos. (PNA)