Watch for the April 2016 issue of Agriculture Magazine that features our Vietnam Report, The Wonders of Soya, Bugnay Wine of Adams, Women Achievers of Solsona, and many other inspiring stories.
The women achievers of Solsona is headed by Anita Benito, 64, a widow and founding chairman of the Nasalukag Women’s Multipurpose Cooperative of Brgy.Santiago. She and a few women of modest means decided in December 1995 to form their co-op with no intention of accepting males as members. They chipped in a total of P5,000 to start their business of selling basic necessities like soap, cooking oil, sardines and the like.
At the end of one year, they were able to grow their initial P5,000 to still a modest P20,000. They persisted and did not pay themselves any salaries, except reimbursement of expenses. Eventually, they focused their attention on rice trading which is their main business up to this day. Believe it or not, from that meager P5,000 initial capital, they now have assets of P9 million.
They buy the palay harvest of local farmers and then sell them to the National Food Authority.That makes it simpler for NFA to buy palay from the small farmers. The ladies’ co-op also sells NFA rice in the public market.
All the members are themselves small scale rice farmers and are very proud of that. They hesitate to ask for financial support from the government because they say they are averse to dole outs. Nevertheless they accept unsolicited assistance like when the New Zealand and Canadian governments heard about their cooperative. The New Zealand government gave a grant of P200,000 while the Canadian government provided a grant of P160,000 for inputs in organic farming and loans to members..
Without asking for assistance, Gov. Imee Marcos, when she was a congresswoman, gave the co-op a grant of P40,000. Of course, they are thankful for the financial grants they received because that helped in their business operations.Read the details about the women achievers in the April 2016 issue of Agriculture Magazine. It is the most widely circulated magazine of its kind in the Philippines. It is published by Manila Bulletin and edited by your blogger, Zac B.Sarian.