DAVAO CITY— Just like in the cybergame Farmville on Facebook , overseas Filipino workers can now invest their hard-earned money in a virtual poultry farm and watch it grow on the internet.
The Department of Trade and Industry recently launched the virtual poultry farm North Star Asia Poultry Equities Inc. (North Star), which seeks to turn Filipino workers abroad into overseas foreign investors by enticing them to put their money in the virtual farm.
Teolulo Pasawa, DTI Davao City director, said the money that the OFWs will invest in the virtual poultry farm will be used to set up real poultry farms across the country.
North Star is the new company set up by Maharlika Agro-Marine Ventures and member-investors of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration.
With a minimum investment of 50,000 pesos, OFWs will be issued a stock certificate from North Star Asia Holding Corporation, the issuing company, entitling them to a redeemable preferred share and a dividend of seven percent per year.
Maharlika is a poultry breeding and growing company which currently has a contract with San Miguel Foods Incorporation (SMFI).
Pasawa said the seven percent dividend that OFWs will reap per year may be a bit smaller compared to other form of investments, but it is much higher than putting their money in the bank. Preferred shares can still be bought back by the issuing firm.
Vicente Lao, president of Maharlika, called the project “virtual” because the OFWs who are based abroad can see or visit their farms through a website.
He said that the website, which the company will put up soon, will also feature project updates, the financial and expansion plans of the company.
The issuing company, which already maintains a 3.5-hectare poultry farm in Coronan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, plans to put up more poultry farms across the country.
Pasawa said the SMFI will ensure the market for eggs, dressed chickens and other poultry products produced by North Star.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo graced the launching of the project, along with the saba banana production project of Sagrex Foods, in the city. (Grace S. Uddin/davaotoday.com)