Marag is a barangay in the municipality of Luna, Apayao with a population that represents 3.05% of the total population of the municipality. Barangay Marag is proximate to the boundary of Kabugao and Calanasan wherein there is no cellphone signal making communication of the residents is difficult.
The tribes who reside in the barangay are Isneg, Ilocano and Tagalog whose livelihood involves farming of rice, corn, and some root crops. During planting season, farmers go to Poblacion, Luna or Cagayan just to purchase farm supplies needed wherein they incur additional expenses for the hauling. With this situation, the Marag SLP PAMANA Association took the opportunity to put up a community microenterprise on Seeds and Feeds retailing.
It was on October 2018 when the Association was organized thru the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD)-Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA). The association consists 22 members who are mostly farmers. In 2020, the association received a Seed Capital Fund (SCF) amounting to Php300,000.00 which they used to purchase raw materials for their Seeds and Feeds microenterprise.
The members of the association came up with this livelihood project to lessen expenses of farmers and a way of helping the community to have nearer access to farm inputs.
Since the first day of operation, the association exhibited eagerness to manage their own business and specially to have an income generating activity. They now have access to affordable farm supply with lower price and they can also borrow with lower interest and pay after harvesting their crops. The store keeper of the association who is also the Business Manager keeps a record of their daily sales which is presented every 1st Sunday of the month as their scheduled monthly meeting.
After a year of operation, the Association has a total of Php10,000.00 savings deposited in their account. The Association’s average net income per month is Php25,000.00. They were also able to lend corn seeds and other farm supply to 22 members of the association which is equivalent to Php14,500.00. This will be paid by the members with 2% interest after selling their produce.
With the aim to expand their micro-enterprise in terms of number of corn seeds, they want to purchase more corn seeds since the 1st purchase of the Association is only enough to supply the members of the association, they want to be the supplier of corn seeds to the community and nearby barangays.
‘’Dakkel nga tulong daytoy kanyami nga farmers ta haan min masapol agarkila lugan nga mapan aggatang ti kasapulan dagiti pinagtalon ta addan mismo ditoy barangay mi, haan kami payen nga mapan umutang jay paglakwan ti Farm Supply nga addaan ti 5-10% nga interest na, ditoy PAMANA mi ket mabalin kami umutang ngem 2% lang ti inpatong mi nga interest na kin ti pinagbayad ket kalpasan nga malako mi dagiti mais mi (This livelihood is a of great help to us farmers. We now need not to hire for the hauling of farm supplies because it is now available in our barangay. We no longer have a list of credits from the farm supply stores with 5-10% interest because we have these PAMANA Project that lends us farm supplies with just 2% interest),” shared Talna Dugay the Association’s Business Manager.The PAMANA is a program implemented in partnership with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to respond and strengthen peace-building, reconstruction and development in conflict affected and vulnerable areas. This livelihood project is one way of helping the beneficiaries to have an income generating activity to propagate their source of living. In line with the on-going projects of the government, and with the economic activity of the community, this project will have a great impact to help the community in having easier access of buying the commodities. #DSWD-CAR Babble Mae Gorio, SLP Social Marketing Officer based from reports of Ro-ann M. De Leon, PDO II-EO 70-Apayao.