The Salabusob Integrated Livelihood Association of Women (SILAW) in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija received a package of enterprise development assistance from the USAID Protect Wildlife project courtesy of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative for its turmeric production and processing at the foothills of Sierra Madre.
Lacking proper equipment and training for post-harvest processing of their turmeric produce, SILAW members were limited to crude production and sale of their turmeric chips and powder. Last July, the project engaged SILAW members in a two-day learning session, where they were introduced to enhanced post-harvest practices and new processing tools, better market information, and connections to buyers.
As a result, they were able to identify critical remedial actions for improving their enterprise, such as expanding their planting area to meet the volume required by buyers, acquiring better equipment for cutting and drying, and recruiting more members to manage their business, and for ensuring sustainability of their enterprise through conservation-friendly farming practices that are in line with multiple-use management regimes of Aurora Memorial National Park, where the women are planting their turmeric.
SILAW members met with the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization to ask for guidance in locating the appropriate site of their central facility for turmeric processing and in identifying women-friendly tools and equipment for improved production. They also met with representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry for marketing assistance.
Under the W-GDP Initiative, Protect Wildlife targets to support 27 enterprises with active women members and to assist around 5,000 households with strengthened economic benefits derived from biodiversity conservation and sustainable management of natural resources. W-GDP support for women’s livelihoods includes training on organizational development, procuring processing equipment and post-harvest facilities, strengthening access to credit, and facilitating marketing agreements and networking opportunities. (PWP/ May Anne Ramos)