Agribusiness operation of Batitang Agricultural Cooperative (BAC) in Zaragoza has commenced

On 15 November 2023, the Batitang Agricultural Cooperative (BAC) with the support of KOPIA, PhilRice and LGU-Zaragoza formally started its seedling agribusiness enterprise with the completion ceremony of its facilities composed of two greenhouses for seedling nurseries and a 200 sq. meter operation building to house the BAC Kopia office, farm machines and supplies storage facilities and meeting room for the members of the project. The ceremony was graced by the presence of Dr. Kyuseong Lee, Director of PH center, Zaragoza Mayor Lally Belmonte, PhilRice Deputy Executive Director for Development, Dr. Karen T. Barroga, and Mr. Ising Marcos, President of BAC and participated in by more than 160 farmers from Batitang and nearby barangays.

Mayor Lally Belmonte (left), Dr.KS Lee of KOPIA (center), Dr. Karen Barroga of PhilRice (right).

The facilities were donated by KOPIA PH Center to support the BAC for their seedling business in partnership with PhilRice and Zaragoza LGU aiming to make Zaragoza the vegetable seedling capital of Zaragoza and its nearby municipalities of Nueva Ecija.

Dr. Lee in his message, emphasized that the facilities are owned by the BAC and should be treated by its members with care and use them effectively to improve their income and transform their community through the spirit of diligence, self-help, and cooperation. He hoped that all members of the BAC and other farmers in Zaragoza will work together as a family and supporting one another. On the other hand, Mayor Belmonte has pledged her support to the efforts of the BAC by providing transport and other assistance needed by the members particularly in marketing their products. Dr. Karen Barroga has
recognized the valuable help of KOPIA to the community. She also further encouraged BAC to adopt the spirit of Saemul Undong to sustain the project even after KOPIA’s funding support has ended.

Dr. KS Lee (KOPIA Director) explains about vegetable seedling production.

The event ended on a very high note where the BAC leadership through its Chair, Ka Ising Marcos, promised their commitment to continue the legacy of KOPIA through continuous education and acquiring relevant skills in making the seedling industry of Zaragoza sustainable and scaled. He pledged
to do more in the coming months to further improve the profitability of the seedling enterprise in Zaragoza. This is one of the grant programs to the Filipino farmers to gain income through the Korea Partnership for Innovation in Agriculture (KOPIA) from the Korean government.

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