Cawayan Agra Farmers Cooperative composed of 71 members has been operating for 22 years with the dedication of promoting livelihood and other income generating projects among members particularly the women workers of Barangay Mahanob. Its vision is crafted in parallel with the poverty reduction effort of the government: “Malamboon nga Kooperatiba, Nagkahiusa, Malinawon, Malipayon ug Nagpuyo nga Balansi ang Palibot” and its Mission is “Pagtabang sa Katawhan aron mahaw-as sa ilang kakabus”.
The cooperative members started contributing P200.00 for their lending project, which their members with financial problem in terms of agricultural production (e.g. fertilizers) benefited in the said loan from the cooperative with a minimal interest. For 22 years of existence, CAFACO was able to purchase land including the location of their chicken egg production in Brgy. Mahanob and their own office using only the cooperative funds. In 2012, they requested DOLE for financial assistance to start an egg production project considering the high demand of eggs in the market, not to mention the availability of their purchased land which is suited for the said project. With the help of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Public Employment Service Office (PESO) Manager of LGU Gigaquit David T. Nueda, the livelihood formation of the chicken egg production through DOLE assistance started by January 2013.
The cooperative received financial capital from DOLE for the 600 heads of chicken, feeds for five months and the materials for the construction of the brooder house, poultry house, stock room of the eggs, reservoir and the lighting system.
The Cooperative had been yearly conferred by the CDA of the Certificate of Good Standing. With a net income of 838,243.61 in 2016, highly increasing every year from 122,349.48 in 2014.
The chicken egg production being one of the projects of the cooperative helped in the increase of the annual dividend and patronage share of the members. Patronage share of the members varies, depending on their capital build up.
The egg production as one of the income generating projects has a notable impact in the lives of the members since they were able to purchase another lot within their barangay. Not to mention the access of the members to lower priced eggs. The chicken waste was used by the members as fertilizers for their rice production. They can buy it in their cooperative at a minimal price. Other income aside from the sale of eggs is the cull chicken and the empty sacks of the feeds.
With their project, some of their members were able to undergo training on poultry raising and other relevant trainings which was regularly provided by the CDA and DAR.
As to the coverage to social insurance, their workers are all covered with SSS, Phil Health and Pag-ibig, also their members in SSS and in PhilHealth. The Vice-chairman Mrs. Teresita Natad is the one who is monitoring their contribution and their coverage, especially those senior citizen members of the cooperative. The cooperative really assists their members in their needs, financial and other assistance and they considered it as great help since majority of them are farmers/ informal sector workers. In fact, they rank 3rd in the CDA survey in terms of transparency in their operation.
The project directly employs two workers for the project maintenance and as caretaker of the over-all chicken egg production. Other members were benefited through selling their products to their respective sari-sari store, and regular customers. Other constituents within Brgy. Mahanob enjoy low price of eggs than buying it in the Poblacion.
Aside from profit sharing which the members avail of every year, the community also was benefited from the cooperative since they assist the senior citizens in Brgy. Mahanob through the conduct of medical mission. They also support Barangay Mahanob Senior Citizen Rondalla in acquiring additional equipment by requesting assistance from the Provincial Government. They also joined in the yearly agri-fair conducted by LGU Gigaquit in their Araw ng Gigaquit celebration. They also participated in the community cleaning within their barangay.
In its aim to continually help their members, and having their Mission and Vision as their constant guide, the Cooperative is looking forward for an enhancement of their chicken egg production. This project will surely generate more income to the coop when they will increase their lay egg chicken into 1,000 heads. And considering the constantly increasing demand of eggs in the market and the need to respond immediately to the orders of their regular customers due to the growing competition, they are requesting if it is possible that a second hand multi-cab will be given to them since the location of the poultry is somehow distant to the barangay main road. This will also help to deliver multiple number of trays of eggs to the customers while incurring only minimal amount in the transportation and minimizing the expenses of “labor”, since as of now, they are paying for another charge to the “balsahan” (wooden cart) just to transport the eggs to their cooperative office. This is because the road from the poultry to the coop office is muddy due to constant raining.
This future plan of the cooperative in expanding/ increasing their operation will certainly answer for the increasing demand of eggs within the province of Surigao del Norte, considering that food security is one of the concerns of the Provincial Government. This will indeed help the members, the Brgy. Mahanob, the LGU Gigaquit and the entire province in general.