Support for barangay agri, food production cooperatives eyed

BAGUIO CITY – (11 February 2021) – Barangay-based cooperatives involved in agricultural and food production regardless of the volume of produce need assistance from the city government and national agencies.

This was based on the assessment report made by the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the Special Services Division (SSD) of the City Mayor’s Office on the implementation of city resolutions and ordinances.

SSD Community Affairs and Cooperative Officer-designate Michelle Agbuya recommends the provision of incentives, investments and intensive support to small cooperatives in the city to enliven their operation.

Specifically, Agbuya sees there is a need to focus assistance to agricultural and food production cooperatives including product distribution and marketing to ensure food sustainability in times of emergencies such the ongoing health pandemic.

Agencies named in the support and mentoring of micro-coop members in the city were the Cooperative Development Authority Cordillera Extension Office (CDA-CEO) and the Baguio City Cooperative Development Council (BCCDC).

According to Agbuya, health sector cooperatives such as pharmacies, and selling of organic, herbal and medicinal products are also being looked into as essential sectors that needed assistance in the grassroots.

She said setting up of a web-based platform for inter-coop business matching/market linkages, and provision of a permanent display center of cooperative products is likewise noted.

A “big brother-small brother” concept where technical and financial assistance is extended by large coops to micro-coops is also being explored.

In 2016 up to 2019, 35% or 47 of the city’s 128 barangays do not have cooperatives, thus an intensified program to promote organization of barangay-based cooperatives.  

The SSD provides the venue, takes care of the reproduction of training materials and meals of participants. It also spearheads the conduct of mandatory trainings, fundamentals of cooperatives and governance, management, capability building program for micro-cooperatives. – Julie G. Fianza