Convergence Initiative Provide P228-M Worth Of Projects In Cam Sur

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dar web news pix 1 oct. 22 2013 400Agrarian reform beneficiaries in the municipality of Garchitorena in Camarines Sur will soon enjoy greater economic opportunities as the government pours various infrastructure and livelihood projects to help farmers increase their income.

Through the National Convergence Initiative of President Benigno Aquino III, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), banded together to fund the implementation of the P228-million rural development program. Launched in the coastal Barangay of Ason, the program dubbed “Garchitorena: A Landscape in Rural Development” aims to boost farm productivity, augment household income and spur rural development.

DAR Regional Director Luis Bueno Jr. explained that the convergence initiative is a government strategy that seeks to decrease poverty in the countryside by providing badly needed infrastructure projects, agricultural technology advancement and wider access to rural credit. “Operationally, the DAR-DA-DENR convergence works on sharing expertise and information. We collaborate and complement each agency’s program [on rural development] for a more efficient delivery of support services. This way, we maximize the use of each agency’s resources,” Bueno said.

Bueno explained that the local convergence initiative started with the collaboration between DAR and PCA when then DAR Regional Director Maria Celestina Tam and PCA Manager Eduardo Allorde agreed to expand their partnership by involving other line agencies namely, the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Social Work and Development (DSWD), Education (DepEd), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

Under the convergence initiative plan, Garchitorena will be provided rural infrastructures such as farm-to market-roads, school buildings, bridges, flood control projects, and potable water systems. Forty six classrooms are likewise programmed for repair, Bueno said.dar web news pix 2 oct. 22 2013 400

On the production support side, Bueno informed that, the town’s farmers will be provided farm machineries and garden tools; seedlings of seaweeds, coconut and other high value crops; tilapia fingerlings and mangrove propagules. “Intensified coconut production, tree planting under the National Greening Program (NGP) and organic farming are also included in the package. A livestock and poultry multiplier farm will likewise be established in the area,” Bueno added.

In order to ensure sustainability, these projects will be complemented with appropriate livelihood programs, like livestock raising and vegetable production, while the farmers will undergo technology trainings as para-technicians and agri-extension workers, he said. During the launch, CamSur 4th District Representative Felix William Fuentebella expressed his full support to the program.He said: “With the combined efforts of government agencies, rural development will definitely improve and will be more efficient. Garchitorena is a 4th class municipality, and this unprecedented program under the convergence initiative will boost its economic activity.”