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

news national 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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