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Atok Organic Practitioners Association (ATOPAI) receives their LAF amounting to PhP 100,000.00

 ATOPAI LAF Transfer

T

he Livelihood Assistance Fund (LAF) turn-over ceremony that took place in Paoay, Atok on August 16, 2017 is the last LAF turn-over ceremony for the Province of Benguet under the CHARM2 Project. Benguet has a total number of 140 livelihood interest group (LIG). 135 of which had been granted their LAF and the LAF supposedly for the 5 LIGs were converted to training funds. The total LAF released as loan was grant which was Php 10, 370, 000.00. LAF released as grant is 9, 620, 000.00. A total amount of Php 750, 000 is converted to training fund.

 

The Atok Organic Practitioners Association (ATOPAI) is the last LIG to receive their LAF amounting to Php 100, 000.00. The members are engaged in the trading of farm inputs for organic vegetable production. Farm inputs such as chicken dung, vermin compost, rice bran, rice hull, molasses, coco vinegar, cow manure and the like were the primary products traded.

 

The association has 45 members composed of 12 males and 33 females. The members of the association are into organic farming. Mr. Romy Juan, President of the Association, said that not all members of the association are practicing organic farming.

Moreover, some of the members just wanted to become members and the others gave up on organic farming saying that it is hard because it requires patience and hard work. However, of the 45 members, half of them are into organic farming.

 

Ms. Magsia Philip, a member of the association said that organic farming is very helpful especially on the health aspect. She said that eating organically grown vegetables is good for the body and though organic farming requires more time, perseverance and patience, it does not do any harm to our body as compared to conventional farming wherein we are exposed to toxic chemicals.

 

Mr. Juan also said that organic farming is good. “It is not good to feed your family food that is full of chemicals” he added.

Hon. Robert Namoro from the Sanguniang Panlalawigan and at the same time, the head of the committee on Agriculture of the Province encouraged the members not to give up on organic agriculture. He also encouraged them to implement and follow what was written on their business plans and strengthen their organization so that when the time comes, they will be able to realize their goal.

 

This statement was supported by Hon. Joseph Galao-ey, Executive Assistant to the Governor. He encouraged the members to work together and improve what they have started. Also, since he learned that the association has a plan to put up a stall in the market but cannot do so because of financial constraints, he suggested that these plans should be include in the Barangay plan. In addition to his suggestion, he challenged the members to show that the LAF grant they have received today together with their business will one day grow and expand.

 

Further, Mr. Robert Domoguen, IKM Coordinator of the Project said that the members should maintain their connection to their Community Financial Institution (CFI) and also encouraged them to forge a membership.//mjmaguide

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