Created on Monday, 01 July 2019 Published Date

There is a group of happy women who bonded together to form an association that goes by the unusual name, CLAW, which is an acronym for Cansoso Livelihood Association of Workers.  Based in Brgy. Cansoso, Matag-ob, Leyte, the group (consisting mostly of housewives who are also DSWD 4Ps members) grows assorted high value crops – ampalaya, pipino, string beans, onions, etc. – in a 2,000 sq.m. lot.

The germ of an idea to organize the women came from the Municipal Agriculturist of the locality who saw an opportunity to engage the mostly idle women in a livelihood project. The concept was thus supported by the lot owner and concurrent President of CLAW, Ms. Loretta S. Avorque.  Comprising of twenty (20) members, the organized group complied with the requirements for DOLE registration until it was accredited on April 23, 2018.

So, this was how it came to be.  Each member paid a registration fee of PhP500.00 and monthly due of PhP10.00.  What initially started as a lending venture subsequently evolved into a thriving farming enterprise that brought joy to the members, especially after harvesting from and selling their first production cycle, and earning substantial income from it.

SAAD Program intervention consisted of 4 units each of wheelbarrow, bolo, garden tools (set), plastic mulch (roll), and 10 sacks organic fertilizer, while the assorted seeds came from OMA Matag-ob.  Members attended a 3-day Vegetable Production Training co-sponsored by the program and OMA.  Learning from this capacity enhancement activity was applied by them in their actual gardening practice.  The members manufacture their own carbonized rice hull to fertilize the garden plots.  Financing for the rental of a multi-cultivator at PhP1,500.00/day came from the association’s funds.

Production data report as of March 22, 2019 submitted by the association to PPMSO–Leyte, showed the group’s aggregate income of PhP70,239.00.  The vegetables were sown on November 26, 2018 to an average area of about 200 sq.m.  Each member tilled his/her own garden plot and was responsible for its cultivation and maintenance.  Ms. Frumencia A. Aras became the highest earner, garnering a gross income of PhP9,300.00 for having sold 155 kg. ampalaya at a farm-gate price of PhP60.00/kg.

There are fifteen (15) members who continuously work fulltime at the communal farm, while some opted to grow their vegetable crops at their own backyard.  The latter predictably earned less because some produced for their own family consumption.  As agreed by the members themselves, a quarter of the gross income is allocated for lot rental and another quarter goes to the association funds.

Tangible returns include financial independence for individual members, which means no longer depending on kin for maintenance medicines, nutritional requirements and educational support of children, and sustenance of livestock and farm animals.  Intangibles come in the form of camaraderie, goodwill, and harmonious relationships with fellow members, as well as the staff of OMA who continually support CLAW through regular monitoring, mentoring, and handholding.

The association plans to engage in a viable hog raising project in the future, acquire a vehicle to transport their produce to the poblacion, and neighboring markets to as far as Ormoc City where the vegetables command better prices.  Also, they are aggressively soliciting funds from the program/LGU for the construction of a water system from a faraway source to the farm site.  (MICHAEL F. DABUET, SAAD Staff, FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO, Chief, RAFIS)


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