DAR, Catholic Org Join Hands To Uplift Farmers’ Lives

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news national 1 pix 1 nov. 26 2015The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Catholic Relief Service (CRS) recently launched a project dubbed as “Linking Smallholder Farmers to Markets (LinkSFarM)” to boost the economic lives of the farmers.

CRS Senior Program Manager Pedro Terry Tuazon said LinkSFarM supports agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) to become farmer-entrepreneurs by providing them trainings, assistance, and linkages to various markets and institutions.

“The project targets to serve some 16,000 ARBs, from 31 sites spread over 21 provinces in 10 regions through improved livelihoods, thereby contributing to the local economic development,” Tuazon said. news national 1 pix 2 nov. 26 2015DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said the government’s job is to provide the farmers appropriate support services to uplift their lives. “We support farmers by boosting their crops but what really counts is whether they make money.

The project expects to achieve 50% of cooperatives to provide credit access for their cluster members for production and provide trainings to local government staff and field implementers of 101 DAR provincial and municipal offices.

news national 1 pix 3 nov. 26 2015Farmer-beneficiary Beatriz Fabros recounted that before the government intervened in their farming activities, they were in dire straits until the DAR provided them assistance, technologies and trainings, which help improve their situations.

“LinkSFarM will greatly help and capaciatate us to negotiate effectively to various markets and trade centers,” Fabros said.

Prior to the launching event, representatives from DAR, CRS, local government, and ARBs, discussed the detailed implementation plan for the period of January to December 2016, as well as the technical and administrative guidelines of the project.

CRS was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to serve World War II survivors in Europe. Its mission is to assist impoverished and disadvantaged people overseas, working in the spirit of Catholic social teaching to promote the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person.