reform beneficiaries organization wins DOST award
JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
November 19, 2020
JIABONG, Samar –
The operationalization of a common service facility by a pop rice
producer-agrarian reform beneficiaries organization (ARBO) based in
this fifth class municipality was recognized on Friday by the
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as this year’s best
Grant-in-Aid (GIA) science and technology project implemented in
Cantongtong Agrarian Rice
Farmers Association (CARFA) bested five other contenders coming from
the five other provinces in the region and received P5,000 cash
This was announced during
the virtual culmination activity of the weeklong celebration of
DOST-8’s National Science and Technology Week held on November 9-13,
with this year’s theme, “Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kabuhayan,
Kaayusan at Kinabukasan".
Ismael Aya-ay of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) sent his
congratulatory message to CARFA for the honors they are reaping now.
Aya-ay is happy to know that CARFA is taking advantage of the all
the assistance and opportunities extended to them.
He likewise commended
those responsible at the DAR Samar Provincial Office and at the
Municipal Agrarian Reform Office of Jiabong for a job well done.
According to Engr. Ramil
Uy, DOST-8 Information Officer, CARFA stood out for its best
practices and community participation as well as its socio-economic
Uy disclosed that the
judges were moved by the transformation of CARFA which started
producing pop rice the traditional way until they were able to
acquire modern equipment through the combined assistance of DOST,
DAR and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
CARFA is composed of 46
rice farmers. According to Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer
(MARPO) Thelma Alfaro, 41 of the members are agrarian reform
beneficiaries (ARBs). Thus, DAR organized them into an association
in 2012, Alfaro added.
For additional income,
CARFA produced pop rice made from left over rice that are sun-dried
and fried to puff the grains.
DAR Samar Provincial
Office’s Enterprise Development and Economic Support point person,
Monica Bato (now MARPO), disclosed that in 2016 CARFA became a
recipient of a processing facility under DAR’s Village Level
Farm-Focused Enterprise Development (VLFED) project.
Later, it received more
assistance under the DAR, DTI-CARP, DOST Regional Synchronization,
as well as from the provincial government under then Governor Sharee
From the various
assistance, CARFA was able to procure modern equipment, exposed to
skills trainings, and was able to comply with the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) requirements.
Bato further disclosed
that with the P250,000 Grant-in-Aid from the DOST, CARFA was able to
acquire nitrogen gas flushing packaging machine and stainless
pre-cutter molders. They were also able to undergo training on Good
Manufacturing Practices, which led to FDA’s approval in granting the
association in 2018 the License to Operate (LTO), making them
eligible to penetrate a wider market for their product, Bato
From plain pop rice they
used to produce, CARFA has now nine available flavors to choose
from: peanut, pili, cookies and cream, vanilla, sesame seeds,
marshmallow, choco-coated, pandan and butter.
In 2019, CARFA’s sales on
pop rice had increased by 50 percent with 4,470 packs sold. It has
also generated employment at least to its members.