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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Agrarian-Organization’s credit line up to 250%

news reg 3 pix 1 aug 7 2017Farmer-members of the Baleguian Organic Farmers Irrigators Association (BOFIA) in Jabonga town are jubilant after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) approved an increase on their credit line under the government’s Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP). 

In the first semester of this year, BOFIA’s approved credit line reached up to P5 million or about 250 percent from the P2 million credit line granted to them in 2016.  

Recognized as the outstanding organization in 2016 for its excellent performance and impressive growth, BOFIA represents the fastest growing agrarian-organization in Agusan del Norte for its micro-lending under APCP. 

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Andre B. Atega said that BOFIA’s economic success was due to the strict discipline system practiced by the ARBO which resulted to a 100% repayment of loans to its members. 

According to APCP Point Person Luningning B. Ycoy, the loan assistance for BOFIA’s integrated rice production has benefitted 63 members who were also covered by crop insurance package in partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC). 

Ycoy said that BOFIA was granted an initial credit release of P 900,000 last March 2017, benefitting 24 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) covering an area of 36 hectares. The second credit release amounted to P 1,452,500 last April with 27 ARBs benefitted, covering an area of 51 hectares. 

Winefredo Maldo, an ARB and the Chairperson of BOFIA, said its members’ income now increased because of low interest rate compared from informal moneylenders such as traders and input suppliers. 

According to Maldo, his fellow farmer-beneficiaries are now able to support their children to school. Some said that they can now buy their household needs, and able to purchase agricultural inputs. 

“Nagpasalamat kami ni President Duterte ug sa iyang tinugyanan sa ahensya nga si DAR Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, na usa usab ka mag-uuma, usa ka tawo nga maantigo nga mosabot sa panginahanglanon sa mga maguuma,” (we are just thankful to President Duterte for appointing DAR Secretary Rafael ‘Ka Paeng’ Mariano, who is also known for being a farmer, for his initiative to meet the needs of the farmers,” Maldo said in vernacular. 

The program is a joint credit and capacity development initiative among the DAR, DA and Landbank. It is designed to respond to the credit needs of ARBs for various economic projects such as agricultural crop production, agri-enterprise and livelihood projects.  (Gil Miranda)

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Tulay ng Pangulo created road networks for farmers

news reg 2 pix 1 aug 7 2017The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Agusan del Norte conducted a site inspection of the two newly-constructed bridges under the Tulay ng Pangulo Para sa Kaunlarang Agraryo Program (TPKP) located at Barangay Ampayon in Butuan City and Barangay Sacol in Buenavista town.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Andre B. Atega said the  project is part of Secretary Rafael ‘Ka Paeng’ Mariano’s commitment to respond to the needs of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in partnership with Department of Public Works and Highways-Bridges Management Cluster-Unified Project Management Office (DPWH-BMC-UPMO).

DPWH Engineer Norman I. Puy, said the two bridges constructed in Barangays Ampayon and Sacol have a total cost of P50 million or P25 million each under TPKA program of President Rodrigo Duterte. 

“The bridges installed has 28-lineal Uni-Bridge (universal bridge), includes a 6.1 meters double-lane, a side-walk, and a 30-meter approach on both sides. The bridge can carry a 40-ton load when concrete is fully seasoned,” Puy added.

The Ampayon Bridge links Barangay Ampayon through the CABATA ARC (Barangay Camayahan, Basag & Taligaman Agrarian Reform Community) in Butuan City, while Barangay Sacol Bridge now connects the neighboring barangays of Buenavista town where a members of agrarian-beneficiaries resides.

Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ester Cabalan of Butuan City said that the projects that links the road network within the ARC barangays has led into the improvement of the economic welfare of more than a thousand agrarian reform beneficiaries in the farming communities. (Gil E. Miranda)

Photo: A grade school girl walks across the newly completed universal-bridge in Barangay Sacol, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. The bridge is part of DAR Secretary Rafael ‘Ka Paeng’ Mariano’s commitment to respond to the needs of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs).  The project is in partnership with the DAR and Department of Public Works and Highways-Bridges Management Cluster-Unified Project Management Office.

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