To support a Negros-based cooperative in expanding its agribusiness ventures, the Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation (BPIF), Inc. is equipping the organization with enterprise machines that will enhance the transport and production of the farmers’ produce.

Anileen Pajarillo, implementer of the Rice Business Innovations System (RiceBIS) Community Program of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Negros, said the Quezon Codcod RiceBIS Farmers’ Cooperative (QueCoRiFACo) has received a truck and rice mill on March 19 as part of BPIF’s PhP5.2 million grant.

“QueCoRiFACo currently comprises five associations with plans to expand their reach across 415 hectares, benefiting over 300 farmers. To prepare for this expansion, cooperative members have undergone training in capacity enhancement, packaging and labeling, and good agricultural practices (PhilGAP). Soon, their farms will undergo assessment and certification by PhilGAP,” she said.

Meanwhile, QueCoRiFACo Chair Hernan Samson expressed gratitude for the grant, emphasizing its role in reinforcing their commitment to fellow farmers.

“As farmers, we support each other, especially given our resource constraints. With this grant, we can fulfill our duty as stewards of our members and communities,” he said.

The turnover and blessing ceremony was held in Quezon Multipurpose Gym, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental with BPIF Executive Director Ma. Carmina Marquez and BPIF officers and PhilRice Deputy Executive Director for Development Karen Eloisa Barroga as lead officials.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute