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DAR needs to sustain gains, NIR head says

visayan dailyWhile there have been successful areas, one of the challenges for the Department of Agrarian Reform is to sustain these gains, Regional Director Stephen Leonidas, DAR-Negros Island Region, said yesterday.
Leonidas said many Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries' Organizations, particularly in Negros Occidental, have gained millions from the right use of the Community Shared Facilities, loans from the Agrarian Production Credit Program, and assistance from the department and partner agencies.

Negros Occidental has an approved APCP fund of P116.7 million, P25.6M of which has been released to ARBs, he said.

As of March 2016, DAR-NIR has set a target of about P364,300,982 to strengthen the access to credit in the region. This will target a total of 126 ARBOs, 8,341 hectares of land and 4,668 ARB borrowers, he said.

“We want these ARBOs to sustain their gains through various assistance programs of DAR with Land Bank of the Philippines and other financial institutions, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Land Registration Authority,” Leonidas said.

Last week, DAR-NIR released the remaining CSFs, brand new 10-wheeler dump trucks, to the 15 ARBOs in the province. The department has also released tractors, threshers and other equipment that can be used by beneficiary ARBOs, other organizations, and communities in the area, he said.

Negros Occidental, has received a total of P183 million in CSF, he said.

Leonidas said that since all CSFs have been released, DAR-NIR will now focus on sugar block farming by engaging ARBOs to participate in the three-year program for higher yield at lower production cost, he also said.*KBC


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