To better ensure the overall long-term sustainability of Canatuan, TVIRD established TVI Agriproducts Inc. as a wholly-owned subsidiary appointed to create a joint agri-enterprise for the local communities. The company’s strategic foray into agribusiness endeavors to address the need for employment and livelihood in the area as well as shift the local economy back to agriculture.
Upon its establishment, TVI Agriproducts Inc. entered into a 50:50 agribusiness joint venture with agricultural commodity manufacturer and marketer Kennemer Foods International to create and establish a joint agri-enterprise for cacao production via company-managed plantations in the host municipality of Siocon and nearby Baliguian in Zamboanga Del Norte. Both are neighboring municipalities of TVIRD’s Canatuan mine, which was decommissioned in late 2013.
Under the agreement, both companies will undertake the development of plantations through consolidated landholdings either through lease or revenue sharing agreements together with individual farmers and lot owners and recognized indigenous peoples communities. Each plantation will have a consolidated area of no less than 100 hectares within the ancestral domain of the Subanons – TVIRD’s indigenous hosts – and nearby areas. The agreement also specifies the development of contract growing agreements with the farmers wherein the cacao produced from the plantations will be marketed and exported according to mutually-agreed terms of yield-sharing.
TVIRD has introduced agricultural livelihood to the community as part of its social development programs. The joint agri-enterprise represents its most aggressive initiative to date as the initiative is set to provide the immediate community with a sustainable enterprise beyond the life-of-mine.
The company’s strategic foray into agribusiness with Kennemer underscores its corporate objective to sustain social services and job creation among its present beneficiaries, according to TVIRD President Atty. Eugene T. Mateo. Moreover, it strengthens its social commitment – making good on a long-term promise made to the community.
Based on a development roadmap culled from a study conducted by the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P), the project would expand to a total of 1,600 hectares over four years, depending on available land, and at a financial internal rate of return of seven years.
Additionally, the project could generate close to 1,300 jobs for the local community or an additional 400 jobs if TVIRD workers are absorbed by the joint venture company.