Central Philippines State University signed Memorandum of Agreements (MOAs) with partners from Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental for the production and marketing of organic muscovado. The MOAs were signed on October 19, 2017 and November 7, 2017.
The partners from Negros Occidental are Department of Agrarian Reform, World Wildlife Fund-Philippines, Crossing Ibos Farmers Credit Cooperative, RU Foundry and Machine Shop Corporation, Multi-Sectoral Alliance for Development (MUAD) Negros, and Ecological and Agricultural (EcoAgri) Development Foundation, Inc. The partners committed financial and technical support as well as supply of sugarcane for the production.
The partners from Negros Oriental are the local government units of Ayungon, and La Libertad, AFOS International, and the Indigenous Peoples Organization of Banban and Ayungon. The LGU of La Libertad committed 2 hectares of organic sugarcane and Ayungon committed 5 hectares to support organic muscovado production. In turn, CPSU deployed 19 students to assist the LGUS in their organic sugarcane farming.
CPSU is targeting to produce 500-1000 kgs. of muscovado monthly.
Signatories to the October 19 MOA are Mr. Stephen M. Leonidas, Regional Director of Department of Agrarian Reform (represented by Dr. Ronald Gariza, DAR Assistant Regional Director); Mrs. Marina I. Canson, Chairman of Crossing Ibus Farmers Credit Cooperative; Mr. Ramon C. Uy, Sr., Chairman of the Board of Ecological and Agricultural Development Foundation, Inc. (EcoAgri) and Founder of RU Foundry and Machine Shop Corporation and EcoAgri Development Foundation, Inc.; Mr. Reynic S. Alo, Executive Director of Multi-Sectoral Alliance for Development (MUAD) Negros; and Mr. Jose M. Palma, chief executive of KKP (World Wildlife Fund - Philippines); and Dr. Freedie C. Maningo, then president of CPSU.
The October 19 MOA signing was held at Mt. Ballo Hall at the main campus of CPSU in the presence of partners, stakeholders, faculty, and students. The event had the theme Community-Based Industry and Development through Life Changing Technologies. It was followed by a ribbon cutting at the CPSU muscovado mill located within the campus.
"We are bringing the partners to CPSU to collaborate on sustainable agriculture," Dr. Aladino Moracca, project manager and faculty of CPSU, said in an interview.
"I want that this university will be the first university to declare organic farming. I want to bring allies with the same heart and soul with me in promoting sustainable agriculture, organic farming and including biodiversity," Mr. Moracca said.
He also said that the signing of the MOA is a good takeoff because we have already established the foundation for the collaboration. What is needed now is to continue the direction.
The muscovado mill is part of the grant of the Commission Higher Education Development Fund-National Agriculture and Fishery Education System (HEDF-NAFES) for the muscovado sugar production project of CPSU, which is a priority area in agriculture.