The first Dairy Box outlet in the province of Guimaras was inaugurated on May 18, 2023 at the Capitol Grounds in San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras.

Managed by the Guimaras Employees Multi-purpose Cooperative (GEMPC), the outlet is dubbed Dairy Box Guimaras and is the fourth of its kind in Panay-Guimaras area.

The Php 10 million infrastructure project is a one-stop delicatessen shop for carabao-based and other dairy products conceptualized by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).

The office of Senator Cynthia Villar, Chairperson, Senate Committee on Food and Agriculture, provided the budget for the construction of the facility which started last July 8, 2022.

Sen. Villar extended her congratulations to the beneficiaries of the inaugurated project.

“Ang dairy box na ito ay magiging daan para maipaabot sa mga tao ang locally produced dairy products ng ating mga dairy farmers,” ani Villar sa kaniyang video message.

Meanwhile Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) Officer-in-Charge for Socio-Economics and Policy Section Estella P. Valiente expressed gratitude to Guimarasnon farmers who took the challenge to take care of the buffaloes entrusted to them to produce milk.

Valiente hopes that the project can transform a community through the job opportunities that the dairy box facility can provide.

“I hope and pray na ma-attain po ang vision ng proyektong ito, the vision to provide locally produced nutritious milk for the community… buong community ang makikinabang,” dagdag pa ni Valiente.

She underscored that the Carabao-based Business Improvement Network (CBIN) project of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center aims to establish a robust and sustainable carabao-based enterprise value-chain in the province.

The DA assured that it will help GEMPC to sell the products made by Dairy Box Guimaras.

Mae Ann Grajo of DA-Agri-business and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) Region 6 said that the agency has many programs to extend the market access of agri-fishery farmers’ products.

“We at the Agri-Business and Marketing Assistance Division madamo kami mga programa nga makabulig sa agri-fishery folks to promote your products nga magiging produce sang dairy box. We can let you join sa mga trade events, local or international or international nga gina-conduct locally. We can invite you there para ma-extend ang market access ninyo,” Grajo said.

She emphasized that the success of Dairy Box Guimaras relies on the commitment of GEMPC cooperators to implement the project well.

Provincial Agriculturist Alvin Nava conveyed his gratitude to Senator Villar and to the Philippine Carabao Center for the opportunity given to Guimarasnon farmers.

Nava said that the Provincial Government will construct 19 milking chute for the farmer beneficiaries.

The project is a big boast to the economic agenda of Governor JC Rahman Nava dubbed “Kabataan FIRST” according to Mr. Gerry Gaitan, Executive Assistant III of the Office of the Governor.

One of the pillars of the said economic policy of the present administration is focused tourism, trade, investment, and employment.

Gaitan added that the project is a potential tourism attraction in Guimaras and the success of the dairy box will provide job opportunities for Guimarasnons.

Philippine Carabao Center Western Visayas Center Director Arn Granada hopes that the project will live up to its expectations.

“Hoping that this is not just only nga… ma-categorize sa mga big infra, even sa mga small infra nga mangin just like an elephant project,” Granada said.