URDANETA CITY, Pangasinan (June 8, 2017)—The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) celebrated the first DAR Pangasinan Farmers’ Festival with the distribution ofcertificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) to 477 agrarian reform beneficiaries here.
DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano led the distribution of CLOAs covering 654 hectares of agricultural lands situated in the municipalities of Dasol, Bolinao, Mabini, Burgos, Bani, Infanta and Umingan.
Mariano said the department will do its best to improve the economic well-being of the ARBs through the DAR support services delivery to promote greater farm production and higher income opportunities.
“Our support services aim to make their land more productive by providing them with credit assistance, farm machines and livelihood projects. And for those who have land problems, we offer free agrarian legal advice to farmers,” added Mariano,” said Mariano.
Mariano reminded the farmers that the DAR will always be there to fight for their rights and welfare. He said among his major directives are to provide supports services, promote the rights of farmers and deliver agrarian justice to oppressed farmers.
Mariano was in Pangasinan to celebrate with the farmers of the province their bountiful harvests where it was showcased and sold to the public in a mini trade fair.
DAR Regional Director Virgilio Acuňa said the Farmers’ Festival was conducted to help farmers promote their agri products to a wider market.
“The mini trade fair showcases not only the farmers’ harvests but also their products like processed foods and other merchandise. It is also a venue where farmers interact with other farmers and share their knowledge and experiences in effective farming techniques,” said Acuňa.
During the DAR Pangasinan Farmers Festival, DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ma. Anna Francisco, presented to Mariano the 72 farmer-graduates of the farm business school (FBS) program and the 144 graduates of the mandatory trainings of the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).
Francisco said the FBS is a training program that teaches farmers about business and marketing trends in their own local environment through the learning-by-doing approach. She said the farmers were tutored on basic business concepts and effective farming practices.
“The farmers underwent 25 learning sessions for five consecutive months. In those sessions, they were also taught on bookkeeping, cash flows, value addition, market surveys, selling and costing,” said Francisco.
Francisco said the 144 graduates of the CDA mandatory trainings underwent trainings to strengthen and improve the operation of their farmers’ organization/cooperatives.
“Officers of various farmers’ organization/cooperatives here undertook trainings for cooperative development to acquire professional expertise in proper management of their respective cooperatives. The CDA facilitated trainings on financial management, microfinance, enterprise development and marketing strategies,” explained Francisco.
The Farmers’ Festival was attended by more than 500 farmers and held at the Urdaneta Cultural and Sports Complex. (30)
Photo 1: Secretary Rafael Mariano assisted by Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ma. Anna Francisco awarding a CLOA to a farmer-beneficiary.
Photo 2: Farmer Regina Casimina and farmer Isiaias Medenilla, two of the oldest recipients of CLOAs.
Photo 3: Secretary Mariano with the new farmer-landowners. Also in photo are Regional Director Virgilio Acuna and PARPO Ma. Anna Francisco.
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The beneficiaries of the fund include Candon City Coconut Farmers Agrarian Reform (AR) Cooperative, Macati Rang-ay Farmers AR Cooperative, Metro Luba Coconut Farmers MPC and Ayusan Norte Pantay ARC MPC, which received P 300,000.00 respectively. On the other hand, Sirmata AR Cooperative, Arnap Sunrise AR Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Tay-ac AR Cooperative received P 200,000.00 each, while P100,000 were turned over to Southern Santiago AR Cooperative and Barbar ARBs MPC.
Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Luis V. Singson, who led the awarding of the cheques, said the funds given to the organizations would surely boost their business enterprises.
The awarded funds will be used for the organizations’ enterprises like additional working capital for micro-finance and crop production, palay trading, re-lending, hog fattening and processing center improvement in compliance to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirement. A total of about 1,500 cooperative members will benefit from this financial assistance from the DAR and the provincial government.
“These funds are given to the organizations as grant, however, we would impose stricter policy and regular monitoring of the operations,” Singson said.
The cheques were received by the officers and management staff of each organization at the Provincial Capitol of Ilocos Sur.
The event were also attended by Vice Governor Jeremiah C. Singson and some Provincial Board Members. (Rizalyn Ambida)
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