As strong as the tree named Bayug, where Bayugan City got its name, the JCA Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-purpose Cooperative (JARBEMCO) thru test of times still stands strong.
JARBEMCO was organized on April 5, 1999 by virtue of CARP Law initiated by CARP beneficiaries of farm land comprising 303 hectares situated at Sta. Teresita, Osmeña, Hamogaway and Marcelina in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur.
From its 51 original cooperators, current membership totals to 145 beneficiaries composed of the former workers-employees of the former JCA Rubber Development Corporation.
At first its operation focused on production-based economic operations consisting of rubber, durian, mangosteen and coconut plantations and now it has expanded its plantation coverage with the opening of around 120 hectares of oil-palm, 60 hectares rubber and 6 hectares falcata.
To cater the needs of its workers, JARBEMCO ventured into store operations and it has expanded even more when they availed the Barangay Food Terminal (BFT), a Project of the Department of Agriculture launched last February 9, 2011.
Noralyn Gonzaga, BFT Incharge said that thru Barangay Food Terminal Project, DA provided them various equipments such as 2 cold storage facilities, plastic crates, 3 weighing scales, push cart, plastic tray, styro foam boxes, electronic cash register and cash amount of P100,000.00 as support fund for additional capitalization.
The proponent also raised the said amount of P100T as their counterpart and was used mainly for the procurement of food products such as meat, poultry products, fish, fruits and vegetables.
JARBEMCO’s BFT open up a sure market for local farmers as well as swine raisers around their community where they can sell their produce.
BFT has generated employment having 3 regular employees and 2 on call employees during peak season of the month receiving minimum daily wage.
Gonzaga said that BFT helps a lot for them as workers and employees of the cooperative since they can avail its services including credit where payment will be automatically deducted from their salary while those non-members is bounded with duly signed customer agreement.
Aside from enjoying lower price on goods as compared to Bayugan City market, its customers can enjoy patronage refund and dividends every end of the year, thus an additional benefit for the customers family and cheer up the spirit of cooperativism.
For almost two years in operation, JARBEMCO BFT has manifested a net income of 179,940.53. Henceforth, from these figures, financial indicators are quite promising for JARBEMCO BFT as it faces another challenge in the years to come. (Aurell P. Arais/DA CARAGA)