Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon again called on the Negrense farmers to plant alternative crops such as ginger and turmeric as globalization has brought these commodities to international attention, Saturday.
The governor wasin Sagay City,his hometown, for the ground-breaking of the P4 million Muy Bien plant, manufacturer of the Iida Farms Turmeric Products, located opposite the Option Mill inBrgy. Poblacion 2 of the town. He said the plant will generate more income for the local farmers, most especially of turmeric, ginger, lemon grass and calamansi.
Marañon said the once lowly turmeric now has a strong demand both for the local and international market and is a boon to farmers who do not have enough farm capitalization as it does not require fertilizers and is easy to grow. The plant will further the position of the province as one of the leading producers of quality processed turmeric in the country, he added.
Nancy Fernandez, vice president and manager of Muy Bien Ventures said that, when completed, the plant will churn-out 15 to 20 tons of turmeric every month on top of their present 5 tons per month in their backyard production. The plant will sit on a 2,000 square meter lot and will be completed in the first half of this year, she added.
She said the plant means an expansion of production and sourcing of more raw materials from the farmers including the hiring of additional staff. Muy Bien has been sourcing their materials from 40 local farmers and farmers' organizations around the province “We are in the process of helping the small farmers”, she added.
Aside from the local market, Muy Bien is also eying export to the Middle Eastern countries that havegreat likings for all things turmeric. The company participated last year in the Dubai Expo and guests were in awe of turmeric in drink form.
“We constantly aspire for perfection of our products, hence the compliance with every certification on standards and good practices”. Muy Bien's iida farms turmeric drink brand has been in demand as pasalubong among balikbayans from the US and Canada and even Europe, Fernandez also said.
She further said that they have hired consultants for the building of the plant, including the mechanization of the operation to achieve quality production of international standards. “ For traceability, we conduct a site visit for our farmer in their areas to make sure that the materials we are using is 100 percent organic”, she added.
Meanwhile, the Association of Indigenous Farmers of Brgy.Damsite in Murcia, one of the turmeric and ginger suppliers of the company, represented by its chairman, Rene Villarosa, has expressed appreciation for the company and willingness to double its monthly supply.
The association has 5 hectares of turmeric and a hectare of ginger plantation all for Muy Bien's needs “We normally supply 1 to tons of turmeric and ginger every month, ”he said.*
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