RPAB endorses Poro farmers’ livelihood project

Farmers in Poro town hurdled scrutiny from the Regional Project Advisory Board (RPAB) to get an endorsement for their livelihood project.

The board approved the Coconut Fluid Processing and Distribution project of Poro Federation of Farmers and Fishermen Associations (POFFFA) last October 23.

A subproject component of the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP), it will now be endorsed for funding to the higher ups. The proposed small livelihood project is worth P912,000.

Raul Figueroa, POFFFA chief of operation, said they were fortunate to catch on the final list of proposed small livelihood subprojects in 2015.

Pero grabe sad ang kalisud nga naagian. Pila nako ka gabii nga walay insaktong tulog sukad pa niadtong bulan sa Hunyo (We went through many hurdles. I lost count of the times I lacked sleep since June),” said Figueroa who took the lead in preparing the business proposal.

Figueroa presented the business proposal to the board chaired by Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 Director Angel Enriquez.
The approval of other livelihood projects in region 7 came only after one year. Figueroa said he was very happy that they don’t need to wait that long.

Department of Trade and Industry 7 Regional Director Aster Caberte had no further comment on Figueroa’s presentation.

She suggested to POFFFA, though, to invest in other processed agri-products with higher value like coconut sugar.

After the RPAB approval, it will await the no objection letter from the National Project Coordination Office to proceed with the implementation of the project.

Figueroa is an accounting graduate. But instead of practicing his profession, he chose to attend to his farm and help other farmers in his hometown.

POFFFA has 20 associations under its wing with more than 1,200 members. The production area of native coconut vinegar covers 6,338 hectares in 17 barangays in Poro, Camotes.