Cebu2World, Citicore partner with farmers for a farm-to-market initiative for the Carbon market community

Citicore President and CEO Oliver Tan shows to Cebu2World Chairman Louie Ferrer the 70.3-hectare property which houses 193,440 solar panels. The plant capacity is 48 megawatts which can provide electricity to over 50,000 households

The Carbon Public Market will soon have another source of produce – direct from a solar farm! Cebu2World (“C2W”) signed a memorandum of understanding on March 1, 2022, with Citicore Power Incorporated (“Citicore”), a sister company of Megawide, jumpstarting the Pilot Farm-to-Market Project in Barangay Talavera, Toledo City, Cebu.

C2W is a subsidiary of Megawide, the country’s leading engineering and infrastructure innovator. Meanwhile, Citicore is a vertically integrated renewable energy company that owns and operates nine solar power plants in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, with a combined generating installed capacity of 170 Megawatts – one of the largest in the country.

Representatives from LAMBO Carbon and the Talavera United Farmers Association (TUFA), together with its host barangay, also committed to the partnership and signed the MOU. LAMBO Carbon is an alliance of groups within the Carbon Public Market comprised of vendors, karumateros, barangays, and other community members promoting the sustainability of their livelihood as the Carbon Modernization Project progresses.

The Carbon Modernization is being undertaken by C2W and the Cebu City Government under a 50-year joint venture agreement.

(L-R)Maricris Cabalhin, corporate affairs head for Citicore, Marina Canillo, a representative from Talavera United Farmers Association (TUFA),Jason Torres, VP of corporate affairs, Megawide, Brgy. Talavera captain Edgar Dejito,Pastor Zosimo Potot, LAMBO Carbon representative and LAVO Seaside president, and Engr. Rey Matugas, operations and maintenance manager 

 Farm-To-Market CSR

“We want to pilot first one hectare, so we will know how to replicate this in the other hectares that we plan to use,” AgroSolar sustainability consultant Joy Onozawa said in an interview. She said marginalized TUFA farmers who are interested to join the pilot batch will be prioritized. 

Arch. Onozawa also highlighted the overarching objective of C2W is to leave no one behind in this livelihood project. Their next steps include more detailed discussions with both Carbon and Citicore stakeholders so that the project can become sustainable.

Citicore’s AgroSolar project

Community-Focused Renewable energy provider Citicore pioneered the AgroSolar Project in the Philippines, a global innovative approach that relies on the dual use of a solar power facility with agriculture—a concept of combining solar power generation with farming that could change the way food is produced in the future.

 The project provides opportunities for farmers to practice non-conventional crop-growing methods under solar panels to generate income-creating alternative yet sustainable livelihoods for small farmers to spur rural development. This also ensures that farmers and other stakeholders are not displaced by renewable energy, but rather nurtured and supported, as they remain integral to the country’s economic growth and development.  

“Our collaboration with Cebu2World will promote countryside development and support our farmers not only in the production stage but more importantly in the market-making,” said Citicore President and CEO Oliver Tan.

He also shared that they have already launched five pilot AgroSolar projects in Luzon since 2021: two in Tarlac, one in Bulacan, one in Bataan, and another in Clark, Pampanga. He added that among the company’s nine operating power plants nationwide which includes the Solar Rooftop in Bataan, Citicore Solar Cebu is currently the largest, and is next on their list for the AgroSolar initiative.

Synergy between Farm and Market

C2W director Cristina Angan emphasized that close collaboration with TUFA farmers in Barangay Talavera and LAMBO Carbon is essential to the project’s success. Ambulant vendors from the Carbon Public Market are envisioned to be the off-takers of the produce.

 Apart from providing livelihood opportunities and augmenting the income of farmers and vendors, the farm-to-market project will also establish for these groups a working relationship with the Department of Agriculture and better market linkages.

“Through this project, naa nay laing direct link from farmers to Carbon market, and we are hoping to make adjustments based on the pilot batch, especially in terms of what other crops the farmers can plant and how we bring them to Carbon market vendors,” Angan said in an interview. “For sure, we will tap LGUs and agencies that can help both the farmers and the vendors.”

Angan shared that they are initially looking at planting ginger and turmeric in the pilot phase of the solar farm. Once the choice of crops will be harvested, LAMBO Carbon can help facilitate market distribution so that Carbon vendors will be able to sell them in the market.

“We want to figure out what else they need in terms of support so that it will be more efficient. We are even considering the idea of converting biodegradable waste from Carbon into fertilizer for the solar farm. Through the synergy between the two areas, we can make it more productive. We should not stop on just paper, aron ang livelihood nila mo-LAMBO gyud,” Angan added.

Additional Livelihood for Carbon Vendors

Meanwhile, LAMBO Carbon representative Pastor Zosimo Potot expressed their support for the pilot farm-to-market project. Potot is also the president of LAVO Seaside, the vendor association currently selling at the Carbon Bagsakan portion along ML Quezon Boulevard, Cebu City.

He said the alliance of various groups under LAMBO Carbon will help ensure that small businesses in the public market continue to thrive.

“Mao nay usa sa atong mga goal, makahatag tag panginabuhian sa mga tawo sa Carbon aron di lang dinagko nga negosyo (ang makabenepisyo), kon dili uban sab ang mga ginagmay,” Pastor said in a separate interview.

 (Part of our goal is for livelihood opportunities from the Farm-to-Market project to reach people in Carbon so that they, too, can benefit.) 

Press Release

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