Changing farmers’ lives from bitter to better:
From the humble barangay of Sta. Ana, Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, a young agripreneur is making a step toward changing the lives of cacao farmers in the area.
Coming from experience
Gretchen G. Raiz, an agricultural technician from the Municipal Agriculture Office of Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, devotes her extra time in managing her business, Kairo’s Food Products, selling tablea and tablea spreads.
Being the local government’s agricultural livelihood program coordinator and the School-on-the-Air Program on Cacao Production and Processing’s focal person, her engagement in the cacao business stemmed from the noble cause of addressing the lack of market for the farmers’ produce in her town; thus, locally sourcing raw materials for her products.
Envisioning her products to reach the different parts of the country, starting from the Tagoloan Negosyo Center to the neighboring regions of Mindanao and distant points of Luzon, Raiz aims to provide affordable spreads that can be enjoyed by all ages while also hoping for the farmers’ fair share of success through her business.
To sustain her chosen enterprise, she finds the strengthened adoption of cacao farmers to the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in farming in order to ensure production of quality cacao and to enjoy an abundant harvest.
Continuing her path
With her continuous quest to expand her business, Raiz also eyes to build a drying facility and to procure additional fermentation containers and a melanger to achieve the right texture of her tablea and tablea spreads.
While she may have her sights on making it big through her assessed needs, she has not forgotten to add premium to the foremost reason she ventured into the cacao business—to motivated more local farmers to plant cacao, which will overall help rehabilitate the farms in their municipality, and to develop more product lines such as cacao wine and chocolate in the near future.
In addition, Raiz aims to generate more employment through her business, specifically for mothers like her and the youth.
Armed with much grit and a heart for serving the farmers—these are what she considers as her strongest suits in transforming the farmers’ lives from bitter to better, making her one of the Northern Mindanao Region’s contenders for the Young Farmers Challenge Fund (YFCF) at the National Level. ###