National Learning Workshop on Agri-Cooperatives

On August 27, 2015, PAKISAMA organized a National Learning Workshop on “Developing Service Delivery Capacity of National Farmers’ Organizations (FOs) on Sustainable AgroEnterprise through Knowledge-Sharing and Innovation in the Philippines” in Quezon City, Philippines. The workshop aims to bring together PAKISAMA’s primary agri-coop members already doing agri-business and providing services to their members to better understand and generate lessons on three successful agri-enterprise models in the Philippines.

For the past 29 years, PAKISAMA has mainly performed the role of an advocate for agrarian reform and rural development. PAKISAMA, however, also has to attend to the economic needs of most of its members. Since 2010, PAKISAMA has been providing value-chain services directly to 3,000 farmers in 12 provinces organized by 60 primary cooperatives and associations. In 2014, PAKISAMA concluded that given the experience over the past five years, agri-cooperatives provide tremendous opportunities for individual farmers and fishers to grow their farm businesses and increase their income. In the June 2015 National Assembly of PAKISAMA, the primary coops there agreed that it was time for PAKISAMA work towards the establishment of a National Federation of Agri-Cooperatives.

Twenty-one (21) PAKISAMA leaders from 20 agri-coops in 15 provinces, 16 staff, and agriagency and network partners attended the workshop, with women comprising 45%. The farmer leaders are from: MARCCO/KALAMANSI and CASEMPCO (Oriental Mindoro); CNOFA (Aurora); PADC/GPPC, CAMPC and PDCI (Camarines Sur); SAMBA PNSU (Antipolo); BINHI (Albay); SAMALO (Quezon); CSNMPC (Bohol); Tumalalud FMPC (Capiz); OFMPC (Leyte); APCO and LAMPUFACO (Agusan Sur); AFARBAMCO (Bukidnon); PANAW Sumilao MPC (Bukidnon); KFMPC (Lanao Sur); CAMPC (South Cotabato); KKPB (Agusan Norte); and LAKAMBINI, a national women’s group.

PAKISAMA shared the results of a scoping study on the operation of a successful primary agri-cooperative, how a national agri-financing federation works, and how a marketing corporation works to support primary agri-cooperatives. Resource persons from each of the three models were also invited to share their success stories.

Mr Rico Geron presented innovations done by the Sorosoro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC), a primary agri-coop based in Batangas which has evolved for over 40 years from a small consumer store cooperative to a diversified hog feed milling and hog producers’ cooperative with now over Php 1.8 billion in assets. SIDC provides almost complete services to its members’ hog production business – from pig stocks, feeds, veterinary extension services, marketing, meat processing, etc.

Mr Alejandro Almendral of the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO), a national agri-financing federation, presented an overview of the full package of services offered by NATCCO to its members; the coop has total assets of Php2.6 billion and presence in 77 out of 80 provinces nationwide.

Mr Bernie Berondo shared the experience of the Global Organic and Wellness Corporation (GlowCorp), a marketing company owned by FOs, NGOs and individuals from different regions in the country who are advocates of organic agriculture. The mission of GlowCorp is to be a market leader in organic products distribution and promote economic development and the empowerment of 6,500 farming households.

The national learning workshop was organized in partnership with the Asian Farmers Association (AFA), Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in Rural Asia (AsiaDHRRA), Foundation for a Sustainable Society (FSSI) and Collectif Strategies Alimentaries (CSA).


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