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 implemented by the Avanceña Beneficiaries-Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (ABFMPC) in the Cabadbaran City and Palmavera Small Coconut Farmers Beneficiaries Cooperative (PASCOFBEC) in the municipality of Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte.
Assistant Regional Director for Operation (ARDO) and concurrent Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II (PARO II) of DAR Agusan del Norte Andre B. Atega, CESOV, is the signatory representing Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations in Agusan del Norte. On the other hand, the President Remegita C. Olvida, Ed.D., represented SDSSU who will provide technical assistance such as agricultural and agribusiness instruction and research activities to the participating ARBOs.
PARO Atega said, “This is another milestone in Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) implementation in DAR-Agusan del Norte that will enhance the chances for growth and increase income of the agrarian reform beneficiaries.”
Ester Cabalan, OIC Chief of the Beneficiaries Development and Coordinating Division (BDCD) said that DAR-ADN, in partnership with SDSSU, aims to assess the needs of the ARBOs (ABFMPC & PASCOFBEC) for an effective implementation of their agri-based enterprise projects.
ARCCESS Coordinator Raul N. Hermoso mentioned that, “we engaged the services of SDSSU knowing their competency and track record in conducting research and evaluation in rural development projects.”
Also in attendance during the ceremony were Antonio D. Meso, CARPO-RSSD, Engr. Vangie Hanginan, Regional Project Engineer, Gil E. Miranda, information officer and some DAR-SDS personnel.

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 farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries.”
Moreover, he said that, “For twenty-five years of implementing CARP, this landmark program has truly transformed farmers’ lives and communities. Support services and legal assistance were provided to improve quality of life of the farmer-beneficiaries.”
Assistant Regional Director for Operation and Concurrent Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II Andre B. Atega, CESO V welcomed the participants of the forum said that “We welcome ourselves with shouts and cheers to celebrate our 25th CARP success!”
During the farmers’ forum held at the Capitol Covered Court, the representatives of Baug CARP Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BCBMPC), Land Bank of the Philippines, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) honored the occasion with presentations of their respective program updates.
CDA Director Genaro D. Pugata said that “Last year, DAR and CDA had signed a memorandum of agreement that aimed to improve the delivery of much-needed support services to farmer-cooperatives through mandatory training.”
Testimonies from Baliguian Irrigators Association (BIA) and Tagabaca Multi-Purpose Cooperative chairpersons Wenefredo S. Maldo and Edwin Espinosa narrated the impact of being recipients of farm-implements from Agrarian Reform Communities Connectivity and Enterprise Support Services (ARCCESS).

Maldo said that “Dako among kalipay sa mga ekwepo nga among nadawat gikan sa ARCCESS. Among pasalamat sa DAR uban sa pag-ampo nga unta ang programang CARP magpadayon.” (We are delighted to have farm-implements from ARCCESS. We are thankful to DAR and praying that CARP program will continue.)

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 to entrepreneurs, which helps them improve their productivity and spur economic growth in the rural areas.
According to Ester Cabalan, OIC Chief of the Beneficiaries Development and Coordinating Division (BDCD), “The training equips the ARBOs the skills needed in the safe operation and maintenance of farm-implements and enhance the capacities of the participating ARBOs to manage and sustain their agri enterprise and also to formulate policies, systems and procedures.”
More than fifty officers and members participated in the formulation of PSPs and some machine operators trained on technical knowledge and appropriate operation and maintenance of the said farm implements.
The two organizations comprising Tagabaca Multi-Purpose Cooperative of the Tagabaca Agrarian Reform Community in Barangay Tagabaca and Baliguian Irrigators Association (BIA) in Jabonga, Agusan del Norte are the recipients of the grant farm-implements and also the participants of the said training.
Farmers expressed their gratitude to DAR for their commitment to intensify more initiatives to transform farmer beneficiaries into a leading engine of growth and development.

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 1,500 hectares for distribution. While the second semester will be focused on Private Agricultural Lands (PAL) for distribution within the year and the issuance of Notices of Coverage, (NOC) for Phase 3-B landholding.         
This year’s land distribution phase is believed to be the province’s best year in performance as it surpassed any recorded performance in land distribution for the past ten years. This milestone is the first since this year’s PARO II Andre B. Atega became the Caraga’s Assistant Regional Director for Operation and the fourth record breaking milestone since he became a full pledge Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II in 2007.
For twenty five years of CARP implementation, the province has already distributed a total of 33,219 hectares of agricultural lands representing 74 percent of the revised scope of 45,174 hectares. Total number of agrarian reform beneficiaries has now reached to 18,614 as of December, 2012.
ARDO Atega is thankful to DAR employees who directly contributed the attainment of such level of performance despite its meager DAR resources. He pointed that it was the Land Tenure Improvement workforce both Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) and Survey Teams who contributed much in delivering its target. Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (PMEU) has also been active in monitoring the process to keep in check the progress.
These intensifying efforts of the province to fast track the land distribution is in response to the DAR Secretary Virgilio De Los Reyes’ directives to finish the job before the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) LAD directive which will be completed in June 2014.