Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020, MIEDECO, a farmers’ cooperative in the Philippines, continues to thrive. MIEDECO’s story demonstrates a successful response to the negative effects of the pandemic on the economy.
The AgriCOOPh Federation supports the Malabog Integrated Enterprises Development Cooperative (MIEDECO) through the Assuring Resiliency of Family Farmers Amidst COVID-19 or ARISE-Farmers program. ARISE-Farmers is financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and is implemented by the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) along with its partner farmers’ organizations.
MIEDECO has been operating a farmer’s cooperative for over 35 years and has an estimated 600 members engaged in agricultural production. The majority of the members are into organic farming in areas located in the hinterland barangays (villages) of Paquibato District of Davao City. The major buyer of MIEDECO’s coconut produce is Franklin Baker Company Philippines.
During the first round of the ARISE program in March 2021, MIEDECO received a loan of USD 21,027.77 to be used as their working capital for two cycles. The loan was used to procure the whole coconut and cacao beans products of the Cooperative’s members. When big businesses in Davao City stopped buying commodities from MIEDECO due to the pandemic, the Cooperative was able to continue buying their members’ commodities with the help of the fund from ARISE-Farmers.