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To enhance agriculture, the DA, Landbank, and a Thai business have teamed up.

SAMAL, Bataan – The town of SAMAL is located in the province of Bataan. The Department of Agriculture (DA), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), and Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippines Corporation (CPFPC), a Thai enterprise, have teamed up to help hog, poultry, and aquaculture raisers develop their businesses.

DA Secretary William Dar, LBP President and CEO Cecilia Borromeo, and CPFPC Vice Chairman and President Sakol Cheewakoset signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) at the Thai firm’s aquafeed plant in this town on Friday.

The signing was witnessed by Bataan Vice Governor Ma. Cristina Garcia and Samal Mayor Aida Macalinao.

“Napakagandang project ito kasi (This is a very nice project because) it would increase our food security,” said the author. Siyempre kung mahal ang bibilhin nating pagkain ay kaunting pagkain lang ang mabibili natin, alam naman natin na kumakain tayo three times a day. (We eat three times a day and, of course, if food is pricey, we can only buy a few items.) So, with this project, ay makakatulong na mabawasan ang mga importations natin dito sa Pilipinas,” Garcia remarked at the gathering.

The alliance and cooperation with LBP and CPFPC, according to Cheewakoset, was about providing financing, technical, and marketing help to potential borrowers for hog and shrimp businesses.

According to him, the CPFPC is still one of the most active integrators in the livestock and poultry industries, and he was chosen by the DA to assist in the government’s hog repopulation, rehabilitation, and recovery program.

The MOA commits CPFPC to refer LBP to its investors who will need finance to establish bio-secure facilities for the growth and breeding of pigs, chicken, and shrimp, as well as capital expenditure and running expenses for the company’s meat shop and roasted and fried chicken station franchisees.

The Thai company also agreed to pay LBP contractual fees owing to growers in order to ensure loan repayment.

Cheewakoset stated that, in support of the DA’s goal to cluster backyard hog raisers, CPFPC is willing to enter into a contract growing scheme with cooperatives or associations of clustered farmers, even if the initial capacity is only 300 hogs.

CPFPC’s standard minimum is 1,200 heads.

3,000 Filipinos work for the Thai company.

Borromeo stated that the government-owned LBP will provide financial assistance to CPFPC’s clustered farmer–fisher groups, cooperatives, micro, small and medium enterprises, and other agri-enterprises for the purchase and construction of bio-secured buildings and other facilities to boost production.

“We look forward to working together to improve the competitiveness of swine, poultry, and aqua industry participants across the country.” The Land Bank will continue to provide sufficient funding support to fulfill the growing domestic demand for food security and employment creation in the agriculture sector, according to the LBP’s president.

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