Two farmers' cooperatives in Barangay Culandanum receive farm inputs for the livelihood project of the Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation through Social Development and Management Program. (Photo courtesy of Jo Viacrucis)

Two farmers’ associations in barangay Culandanum, Bataraza have received farm inputs such as fertilizers to sustain their livelihood in the community.

Community organizer Vannesa Apilan said that the association of Kapatirang Magsasaka Farmer’s Association and Maaliw Farmer’s Association are two of the largest group of farmers in barangay Culandanum. The support for livelihood is through the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP).

“May malaking impact din na nasu-support sila kasi itong dalawang association ay kapag nagbigay ka ng fertilizer ay ibabalik din nila. Parang may pautangan, ibabalik din. Meron lang sila na kasunduan na ibinibigay,” she said.

She said the two associations have policies such as members are allowed to borrow capital for farm inputs. There will be only three percent interest as the borrower returned what he or she borrowed from the association.

“Karamihan kasi walang pampuhunan kasi hirap din sa pagsasaka kaya naisipan ni kapitan na mabigyan din sila ng budget galing sa SDMP. Magiging sa kanila na ‘yon, magandang asosasyon din siya,” she said.

The two associations are composed of 30 members which are a combination of non-indigenous and indigenous peoples in the community. These are also registered to the Department of Agriculture (DA), she said.

The two associations have a prior livelihood focus on a rice plantation. She mentioned that the system of the two farmers’ groups would help them sustain their livelihood.

The farm inputs had a budget allocation of P100,000 for the two associations which were allocated from the budget of SDMP from Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC).

In 2020, other associations existing in barangay Culandanum would also receive farm inputs through SDMP support.