The agricultural sector is a key element in the development of the Philippines. The growth of this industry has a direct impact on food security, livelihoods and paves the way for poverty reduction.
About 25% or a quarter of Filipinos are employed in the agricultural sector, which is divided into four subsectors: agriculture, fishing, animal husbandry, and forestry.
The modernization and development of agriculture have always been a priority for each administration. It has been identified as an area that is integral to the progress of the country.
Recognizing the important role of pushing the development of agriculture as a means to improve the lives of Filipinos, TeaM Energy Corporation, in partnership with government stakeholders, has participated in the growth of the sector by implementing programs of corporate social responsibility (CSR) organizations that help advance agriculture, through Team Energy Foundation Inc. (TEFI), its corporate social responsibility arm.
“As the country’s growth partner, our various programs at TEFI aim to be aligned with the needs of our host communities and the country. Supporting the growth of the agricultural sector is something that aligns with government objectives. That is why, in previous years, we have dedicated time, effort and resources to programs that positively impact this sector,” said Maria Teresa C. Lopez, Vice President of TEFI.
Increase agricultural production
In Sual, Pangasinan, the livelihoods of a community of small-scale rice farmers in Barangay Sioasio have been boosted through the construction by Team Energy of a solar-powered rice milling plant, the supply of a palay huller, a winnower, a destoner and a sewing machine to make sacks of rice.
This has improved rice production and significantly increased the incomes of beneficiary farmers while contributing to food security in the region.
The project is in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE), the European Union (EU), the local government of Sual and the Central Pangasinan Electric Cooperative (CENPELCO) to improve the value of electrification using these applications productive and to support existing solar energy. projects in the region. In addition, TEFI also installed a solar-powered air conditioning system for a honey processing factory run by the Sioasio East Forestry Development Association in Sual.
In Quezon Province, TeaM Energy has constructed a 500 square meter solar slab dryer for rice and maize farmers in Barangay Mayao Silangan, Lucena, Quezon. The concrete slab dryer will benefit smallholder farmers by enabling faster product turnover, helping them to increase productivity and farm income. In Barangay Binahaan, Pagbilao Quezon, an irrigation canal that will help a community of rice farmers in the area water their crops was also recently completed earlier this year by TeaM Energy.
Even outside of its host communities, the power company has managed to successfully implement programs to help farmers. Again, in partnership with the DOE, EU, Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) and the local government of Don Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental, Team Energy provided a 4 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system that powers a hulling to produce high quality, export-ready pineapple fiber for farmers in the municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto. The machine enables over a hundred pineapple farmers to process pineapple leaves into fiber, creating an additional source of income through pineapple farming. This productive use of energy is the basis for long-term sustainable economic development to increase the daily income of the community.
Sustainable Livelihoods for Indigenous Peoples
In General Nakar, Quezon, Team Energy implemented a program that educated and trained members of the indigenous Dumagat tribe to plant, process and market various indigenous products such as guyabano tea, turmeric powder, lagundi and Honey. The project included the establishment of a livelihood center where community members were given the means to study and develop various indigenous products that they can sell and market to local and foreign tourists. The center provided the beneficiaries with a place to display and sell their products, providing the Dumagats with a sustainable source of income for their families. Although the program was completed shortly before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, community members continue to reap the benefits, at present.
Fishing and farming
To help fishermen cope with the effects of the pandemic and increase their income by reducing their input costs, Team Energy donated fishing nets, materials to build fiberglass fishing boats and various fishing equipment to members of the Samahan ng Yamang-dagat ng Bantigue ( SYDB), an association of fishermen in Pagbilao, Quezon.
Team Energy has also donated equipment to help with oyster farming in the area, which is also another good source of income for the people of the fishing village.
SYDB members have also received support to maintain a brooding pen for female crabs, where newly hatched crabs are allowed to crawl out of the pen and into the mangrove area and open sea. ensure the sustainability of crabs in the region.
An aquaculture project in Padre Burgos, Quezon has also been set up by Team Energy for local fishermen to increase their income. Grouper (Lapu-lapu) fingerlings and equipment for fish pens were provided for the now self-sustaining program.
In Quezon, 113 head of cattle have been provided by Team Energy to the local government of Pagbilao to bolster its animal dispersal program which plans to help residents have a sustainable source of income through herding and farming .
Improving agriculture for national development
“We realize that the growth of Philippine agriculture is closely linked to the development of the country. Team Energy is pleased to have had the opportunity to undertake small community projects that support the growth of agriculture and ultimately improve lives,” said Froilan Gregory H. Romualdez III, External Affairs Manager, TeamEnergy.
A strong agricultural sector is indeed the cornerstone of growth. Robust production ensures a country’s food security; quality production paves the way for increased employment through product exports. It will always be the government’s priority to move this sector forward. Thus, the full support of the private sector will help ensure better results.
TeaM Energy Foundation Inc., is the social development arm of TeaM Energy, which operates two coal-fired power stations: the 1,200 MW Sual Power Station in Pangasinan and the 735 MW Pagbilao Power Station in Quezon Province. It also holds a 50% stake in the 420 MW Pagbilao Unit 3 power project in Quezon.
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