The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is empowering women farmers in Northern Samar by providing them with technology to process agricultural crops and develop them into new products. 

DAR recently turned over a food processing center for the women farmers of Lope de Vega, Northern Samar.

The initiative is expected to be of benefit to the members of the Samahan ng Kababaihan sa Barangay (SAMAKABA) who’ve been exploring food processing. Their main products include turmeric, taro chips, and pickled papaya. 

The group is also a recipient of the Village Level Farm-focused Enterprise Development (VLFED) project, a program that aims to enhance the products of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) by providing appropriate facilities, equipment, and technology. 

According to DAR Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu, who led the turnover of the new facility, the beneficiaries will be able to sell their produce at a much higher price thanks to the new processing center, which will lead to more profit. 

Photo from DAR

Photo from DAR

“This is one of the support services of DAR, and we are not only concerned with the production of goods but also with the value added to the products. Through processing and packaging, we can sell these products at reasonable prices and increase our profit in return,” he shared. 

Before becoming operational, the facility will be furnished with the necessary equipment and machinery, Chief Agrarian Reform Officer Melecia Ong said. It will also need to be registered with the Food and Drug and the Land Transportation Office (FDA-LTO) so products will reach more markets.

“For now, since the facility still needs furnishing and additional equipment, the members should prioritize cultivating raw materials. So that once the processing center is fully operational, there will be more orders and purchases to make,” Ong explained.

SAMAKABA President Marivic Sardinia offered her thanks to the government organization for their continued assistance and support. 

“We are grateful to the partner agencies for all their help, without which, we would not be able to have this facility. We will always need your assistance to achieve our goals in the organization. This facility will not go to waste because we will ensure the proper use of this project.”

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Image credit: DAR