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Agusan del Norte News

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February 09, 2014 1831

MOA on ARCCESS Project

The Department of Agrarian Reform in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Sur State University (SDSSU) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to conduct Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Enterprise Support Services (ARCCESS) project at a ceremony held recently at SDSSU campus, Tandag City last July 3, 2013. The MOA covers the Organizational and Enterprise Needs Assessment and Design Assessment of the proposed “Rice Production and Palay Trading” and “Crop Trading.” These are to be… Read More..
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Feb 09, 2014 1626

Farmers Lead 25th CARP Anniversary

The Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) of Agusan del Norte led the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) where more than a thousand of farmers joined the motorcade and a farmers’ forum was held last June 14, 2013 in Agusan del Norte. Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Caraga Regional Director Faisar A. Mambuay said, “All we have done so far is addressing the challenges in bringing the CARP implementation process towards the successes of the… Read More..
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Feb 09, 2014 1495

DAR Gears Up For Mechanized Farming

The Department of Agrarian Reform in the province of Agusan del Norte through Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (DAR-ARCCESS) recently conducted a 2-day formulation of Policies, Systems and Procedures (PSPs) and orientation of Common Services Facilities (CSFs) for mechanized farming held recently at Brgy. Tagabaca, Butuan City and Baleguian, Jabonga. The ARCCESS program is a government led initiative to help farmer beneficiaries transform from mere producers… Read More..
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Feb 09, 2014 1377

DAR Agusan Norte Surpassed Land Distribution Target

The Department of Agrarian Reform in Agusan del Norte has set a record breaking 160 percent performance in land distribution from the annual projection of 1,370 hectares even before the 1st semester ends. As early as June 15, 2013, records showed that the office distributed a total of 2,198 hectares of agricultural lands to 1,248 farmer beneficiaries against this year’s target of 1,370 hectares. The remaining fifteen (15) days of the 1st semester is focused on the delivery of the additional… Read More..

Paul, Giving Back to the Community

success-story-paul-giving-back-to-the-community“Wala kami nagduha-duha sa pagtambong sa mga tapok-tapok, paghugpong tinabangan sa DAR ug NGO, nagdahum ug nagsalig na maangkon ang yuta nga gitikad bisan kini gipanag-iyahan sa mga dagkung tag-iya sa yuta.” (We did not hesitate in attending meetings, organizing ourselves with the help of DAR personnel and NGO, believing and trusting that the land we till will be awarded to us even if the land is owned by big, powerful, resistant land-owners.)
Paul Bagaoy Agsaway, after two years of working under a land owner Avancena Landholdings, he was awarded with approximately 2.5 hectares under CARP. Paul stated that because of the land awarded by DAR, plus the support services and capability building interventions coupled with their own steadfast, appropriate utility and development techniques of the awarded lot, it brought blessings to their family. When Paul was 16 years old, he went to E. Luna, Cabadbaran to live with his uncle, a farm-worker of Sixto Eyana. He then worked in the farm where his uncle worked. In 1980, he met Teodora Modoc and got married in 1984.
Insurgency problems in E. Luna in 1985 drove them to Sanghan, Cabadbaran.
From 1986, Paul became a lessee of the Atega Estate in Sanghan, cultivating one-hectare of land. During the 1990’s, the DAR issued a notice of coverage for the 160-hectare landholding of spouses Antonio and Carmen Avancena. The tenants and farm workers of the Avancenas preferred to side with their landlord, they never believed that the DAR can cover and distribute the 160 hectares. Hence, they did not heed the call of DAR to accomplish required documents for the land transfer. DAR then enlisted qualified farmer-workers in the adjacent landholdings that included Paul Agsaway. Paul and the rest of the potential beneficiaries of the Avancena Estate who believe in the mandate of CARP eventually received the CLOA in 1992.
From 1986 to 1997, production costs for the cultivated 3 hectares rice land were sourced out from external borrowings. Fortunately, Brgy. Sanghan was launched as an Agrarian Reform Community in 1993 and various support services poured in. From infrastructure facilities (communal irrigation project, FMRs, PHFs) to institutional and agricultural development support.
The farmers availed the production loans extended by the Agrarian Reform Support Project (ARSP) and later on with the Cooperative Bank of Agusan del Norte. What made them prosper as rice farmers is that they invested money, effort, and time heartily in the farm lands.
While waiting for the harvest, they planted vegetables and crops (ampalaya, tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, beans) earning a net income of P 7,000 per week. Their income from the vegetables and crops was more than enough to sustain their daily needs and for the schooling of their 3 siblings. Moreover, the farmers were able to pay in full the rice production loan. Every year, the farmers allocated and paid P 5,000 to the Land Bank of the Philippines for their land amortization. With their savings out of their farm income, starting 1999 they have already self-financed their rice production. Harvested “ Palay” were also no longer disposed to traders, but instead stored and sold as milled rice.
The couple, both active officers of the Avancena Beneficiaries MPC since their struggle in 1990 until to date, voluntarily made themselves available to their cooperative and farmer-members as farmer-technologists.
The couple also said that, “Ug sa tanan nilang nakab-ot labi na ang yuta, kini ila gigamit sa ensakto, gipalampo ug gapahinungod sa ginoo.” (For all the blessings and properties they acquired, especially the land, they make sure to it to use it properly and continually make them productive, dedicating them to God Almighty.)

Winning the War amidst Poverty

Winning the War amidst PovertyBorn to poor parents in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte, Brenda Dagangan Beltran, was initiated in the difficulties of life at an early age, she was helping her family’s daily needs. She sold native food or “kakanin” that she learned to cook from her mother.

Brenda became popular in the neighborhood for her “kakanin” from whose earnings she supported herself until she finished her secondary education.

After graduating from high school, Brenda knew her “kakanin” income could neither send her to further schooling, nor could her parents with their small income help in her ambition to earn a college degree.

In May 1984, she married Petronilo Montante and they settled in Barangay Canaway, Kitcharao. When Typhoon “Nitang” struck that year, the couple tasted the hardship of married life. The storm destroyed houses, banana plantations, crops, uprooted fruit and coconut trees. The tropical cyclone devastated the town physically and most of its residents, emotionally. But for Brenda and Petronilo, “the typhoon was a mere test and challenge to our determination to confront the difficulties ahead”.

They soon found themselves peddling bakery products. Petronilo woke up at 2:00 o’clock one morning, hitched a ride on a passing vehicle and dropped at a bakery. He convinced the proprietor to take him as bread peddler on consignment basis. As Petronilo became immersed in selling bread, Brenda took to cooking and selling sweet potatoes, “suman” and other pastries. In time, the couple’s earnings increased that pushed them to engage in rice trading through barter and later ventured into copra-buying. They almost gave up after losing so much copra transactions, but subsequent ones provided them substantial profit to recoup previous losses with a modest gain to keep.
success-story-winning-the-war-amidst-povertyIn the year 2000, the Department of Agrarian Reform awarded the Beltran’s cocoland they tilled for years with 2.9235 hectares under the Government-Owned Land (GOL) scheme. A Surigao City-based Chinese copra buyer, who had been the couple’s long-time coconut buyer, entrusted them P 5,000 as capital. The Beltran’s bought a second-hand Isuzu Elf truck and home appliances out of the amount plus their savings.

In 2002, there was an accident that involved their vehicle and their savings were drained since they were obliged to shoulder the passengers’ hospital expenses. The couple’s Chinese coconut buyer helped them by handing them P 200,000 as capital to purchase a replacement for the damaged truck.

Learning enough experience in managing their business, Petronilo now takes charge of operation while Brenda looks after administrative matters.

Their two sons are enrolled at Father Saturnino Urios University. Aside from the house and lot, the Beltran’s also has their own a warehouse, a car, and a six-wheeler Hino Elf truck. They keep two carabaos for their farm, and they also raise 20 heads of cattle and goats, and chickens as well.

Brenda confided that “Hardships strengthened my faith in God. I constantly prayed to Him with utmost humility and religiously complied with my commitment of offering to God more than 10 percent of our earnings as tithe even during difficult times. I worked until midnight and my husband and I have disciplined us to live and spend within our means.”

Quirino’s Success Story

An income of more than half a million annually for an agrarian reform beneficiary is a feat.
success-story-Quirinos-success-storyQuirino Martil was born in Barangay Culit, Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. His parents were from Cebu who migrated to the town in 1948 and became farmer-tenants of the landed Lamanilao family.
Raised in a rural community, Quirino’s life started in soil tilling and appeared to be destined as a farmer. When he married in 1968, Quirino purchased the land cultivation rights of a Lamanilao tenant named Gomez. Gomez introduced Quirino to the landlord as his replacement and readily acknowledged. This was the beginning of a tenant-landlord relationship with Quirino as a full-fledged Lamanilao tenant.
The new tenant-farmer planted corn for a start. He failed in the first try and two subsequent attempts. Quirino almost lost all his savings. He did not seek the help of anyone but persevered to make the land productive by himself.
In 1973, Quirino was awarded with a 2.8-hectare under DAR PD27 farmer-beneficiaries. Quirino was not convinced that the program could help and make him productive. He doubled and even tripled his efforts for the sake of a growing family. He planted corn during dry season and rice during rainy season.
In 1976, he bought a space at the Nasipit Public Market to sell meat to augment his income. He sold his carabao as capital to start his new business. Eventually, Quirino became a market meat vendor on Sundays and a full-time farmer from Mondays to Saturdays.
Because of Quirino’s hard work, he was able to send his children to school. His two sons earned their college degrees in Cebu City and another became a seaman on a foreign vessel. His eldest son finished nautical engineering and became a ship captain.
When the government awarded to him the land he was cultivating, Quirino was motivated to make his land more productive. He applied for diversified farming and planted his land with mangoes and high-value crops. The Department of Agriculture noticed Quirino’s creativeness and rewarded his effort with the “Most Outstanding Farmer in Agusan del Norte” award.
Quirino built a concrete house near his farm, which he estimates the cost to have reached more than a million pesos.
Exuding confidence of his success, /Quirino remained humble by saying, “I am grateful for what the Department of Agrarian Reform has done to me and my family. Its programs have transformed me from a mere dependent to a productive and empowered farmer.”