Ifugao farmer associations significantly increased their capital through a roll-over scheme, which uses the certified inbred seeds from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) Seed Program.
Andres dela Cruz Jr., RCEF coordinator of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Isabela reported that in the 2022 dry season, 13 associations in Alfonso Lista grew their capital from P230,000 to P370,000. The associations are members of PhilRice’s Rice Business Innovations System (RiceBIS) communities.
In the roll-over scheme, farmers return to their associations either the equivalent value of the certified inbred seeds in terms of harvest or cash. By utilizing certified inbred seeds, the associations were able to generate additional funds and strengthen their financial standing.
Jeffrey Gaspar, president of the Namillangan Calupaan Farmers Association, emphasized the importance of this scheme and its contribution to the sustainability of their association.
“We learned about the importance of this scheme through discussions with RCEF and our local government unit. Now, this system is helping our association build funds for operations, which is necessary to sustain our association,” he said.
The association allocated the funds to start their agroenterprise, focusing on machine rentals and essential farm inputs like fertilizers.
With the enterprise, their members now have easy access to machines and cheaper agricultural sources.
“[I’m happy I’ve contributed to the roll-over scheme]. We’re able to rent farm machines at a cheaper rate, which helped increase our productivity,” Paul Dulnuan, 56-year-old farmer said.
By renting out their farm machinery for P2,800, the association offers a more affordable alternative compared to private companies, saving farmers P400. Furthermore, agricultural sources are now available at a lower price of P50.
Since the introduction of the roll-over scheme in 2022, the association has expanded from a modest group of 30 members to a thriving community of 300 members.