Cooperative Center for True Economic Reform (CENTER)
The town of Guimba is Nueva Ecija’s Nueva top rice producer with 15,000 hectares of flat fields and 99% irrigation coverage. The average volume is higher at seven (7) tons per hectare (ha) than the national average of 4.1 tons per hectare. However, production cost could still be lowered as it is at P12 per kilogram (kg) versus the Department of Agriculture’s target of P8 per kg.
Guimba is home to around 12,600 palay farmers. While productivity seems high, challenges have been persistent. Farmers typically earn P75,000 per hectare per year. With 50% having an average landholding of 1.5 hectares, they earn P112,500 per year. Based on Philippine Statistic Authority’s income categorization, Guimba rice farmers are not subsistence poor but are from low-income households. Hence, they are extremely vulnerable to going back to poverty once shocks occur.
We envision strong partnerships and organizations will facilitate increased production, farming efficiencies, additional livelihood sources, and safety nets for the rice farmers in Guimba.
With other partners in the area, the efforts will be geared towards developing social enterprise models that will increase rice farmers’ incomes and improve their access to services, capacitating local organizations to enhance their rice-related enterprises and manage their development programs, and creating collaboration arrangements that will ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of the efforts.