ZAMBOANGA CITY — Members of the Cassava Growers and Producers Association (CAGAPA) in Zamboanga del Norte will now be able to double their production of cassava chips after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 provided additional equipment thru the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program – Kabuhayan Enhancement component.

Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that the DOLE released the amount of Php 500,000.00 to purchase the said equipment.

“Through our project monitoring, we are able to identify projects with exponential growth over the course of 2 years – one being the Cassava Chips Production of CAGAPA. As a result of the members’ hard work and determination, CAGAPA became a sustainable business supporting its workers economically,” Director Buenafe added.

Through the DOLE Zamboanga del Norte Field Office and Accredited Co-Partner Piñan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, CAGAPA received batch fryers and spiral mixers to help speed up the production as compared to manual mixing and frying.

Witnessing the turn-over were 1st District Congressional Representative Romeo M. Jalosjos, Jr, Dapitan City Councilors Ronie Jarapan and Jezebel Balisado, PESO Manager Seth Frederick Jalosjos, Livelihood Center Head and CAGAPA Adviser Susan Empeynado, Sylvia Bagatua BOD Member of the PMPC and Lourdes B. Amores, Chief of DOLE ZNDFO.

CAGAPA, a group of farmers, housewives and unemployed individuals with initially 14 members organized themselves with a common goal of uplifting the economic condition of their respective family sometime in June 2014.

With a start-up capitalization of ₱20,000.00, and with the assistance of the Local Government Unit of Dapitan, they started the processing of cassava chips, a nutritious “finger food” with cassava as the main ingredient. At present, the association is home to 150 active members who are also the workers in the cassava chips factory. END

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