News - 231219_NWS_PopriceSSF

The Cantongtong Agrarian Rice Farmers Association (CARFA) of Jiabong, Samar bagged the Best SSF Award for 2019 during the Shared Service Facility Regional Assembly.

The Shared Service Facilities (SSF) Program aims to improve the quality and productivity of MSMEs by addressing the gaps and bottlenecks in the value chain of priority industry clusters through the provision of processing equipment for the common use of MSMEs within the industry clusters.

Through the SSF Regional Assembly held last 5 December 2019 at the Hotel Alejandro, all SSF stakeholders are gathered to celebrate the successful implementation of the SSF Program in Region 8. This is an avenue for SSF cooperators to share their success stories and impart best practices, to inspire and motivate others.

CARFA is one of the successful associations who managed and grew their enterprise through the assistance of DTI, DAR, DOST and the Province of Samar. They started with the traditional cooking and preparation of the pop rice (alpahor) without proper food safety handling. Cooked rice was sundried on the lona/trapal by the streets of the barangay then cooked in vats and mixed through unwashed wooden ladles.

With the government’s help, CARFA now uses a commercial rice cooker, commercial deep fryer, an elevated screened solar dryer, measuring tools for the ingredients to maintain the consistency of the recipe, and sanitized cooking utensils. A processing building compliant with the FDA requirements was also constructed by the Samar Provincial Office thru Gov. Sharee Ann Tan.

CARFA Pop Rice comes in various flavors contained in re-sealable packs, well-labeled with the FDA License, and are available in various pasalubong centers in Samar and Tacloban. Their production increased four times their previous records, thus caused increase in profit for the farmers of CARFA.

“Sana magsilbi kaming inspirasyon sa ibang asosasyon at pagbubutihin pa namin,” says Efren D. Caballa of CARFA as he receives the award.

DTI ensured that the SSF Program will continue to produce successful MSMEs despite the challenges in some projects. The assembly was an opportune time to also hear from cooperators and beneficiaries the common setbacks that hinder the effective and efficient implementation of the Program and allow them to present solutions and action plans.♦

Date of Release: 23 December 2019