Batac City, Ilocos Norte – Farmers’ group here under a project of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) helps vulnerable sectors affected by lockdown.
Rayuray Farmers’ Agriculture Cooperative (RFAC) recently distributed 3kg of rice to about 200 persons with disabilities and senior citizens through the group’s community development fund and rice stock.
“We’re about to launch one of our products but it was put on hold because of COVID-19. But there are fellows more affected than us. This unexpected situation brought out compassion in our group,” RFAC Chair Ruthbell Pammit said.
Meanwhile, beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to the group.
“As senior citizens in this crisis, it’s difficult for us to work and provide for our own essential needs. Our choice is only to pray and wait for help. We thank the cooperative for helping us,” Isabelita Cacao said.
Registered on Nov. 28, 2018, RFAC was formed through the Rice Business Innovation System (RiceBIS) Program of PhilRice, which provides rice production and agri-entrepreneurship training.
In two years, the farmers’ group has engaged in producing brown rice, well-milled rice, and pickled onions, and in palay trading. RFAC has total assets reaching
P1.82M in 2019.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) also assists the cooperative in preparing for the launching of their brown rice produce.