DAR enhances farming know-how, business acumen of 740,581 farmers

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web bistoyongTHE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) reported to have raised the level of productiveness of a total 740,581 farmer-beneficiaries last year after providing them technical know-how in farming and business enterprises.

DAR Undersecretary Rosalina Bistoyong said the beneficiaries, who came from 6,424 agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs), were made to undergo various training programs in product development through value added services, like imparting technology-based farming techniques, processing raw farm products and packaging.

Bistoyong also revealed that that the beneficiaries were also taught about value chain market analysis that focuses on capacity development, like the ability to work as a team, produce quality farm products, gain access to the market and meet volume requirements of prospective clients.

“These interventions are meant to make our farmer-beneficiaries efficient raw farm producers and agri-entrepreneurs,” the Undersecretary for Support Services said in the Third Level Officials Forum in Davao City recently.

Bistoyong said the DAR also provided farmer-beneficiaries easy access to credit through the Credit Assistance Program, which has a distinctive feature – an insurance packages for farm losses resulting from the wrath of nature and for the beneficiaries themselves and members of their immediate families.

As if these were not enough, she said the farmer-beneficiaries were also empowered through a number of legal workshops as a way of making them adept about their basic rights as small landholders and agri-entrepreneurs.

Bistoyong said that these programs are meant to encourage 37,068 farmer-beneficiaries to join in farmers’ cooperatives or organizations for them to avail themselves the services provided by the DAR and other CARP-implementing agencies.

This year, she said, the DAR is initiating moves to enlighten and assist 162,109 farmer-beneficiaries in accessing credit and micro-finance, and provide 405,632 others various revenue-generating livelihood training programs.

Bistoyong said the department is also targeting to accommodate 485,240 new farmer-beneficiaries to avail themselves of these interventions in the next three years.

To accomplish this, Bistoyong offered 10 guide posts that could help scale up programs that have significant and positive impact to the business operations of farmer-beneficiaries and their organizations.

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They are:

• Strengthening of coordination and linkages with other government agencies, government-owned or controlled financing institutions and the civil society groups; • Building up advocacy for credit for farmer-beneficiaries;

• conducting inventory of active and inactive farmers’ organizations; • establishing well-defined operational plan for appropriate use of funds;

• Exploring sources for resource mobilization by building up partnership with local and international donor communities and financing institutions; • installing enhanced program beneficiaries development major final output and focused monitoring and evaluation system;

• Ensuring well-defined targets and alignment of strategic priorities and conducting periodic assessments; • Mainstreaming of land tenure improvement-program beneficiaries development integration in all provinces nationwide;

• Full implementation of special partnership projects, like Agrarian Reform Communities Connectivity Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) and those with the Cooperative Development Authority; and,

• Bundling up of development interventions with greater impact. (Richard Gallardo with Fraulein G. Montañez)