Dairy opens livelihood opportunities for Danlugan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative
In a small stall at a public market of Danlugan, an upland rural barangay in Pagadian City selling basic goods was the humble beginning of the Danlugan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DFMPC). Never can they imagine that it would flourish and accomplish today.
The DFMPC was organized by a few farmer members and church leaders in 1994 who have felt the need to bond together and free themselves of economic exploitation by businessmen and get easy access of basic necessities at affordable prices. With an initial capital of P5,600 the DFMPC opened a consumer cooperative.
The spirit of cooperation has work wonders among the members. Little by little, they have expanded their membership. But just like any people’s organizations it has experienced several obstacles and trials. Inspired to improve the lives of poor farmers in the area, DFMPC in its best, struggled to serve its members until it has captured the attention of the government.
Through the initiative of the Pagadian City Veterinary Office, the National Dairy Authority has extended the dairy cattle program to DFMPC with 29 island born dairy animals on January 31 2007 and additional 40 imported pregnant dairy animals in 2008 to 16 dairy farmers
Completely a new agricultural undertaking in this part of Mindanao, dairy production has progressively opened window of opportunities for livelihood. As soon as the dairy cows calved, milk started to flow, farmers and neighbors got the first taste of real fresh milk right in their own backyard. The DFMPC, through the assistance of NDA Mindanao Field office has trained farmers from production, processing, and assisted them in the marketing of dairy products.
Milk has started infiltrating in every barangays in the city and in neighboring towns in the province of Zamboanga del Sur bearing the name Pagadian Dairy Fresh. Dairy farming has provided income for farmers, the cooperative, as well as employment for farm workers among the locals.
The DFMPC’s fresh milk has been tapped in the NDA’s nutrition advocacy through the Milk Feeding Program (MFP) in Pagadian City and in the different municipalities of Zamboanga del Sur. Related to this, DFMPC also established a MFP for nutritionally deprived and underprivileged children beneficiaries as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The cow manure is an equal earner in the production chain. It has not only promoted environment friendly measures but has also back-up in the promotion of organic agriculture that provides greater health benefits among consumers.
Blessing of good fortune came in buckets when DFMPC receives awards, grants, and assistance from organizations, other government agencies and financial institutions which have timely pitched in to offer assistance for DFMPC:
In 2012, NDA’s program partner- the Land O’Lakes Foundation Philippines, Incorporated has offered a P1.4 M grant used in the upgrading of dairy facilities such as freezers, form fill seal machine, 3 phase transformer, water refilling tank, weighing scale and L300 as marketing vehicle.