THE Department of Agriculture (DA) has turned over a P13.2 million enterprise project to a cooperative of banana farmers in Kalinga to bolster the banana production and trade in the province.

Some 735 members of the Daram-Cudal Multipurpose Cooperative (DCMPC) in Kalinga are expected to benefit from the project.

Under the project, the DCMPC will buy the banana produce of Kalinga farmers and sell it to lowland markets or process them into value-added products such as chips and ketchup.

The project also provides the cooperative with a P4.7 million banana trading center, a capital fund of P555,000 for purchasing the farmers’ bananas, and a transport truck to connect the cooperative with markets outside of Baguio, specifically Nueva Ecija and Pangasinan.

Ivy Taquio Estacio from the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) said that the project is one of many that Kalinga has received under the PRDP and that more projects worth P172 million are still in the works.

To date, Kalinga has received P885 million worth of farm-to-market roads under the PRDP, as well as other enterprise subprojects to support the province’s coffee, heirloom rice, and banana industries.