AGRARIAN REFORM beneficiaries (ARBs) in the province of Batanes have every reason to be happy as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) plowed into various support services to improve their economic lives.
Under the DAR’s Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) Program, the Vudiao-Tukon multi-purpose cooperative (MPC) received (2) units of water pumps amounting to P115,874.00, and San Joaquin ARB-MPC, one (1) unit of power tiller cultivator in the amount of P149,937.00. Both cooperatives are from Basco, Batanes.
ARCCESS is an alternative rural development approach wherein support services provided by the DAR are delivered directly to selected agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs).
DAR Assistant Secretary Jim Coleto said the 2 units of water pump will service 26 hectares of land for the goat production at Caparian Estate at Itabayat agrarian reform community (ARC).
“The DAR is supporting the goat raising production at Caparian Estate in Itbayat ARC by helping them improve their facilities such as paddocks, perimeter fence, and goat houses among others. The facilities for 50 heads of goats shall be expanded as the stock increases,” Coleto said.
The power tiller cultivator, on the other hand, will be used for the organic vegetable production of San Joaquin ARB-MPC. It will be used for the 1,447-sq.m.of land at Tuva-Valay in the town of San Joaquin.
Coleto said the development of the area shall include provision of facilities like drip irrigation, perimeter fence, seed bank and introduction of vermiculture.
“The farm equipments also serve as additional source of income of the farmers’ cooperatives. The rental fee of the equipments will be collected by the cooperatives as an added earning as well as expenses for the operation and maintenance.
Governor Vicente Gato said these support services would be of great help to sustain the food supply in the province. He said that they while they preserve the old Ivatan tradition of farming they would incorporate new farming technologies to increase production.
Coinciding with the event, the DAR also distributed a total of 13.4 hectares of agricultural lands to 61 ARBs from the municipalities of Sumnanga, Ivana, Basco and Itbayat.
Regional Director Marjorie Ayson said the distributed parcels of land are government-owned land covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). “These lands are awarded to the farmers as an additional resource to sustain their agricultural products,” she added.
Farmer-beneficiary Joaquin Castano III said that he will do everything to make his newly-acquired land productive and told his fellow recipients to do the same.