AGUSAN DEL NORTE – The P180-million project for the Abaca Value-Chain Project for the abaca farmers in the province of Agusan del Norte is now making progress, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in the area reported.
The project was implemented through the Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (ConVERGE) and funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The project covers the towns of Tubay, Jabonga, Kitcharao, and Santiago in Agusan del Norte.
Based on its concept, the project aims to increase the profitability of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), smallholder farmers, the Indigenous Communities and women groups who are part of the network of San Isidro Upland Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SIUFMULCO) and 20 other participating Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations ARBOs in the area.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Andre B. Atega disclosed that most of the project is funded by a loan from the IFAD with counterpart funding from DAR, Local Government Units (LGUs) and farmer-beneficiaries.
The project was already approved last October 2015 and took off during the last quarter of 2016, said Annelyn R. Chan, the project coordinator of ConVERGE in DAR-Agusan del Norte.
She added that a total of P55.6 million was already allocated for the project from the total cost that will be utilized for its full implementation from this year until 2021.
With the very active participation of all project stakeholders and partner-implementers, Team ConVERGE in DAR-Agusan del Norte was able to deliver the two-year target in a span of one year, she noted.
The project has already conducted eighty 80 classes with 13 types of capability enhancement trainings to 21 farmer-groups; provided 12 mobile abaca stripping machines; one unit 10-wheeler hauling truck and provided planting materials and other farm inputs to 10 ARBOs covering 300 hectares.
This year, Chan said the project will start the rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads in the coverage areas to provide the ARBs and ARBOs easy access to the market centers in the area.
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