Aboitiz makes ‘agripreneurs” out of IP Farmers

(L-R) Iligan City Agriculture Officer Welfredo Goles, Hindang Cooperative Manager Danilo Bagares, BOD Member Rexon Lumapas,  Chairperson Larry Coracol received the farm equipment from Aboitiz Foundation

The Aboitiz Group, through its corporate social responsibility arm Aboitiz Foundation and food unit Pilmico, assists farmers in Iligan to be efficient ‘agri-preneurs’ and create a more sustainable livelihood.

Through the Inclusive Agribusiness Project (IAP), the Foundation and Pilmico donated farm equipment to Hindang Farmers to  help increase their production volume and meet market demands. The Aboitiz Foundation also donated a corn sheller for the Marawi-Baloi farmers in Nangka, Baloi, Lanao del Norte under the ‘Angat Lahat sa Agribusiness’ or ALAB livelihood program in partnership with Go Negosyo.

“Through this inclusive agri-business project, the Aboitiz Foundation is committed to further help Marawi Baloi Farmers Association and Hindang MPC to attain organizational sustainability and scale up their production, taking advantage of the significant demand for yellow corn. Most importantly, together with our partners Pilmico Foods Corporation and Go Negosyo, we intend to contribute to achieving sustained income for their members, which will lead to an improvement in their quality of life and well-being,” Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth L. Marasigan said.

Pilmico is one of the institutional markets that purchases yellow corn produce directly from the Hindang Banana Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (Hindang MPC), which received a corn sheller, a moisture checker, PVC tarps, a weighing scale, and other farm inputs that the farmers can use in their crop production.

“Ang mga magsasakang miyembro at opisyales ng Hindang Banana Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative ay taos pusong nagpapasalamat sa Aboitiz Foundation at Pilmico sa pagtulong sa amin makabangon ngayong pandemic. Ito ay malaking tulong sa aming mga magsasaka upang mas mapaganda ang aming ani. Maraming salamat, (We the members and officers of Hindang Banana Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Aboitiz Foundation and Pilmico in helping us get back on our feet in this pandemic. This is a big help for us farmers in ensuring that we have bountiful crops. Thank you),” said Larry Coracol, Chairperson of Hindang MPC.

To ensure the sustainability of the project, Aboitiz partnered with the City Agriculture Office of Iligan City to provide skills training and updates on farming technologies. Aboitiz is also closely working with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) to monitor the organizational performance of the cooperative.

Marawi-Ibaloi farmers inspect the corn sheller donated by Aboitiz Foundation and Pilmico

In 2018, Aboitiz Foundation together with  Go Negosyo, Pilmico, and the Department of Agriculture started ALAB, a livelihood development project for Marawi’s Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). ALAB  is a business incubation program that identifies and directly addresses the needs of selected cooperatives and associations, while also providing them the support needed in order for them to scale up. At the end of the ALAB program, the cooperatives and associations will be equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge, and tools to become successful agripreneurs, creating a positive change in the Philippine agriculture sector.

“We would like to thank Aboitiz Foundation and Go Negosyo for their continuing efforts in helping small agri-businesses like us and for providing the needs for our business to grow especially in these times where our livelihood are deeply affected by the 2017 Marawi Siege and the Covid-19 pandemic. May Allah the God almighty bless all the people behind this program and may you all succeed in your goal,” MBA Marawi Baloi Farmer Association President Abdul Baari Lininding said.

The enterprise development program of Aboitiz Foundation supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth as it continues to empower cooperative members with effective organizational management and technical skills, financial and infrastructure support, and access to markets to help grow and expand their businesses. Since 2016, the Aboitiz Foundation has extended over P90 million in enterprise development assistance to its beneficiaries nationwide.

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About Aboitiz Foundation

The Aboitiz Foundation is the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group that was established in 1988. Its purpose is to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities through programs on education, enterprise development, and environment. Since its inception in 1988, the Foundation’s CSR interventions have evolved from one-time donations to carefully designed programs that empower its beneficiaries to pursue their aspirations.

Today, the Aboitiz Foundation, through the Aboitiz Business Units, develops and implements corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs or CSR 2.0 projects that aim to co-create safe, empowered, and sustainable communities. These CSR 2.0 projects are aligned to the Group’s core competencies, are scalable nationwide, and create a deeper social impact on the communities and beneficiaries it serves.

[Article submitted by Jowelle Ann Cruz, Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.]