The Ayala Coop again went out of its way, traveling down to Iloilo City in August this time to sign a trail-blazing agreement with two other groups there to start a pilot project involving rice produced by farmers in the area.
A tripartite agreement was signed among the Coop, the Dingle Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Ayala-owned Seda Atria Hotel, with the Coop serving as the conduit between the Dingle Coop, the farm service provider, and Seda Atria.
The MOA signing signaled the pilot implementation of the Department of Agriculture’s Corporate Rice Farming Project (CRFP). The CRFP aims to help farmers generate more income by engaging institutional buyers to patronize the farmers’ rice produce. Ayala Corporation, through the Ayala Coop, was one of the first to pledge its support to this initiative, with Seda Atria Iloilo as the first in the country to bring the project to fruition by acting as the institutional buyer.
Under the agreement, the Dingle Coop, through the Ayala Coop, will supply the rice requirements of Seda Atria Iloilo.
Ayala Coop General Manager Dina Orosa committed her Coop’s support and participation in the project to ensure the success of the partnership that was just forged. She also expressed her intention to promote the program before other Ayala companies nationwide and to enable the Ayala Coop to provide assistance to farm service providers like Dingle.
Seda’s Senior Group General Manager Andrea Mastellone, meanwhile, said he is delighted that Seda Atria was able to quickly find a suitable partner in the Dingle Coop and start a business relationship that will benefit farmers. Other Seda hotels are working on similar collaborations in their respective localities.
Ayala Foundation Inc.’s Senior Director for Programs Joanna Duarte, for her part, expressed optimism that this pilot program will attract more partners in various industries and strengthen the collaboration between government and the private sector to ensure lasting sustainable progress and national development.
DA Region 6 Executive Director Remelyn Recoter, on the other hand, expressed delight that the CRFP will commence implementation in Iloilo, a self-sufficient rice producer and exporter, and said she is optimistic that the program will expand to cover other commodities that the farmers produce.
From their end, Dingle Coop General Manager Marilou Gonzaga pledged the coop’s commitment to fulfill the rice requirements of Seda Atria Iloilo and to ensure a smooth working relationship with all the entities involved.
Also present at the signing were Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Atty. Francisco Villano Jr. and DA Director for Special Technical Group Leo Caneda.