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DAR provides dairy processing facilities to farmers in Nueva Ecija.

In order to support farmers, a dairy processing center was created in this town.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) handed over the facility to the Bongabon Dairy Cooperative (BDC) on Thursday as part of its Village Level Farm Focused Enhancement Development initiative.

Mayor Allan Xystus Gamilla said in an interview on Friday that the facility, which qualifies BDC for additional help from the National Dairy Authority, was built on a 62.5-square-meter plot within the cooperative’s 144-square-meter site in Barangay Pesa here.

According to Gamilla, the DAR also gave the cooperative PHP300,000 for the acquisition of processing equipment and the improvement of its dairy processing center.

BDC also received PHP500,000 from the Bongabon local government.

The cooperative received technical training and extension assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) of the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Science and Technology 3 (Central Luzon) to better equip farmers who are mostly agrarian reform beneficiaries with knowledge of dairy processing.

Government agencies, according to Gamilla, also give markets and connections to BDC.

“Tutulungan na rin sila ng PCC sa paggawa ng milky bun,” he said, referring to the dairy-fortified bread for the town’s school feeding program.

He praised farmers for their resilience in the face of adversity, such as the coronavirus disease pandemic of 2019 (Covid-19).

Members of the BDC, which was founded in 2016, are pleased that they can now manufacture toned milk, chocolate milk, and pastillas, according to BDC chairman Mario dela Cruz.

He claims that they currently have over a hundred milking carabaos.

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