Photo from RTNMC

The Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC) wants to increase the market value of calamansi products from Barangay Tarusan in Bataraza town through value-adding efforts in partnership with national government agencies.

Ramona Adjed, community organizer, said that calamansi production will help 60 farmers in three sitios of the barangay to support their livelihood needs for their families. The mining company allotted P500,000 from the social development and management program (SDMP) under the livelihood program.

The community, with the assistance of the RTNMC, will tap agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Technical Education And Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to help improve their skills and products.

“Magkakaroon ng trainings and seminar in partnership with other agencies ang mga member para sa magiging produkto ng calamansi, gaya ng calamansi juice, soap, at iba pa. Ito ay upang maibenta nila sa mas mataas na presyo ang kanilang product at maging sustainable ang kanilang livelihood. Titingnan din ang possibility ng marketing aspect ng project, since marami na rin business establishments dito sa bayan ng Bataraza,” she said.

Aside from additional income-generating assistance, calamansi production will also help in boosting the immunity of the locals for their own consumption of products. Calamansi blends well with other juices such as coconut water, banana, mango, papaya, apple, and grapes which will be ideal for value-adding.

The farmers from sitios Cabuhaw, Budis-Budis, and Tagbituka will plant or replant about 25-inch tall calamansi and maintain the maintenance and protection of their plantation.

The project management committee will select project volunteers to be trained by the company’s foresters and agriculturists. A manual of operation for the calamansi production will be developed to help sustain the project maintenance and protection.