IPs join forum on entrepreneurship

news reg 1 pix 1 dec. 6 2017BUTUAN CITY—The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently conducted an entrepreneurship forum for the indigenous peoples (IPs) to help increase their income from their enterprise operations.

Some 200 IPs belonging to various tribes attended the forum hosted by the DAR’s Project Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (ConVERGE), a flagship project of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

DAR Regional Director Felix Aguhob, who is also the project’s Regional Manager explained that ConVERGE aims to promote sustainable livelihood activities of farmers and IPs based on key commodities of Mindanao regions, such as rice, rubber, coffee and cassava among others.

“The forum expects to integrate the IPs in the entrepreneurial activities of ConVERGE. We are targeting not only the IPs but also the women and the youth to benefit from the project,” said Aguhob.

Aguhob said under the project 30 percent increase in income is expected to include at least 15 percent of the indigenous peoples in areas where it is possible.

IP communities are among the priorities for the implementation of development programs and services under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) last year, President Duterte recognized the issuances of Ancestral Certificates Domain Titles (ACDTs) to various IP groups in the country that served as legal tools to improve financially, economically and socially their respective communities.

During the forum, five IP entrepreneurs shared their business practices in their existing enterprise operations.  They are Daniel Viscaya of Trento, Agusan Sur; Heidy Ilaga of Santiago, Agusan Norte; Rosilito Rosell of Libona, Bukidnon, and Rosalinda Camarador and Rolando Penuela of Zamboanga del Sur.

Rosell, Production Manager of the Kapehan Multi-Purpose Cooperative shared that IPs are involved in entrepreneurial activities. “We are starting and we are seeing where we are going. From our initial capital, we have blown to some assets,” he added.

IFAD Management Consultant for Project ConVERGE Gomer Tumbali shared the existing profile of IP entrepreneurs in regions 9, 10 and Caraga. He furthered on how the sector can be of help, and how they can benefit from the project.news reg 1 pix 2 dec. 6 2017

ConVERGE National Project Director Faisar Mambuay, said that the IP Forum was only the initial stage of the many sectoral consultations for the project. “We will also conduct a forum for the youth and the women, to ensure that they will be benefitted by the project.”

Attendees were from IP groups namely the Subanon of Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga del Norte; the Higaonons, Tala-andig and Camiguin IPs of Region 10. In Caraga region, the IP groups whon attended were the Mamanwa’s, Manobos, Tubano, Tausog, and Mandaya.

Project ConVERGE is a joint partnership of DAR and IFAD. The two-day IP forum was held in this city last Nov. 7-8, 2017. (Joie Ceballos/DAR-CARAGA)

Photo 1: DAR Regional Director Felix Aguhob, who is also the project’s Regional Manager welcomed the participants and guests to the forum.

Photo 2: Indigenous peoples of Mindanao sharing their business practices in their existing enterprise operations.

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Bistoyong highlights DAR’s anti-poverty programs and projects

news reg 11111 pix 1 oct. 23 2017Quezon City – The second leg of the government’s human development and poverty reduction forum dubbed as “Kilos SAMBAYANAN" (Kilos para sa Sampung Batayang Pangangailangan) was simultaneously held in six strategic locations in the country on Friday, October 20, specifically in Vigan City, Naga City, Butuan City, Davao City, Cebu City and at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Auditorium in Quezon City.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), together with other line agencies of the government, converged to strengthen the implementation of “Kilos Sambayanan” with the objective of addressing the 10 basic needs of the poor, specifically on food, land reform, water, shelter, health, education, work, social protection, healthy environment, peace and participation.

The program is initiated by the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and the Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO).

In her presentation on Friday, Agrarian reform Secretary Rosalina Bistoyong highlighted DAR’s anti-poverty programs and projects that benefited thousands of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in the country.

“Agrarian reform is not just distributing lands to landless farmers. Agrarian reform through its three major components– Land Tenure Improvement (LTI), Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) and Agrarian Justice Delivery (AJD) help the rural poor, specifically, the farmers in increasing their income and improving their living conditions,” Bistoyong emphasized.

The land, she pointed out, is the life of every farmer in the country where foods are grown, houses are founded and communities are established.

Under DAR’s support services office, farmers’ organizations and agrarian reform communities are provided with modern farm machines like threshers and heavy tractors and infrastructure projects such as bridges, farm-to-market roads, post-harvest facilities and communal irrigation systems, Bistoyong stressed.

“DAR also helps in accessing credit lines and conducts various farmers’ training on modern farming and basic business principles to help them become well-rounded farmer-businessmen,” she added.news reg 11111 pix 2 oct. 23 2017

“We are bringing Kilos SAMBAYANAN closer to the poor and marginalized sectors because our goal is to create a strong mass movement, politically and economically empowered to ensure that their needs are being addressed by their government, through active participation in governance and nationalist development,” NAPC secretary Liza Maza said.

Aside from the DAR, other government agencies working on the program include the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Commission on Higher Education (CHEd).

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P21-M project to enhance production of 847 abaca farmers in Agusan Norte

news reg 1 pix 1 oct. 10 2017AGUSAN DEL NORTE—The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said a total of 847 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) will soon benefit from a P21-million financial package from a partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) project called Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment Project (Converge).

IFAD Project Managing Consultant Gomer G. Tumbali, said the project’s primary goal is to increase agricultural productivity of abaca farmers and promote their welfare and development.

“The project is expected to reduce poverty incidence by engaging the farmer-groups in value chain-based agricultural processes for abaca production in the area,” Tumbali said.

The recipients of the funds are farmers belonging to 21 peoples’ organizations (POs) and one cooperative identified as San Isidro Upland Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Andre B. Atega said the funds will be utilized to enhance the production of farmers in 700 hectares of abaca plantation in the municipalities of Tubay, Jabonga, Kitcharao and Santiago.

“It [the funds] would be used to purchase 27 units of portable abaca stripping machines and a 10-wheeler hauling truck for the farmers,” added Atega.

Atega said the DAR is now processing the documents for the procurement of the stripping machines and the hauling truck.

While waiting for the farm machines, DAR also partnered with the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) to help train the farmers in abaca production.

“At present, the farmers are undergoing various training on strengthening their cooperatives and modern farming technologies in abaca production,” Atega said. (Gil Miranda, DAR-Agusan del Norte)

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Harvest Festival in Agusan del Norte

news reg 1 pix 1 sept. 14 2017Twenty-five (25) agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) members of Doña Rosario CLOA Holders Vegetable Producers Association (DRCHVPA) recently conducted a Harvest Festival and Techno Expo product display at Barangay Doña Rosario, Tubay, Agusan del Norte to show case their vegetable produce for possible market opportunities.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II  Andre B. Atega said the group has  undergone an eight-month long training on communal vegetable project implemented by Winrock International in Caraga under the Philippine Cold Chain Project funded  by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and in partnership with the East West Seed Company.

He said the activity was a good opportunity to showcase their vegetable produce through product display to improve farmers’ confidence and there by improve their productivity by way of sharing their new ideas and technologies. 

DRCHVPA Chairman Hector Dela Cruz said vegetable farming is most fulfilling when vegetables grown results in increasing their farm income.

Dela Cruz thanked the DAR, local government partners and other key government agencies for the development in Tubay. 

The group promised to become commercially viable with the assistance provided by the DAR’s Project Converge and help in accessing other market for their produce.

DAR Planning Officer II Annelyn R. Chan, said that the sustainability of the project can be achieved if the members work together to reduce uncertainties from other factors in the production and marketing of their produce. 

 “On the part of DAR, we have been helping the farmer-beneficiaries through coop strengthening program and entrepreneurial skills and other support services to maximize the utilization of the awarded lands,” Chan added. 

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