A Memorandum of Agreement linking smallholder farmers to the market in Hacienda Malaga, Brgy. Robles, La Castellana was signed yesterday by Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II LucreciaTaberna, La Castellana Mayor RhumylaNicorMangilimutan and the Hacienda Malaga Cuenca Agrarian Reform Cooperative (MACARBEN) through its chairman, Romeo Caram.
The MOA will form a partnership between the local government of La Castellana and the Department of Agrarian Reform-Negros Occidental 2 to create a development program that will solve the problem of ARBOs on how to market their products and link them to institutional markets.
Under the MOA, the DAR will allocate P1.75 million for the conduct of an Agro-Enterprise Course composed of five courses of training aimed to assist targeted ARBs/smallholder farmers in sustainably engaging in market systems.
Other components of the project are training on clustering approach and coaching and mentoring.
The local government of La Castellana will allocate P36,000 for the registration fee of LGU staff who will attend the five courses of Agro-Enterprise Development Training while the MACARBEN will provide resources during the field application related activities as its project counterpart.
This project will be implemented within years with a target of 600 smallholder farmers as direct beneficiaries and at least 150 farming households.
Hacienda Malaga in Brgy. Robles will be the pilot site of the project that will benefit the 234 members of MACARBEN.
Mangilimutan thanked the DAR for the partnership development program and said he wished for other future bigger opportunities and partnership programs between the LGU and the department.
“I, myself , am a farmer and this is why I am very supportive of the programs of the Department of Agrarian Reform. I am very willing to support the programs of the department, especially those partnership programs that can help to improve the lives of our ARBs and the economy of the town of La Castellana, as a whole,” Mangilimutan said during the launching ceremony.
Meanwhile, PARPO II Taberna congratulated the MACARBEN and promised to extend more support services to La Castellana in order to attain the true vision of the department which is to improve the quality of lives of the farmers towards rural development and national industrialization.*