An indigenous community in Bgy. Iwahig, Bataraza is seen to have a potential for organic farming, based on a soil analysis of the area conducted by a vegetable importer-exporter.
The Vegetable Importer Exporter Vendors Association of the Philippines (VIEVA Philippines) will be providing the technology to the farmers after the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) organized the indigenous community of Bgy. Iwahig who will be beneficiaries of the project.
VIEVA Philippines is an association of vendors from different parts of the country helping the cooperative and community associations in terms of providing technologies from land preparation to marketing of produce.
Each farmer will receive start-up assistance from RTNMC and Coral Bay Nickel Corporation’s Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), as a support to the project which will focus on producing organic vegetable, spices and ginger.
The farmers have volunteered to also provide its share as part of the start-up capital.
“Tingin namin malaki ang pag-asa naming umunlad ngayong kami ay sama-sama,” said Jaina Ompang, a tribe official.
The harvest of the community will be sold in part to VIEVA Philippines and a portion will be set aside for seedling propagation.
“Basta sama-sama at may pagkakaisa ang isang samahan, posible ang pag-unlad at pag-angat ng kabuhayan,” said Madio Mansari, association president.
Aside from Bgy. Iwahig, VIEVA Philippines has also forged partnership with seven organized cooperatives of RTNMC and CBNC like the Sapa Farmers Producers Cooperative, Taratak Agri-based Producers Cooperative, Ocayan Farmers Producers Cooperative, Iwahig Farmers Producers Cooperative, Sandoval Farmers Producers Cooperative, Igang-Igang Producers Cooperative and Tarusan Farmers Producers Cooperative.
The project is in line with the goal of two companies to have a sustainable food source to sustain the need of the community of Bataraza.