The Southern Negros Agri-Fisheries Multipurpose Cooperative won the Central Visayas search for SETUP PRAISE Award for MSMEs.
The coop is a beneficiary of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).
“We owe our achievement also to DOST at the provincial and regional levels because they provide the needed energizing environment within which we are able to perform,” said Juven Chavez, Sonamco manager.
Regional official entry
Sonamco will receive P20,000 cash and a plaque of appreciation as regional winner; it also received P5,000 cash and a plaque of appreciation as provincial winner.
The coop is the official entry of DOST Region 7 to the national search for the SETUP PRAISE Award (Program on Awards & Incentives for Service Excellence).
The coveted awards include Most Productive, Most Innovative, Most Sustainable, and Most Resilient MSME. The national winner will be announced during the virtual National Science & Technology Week in November.
“The recognition of SONAMCO as outstanding SETUP adoptor for Negros Oriental is a testament to the leadership of Mr. Chavez,” said Atty. Gilbert Arbon, DOST provincial director.
“Mr. Chavez has shown the passion, management flair, and excellence needed to run a community-based enterprise that has reached the borders outside of the Province,” he added.
Sonamco provides shrimp and milkfish to the National Capital Region, parts of Cebu, and parts of Mindanao.
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SONAMCO availed of the SETUP in 2012 worth P999.800 for its water aeration and water quality monitoring technology upgrading for improved milk fish and shrimp production in Bais City.
In 2016, the cooperative approached DOST Negros Oriental to avail of the SETUP for a second time. DOST approved its worth P1,980,000 in 2017 and upgraded its aeration system technology to improve the productivity of its aquaculture farm in Sumaliring, Siaton.
During the course of the implementation of the SETUP Project, the coop hired seven more regular employees from 37. There are now 136 on-call from an initial of 92.
Production of shrimp increased by 44 percent, from 450 metric tons to 650 metric tons per annum.
Annual milkfish production also increased by 60 percent, from 75 metric tons to 120 metric tons.
Due to faster growth of the milkfish, the coop increased its boneless milkfish production to 1,200 kg from 150 kg weekly.
Aside from DOST, the coop is also a recipient of various projects from other national government agencies.
The PRAISE Award for MSME is a yearly search for the best clients of the science agency’s technology upgrading program. (DOST PR via Dumaguete Metro Post)