ZAMBOANGA CITY, Sep. 23- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 and Project HOPE Agricultural Cooperative (PHAC) established a new partnership with Universal Canning Incorporated (UCI) for the Adopt-A-Farm Program after inking a Memorandum of Agreement last September 10, 2021.The Adopt-A-Farm project, a brainchild of DOLE 9’s Project HOPE Acceleration Team under the leadership of Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe, follows the concept of allowing canning companies to assume a designated area in the Project HOPE demo farm by funding raw materials and farm inputs for vegetable production.

“Once the demo farm produces the needed vegetables, partner companies will eventually purchase these produce from the farmers. This will in turn help the Project HOPE beneficiaries raise sufficient funds to manage the farm and implement other income generating activities,” says Director Buenafe.

UCI joins Century Pacific Food Inc. and Permex Producer & Exporter Corporation in the roster of canning companies that are in partnership with DOLE and the Project HOPE Agricultural Cooperative (PHAC).

RD Atty. Roy L. Buenafe and Ms. Anita Kaw, Owner of UCI jointly signed the MOA at the Zamboanga ECOZONE Administration Building in the presence of ECOZONE Chairperson and Administrator Raul M. Regondola, other partner agencies, officers and beneficiaries of PHAC.

With the introduction of the Adopt-A-farm concept, several canning companies may now have access to raw materials and at the same time support their affected workers whether they are inside or outside their plant especially during the Closed Fishing Season.

Currently, the farm has been producing various fast crops and super hot chili including different chili-based products. Each farm subdivision composed of 3 greenhouses is projected to produce 1,353 kilograms of CHILI TMS per year which will be sold to the said companies.

“We cannot thank our partners enough for the support given to the Adopt-A-Farm project. Please know that with every produce purchased from the farm, you are helping our beneficiaries have a better quality of life,” said Atty. Buenafe in his message.

Project HOPE is a holistic intervention for the fishing and canning industry workers and their dependents displaced during the annual closed fishing season which includes emergency employment, training, retooling and livelihood. It focuses on eco-livelihood farming as an enrolled project under the Trabaho Negosyo Kabuhayan framework and will provide beneficiaries an alternative source of income through agricultural farming. ###