In the picturesque municipality of Barbaza, Antique, the Esparar MultiPurpose Cooperative (MPC) stands as a testament to the power of community collaboration and government support in transforming the agricultural landscape 🌿.

Founded on December 2, 1994, and primarily composed of farmers, landless workers, and professionals, the Esparar MPC has evolved into a dynamic entity dedicated to enhancing the lives of its 428 members and the broader community.

Leveraging Government Support for Sustainable Growth

A pivotal moment for the cooperative came in 2017 when it became a cooperator of the Shared Service Facility (SSF) on food processing and packaging, an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 🏭.

This collaboration, along with training provided by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), has been instrumental in enabling the Esparar MPC to add value to their agricultural produce.

The cooperative's ingenuity is evident in their range of products under the brand name "Deliciously Healthy" 🍲.

These include vegetable sticks, special canton with malunggay, turmeric powder, ginger powder, malunggay powder, and batuan (Garcinia binucao) powder.

These products not only offer healthier food options but also create a sustainable income source for members, with monthly earnings ranging from PHP 20,000 to PHP 30,000, a significant increase from their previous income of PHP 5,000. (PNA)

Expanding Horizons with Strategic Partnerships

The cooperative's journey has been marked by strategic partnerships that bolster its mission.

In 2021, Esparar MPC, along with other agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs), was chosen to participate in Pilmico’s Project Bacon 🥓.

This initiative provided the cooperative with Gilts Livelihood Kit and technical support, enhancing their capacity for sustainable and profitable operations.

Furthermore, Esparar MPC was one of the three ARBOs to receive a financial grant worth P3M from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 💰.

This grant, aimed at enhancing food processing enterprises among other projects, reflects the government's commitment to nurturing the cooperative's growth and self-reliance. (DAR)

Embracing Technology and Innovation

In a move to mitigate the impact of climate change and enhance agricultural productivity, the cooperative received essential equipment like shredders, rotavators, a vermi shed, and a solar dryer pavement ☀️.

These facilities, valued at Php 1.3 million, were part of DAR's Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support Project (CRFPSP) and are pivotal in enhancing the cooperative’s operational efficiency. (DAR)

Additionally, Esparar MPC has embraced digital platforms to expand its market reach. By participating in the ARBO Merkado, an online marketing platform via Facebook, the cooperative has adapted to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring continued access to markets and customer engagement 💻. (PNA)

The Esparar MultiPurpose Cooperative is more than just an agricultural entity; it's a beacon of hope and empowerment in Antique.

Through its innovative approaches, strategic partnerships, and unwavering commitment to its members, the cooperative exemplifies the potential of rural communities to thrive in the face of challenges.

As it continues to grow and evolve, Esparar MPC remains a shining example of how collaboration, government support, and community spirit can lead to sustainable development and improved quality of life for all involved. 🌱🚜🤝

Igmaes Farm is a brand name of Esparar Multi-Purpose Cooperative, a farmers' cooperative in Barbaza, Antique. Igmaes Farm produces and sells various food products, such as vegetable sticks, special canton with malunggay, turmeric powder, ginger powder, malunggay powder, and batuan powder, under the slogan "Deliciously Healthy". Igmaes Farm also uses Facebook as a platform to promote its products, share its activities, and connect with customers and partners. Igmaes Farm is one of the ways that Esparar cooperative showcases its innovation and entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector. 🌿

We hope to have their co-op products on The Co-operative Exchange soon!

The Co-operative Exchange
Buy products made, sold and traded by co-operatives and social enterprises in the Philippines, from consumer, agricultural and industrial to digital goods and services.
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