Piddig farmers to develop 580-hectare tamarind plantation
A local farmers’ association here is eyeing the development of a 580- hectare tamarind plantation with a direct marketing agreement with Mama Sita’s Holding Company, a Philippine based manufacturer of condiments.
As an active partner of the local government unit in its consolidated farming project, the Piddig farmers’ association here will plant more indigenous tamarind seedlings as part of diversifying their crops. The proposed site is located in Barangays Calambeg, Maruaya, Dupitac and San Antonio.
Engineer Eduardo Guillen, the town’s former mayor and current municipal consultant said a lot of opportunities are coming to Piddig since the establishment of a national convergence initiative project on coffee farming.
Through this approach, the local government unit was able to get funding support from different rural development agencies of government to empower its farmer-beneficiaries.
According to Guillen, the company (Mama Sita’s) was then looking for a big volume SUPPLIER of their “Sinigang sa Sampaloc” condiments and Piddig assured they can deliver.
“When you have a converge area, economies of scale follows. Companies like Mama Sita’s come to you,” said Guillen as he reported tamarind planting is their next target after developing over 1,000 coffee plantation project.
The Piddig municipal government continues to encourage its farmers to consolidate themselves by forming an organization or coopertive for them to have a better chance to transact business with big companies and to request support from funding agencies.
If plans do not miscarry, Piddig farmers will become the first large-scale supplier tamarind to the popular Mama Sita’s brand of condiments in this northern gateway of Luzon.
Indigenous tamarind trees grow well in Ilocos Norte soil but its market is very limited to local consumption. Some small and medium entrepreneurs are also processing it into tamarind juice and candy.
In a study conducted by researchers on outstanding fruit crops in Ilocos Norte published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, tamarind is among the top 10 most promising fruit varieties in the province.
Other outstanding fruit varieties in Ilocos Norte which are now being mass propagated by grafting technology include mango, avocado, atis, caimito, jackfruit, duhat, mabolo, guava, carmay, macopa and cashew.(PNA)