THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Negros Occidental has partnered with the Municipal Government of La Castellana for the implementation of P1.78 million worth of development program seen to address the marketing and competitive needs of the town’s agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).
The DAR and local government unit along with Hacienda Malaga Cuenca Agrarian Reform Cooperative (Macarben) signed a memorandum of agreement for the implementation of “Linking Smallholder Farmers to Market” project launched at Barangay Robles Tuesday.
Under the partnership, DAR will allocate P1.75 million for the conduct of agro-enterprise course aimed at assisting targeted ARBs, or smallholder farmers and enabling them to sustainably engage in market systems.
Other components of the project include training on clustering approach, coaching, and mentoring.
The municipal government will provide a counterpart of P36,000 for the registration fee of its staff who will attend the five courses of agro-enterprise development training.
The Macarben’s share is the provision of necessary resources during the conduct of the practicum phase and other field application-related activities.
“This project, to be implemented within two years, targets 600 smallholder farmers, including the 234 members of Macarben, as direct beneficiaries and at least 150 farming households,” DAR-Negros Occidental II said.
The Hacienda Malaga in Barangay Robles will be the pilot site of the project, it added.
Mayor Rhumyla Mangilimutan, who was present during the memorandum of agreement signing and launching ceremony, lauded the agency for initiating the program as she expressed hopes for more partnerships.
“The municipal government is willing to support the programs of the department especially those partnerships which can help improve the lives of our ARBs and the economy of the town in general,” she added.
For her part, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Lucrecia Taberna assured ARBs of more support services to attain the true vision of the department.
“This is to improve the quality of lives of the farmers towards rural development and national industrialization,” she added.