On September 27, 2013 various government agencies including the Department of Agrarian Reform went to the coastal Barangay of Asonvia to present a local imitative project which will soon change the agricultural landscape in Garchitorena.
The program “Garchitorena: A Landscape in Rural Development” is a showcase of national government agencies’ adoption of national convergence initiative (NCI) concept where resources of participating agencies are pooled together to bring in the much needed rural development projects. Its ultimate goal is to reduce poverty by increasing the income of the people especially the farmers in agrarian reform areas.
Mayor Jesus Rico Sarmiento hosted the activity with the theme: “DARamayan Bikolnon, Garchitorena Pauswagon”. The event covered the following activities: launching of the convergence program, presentation of the development plan, declaration of commitment, and awarding of credit assistance to recipient farmers. Furthermore, the distribution of farm equipments and seedlings of various crops, and the turn-over of the newly-completed community-based potable water supply, sanitation and hygiene project from DAR were also done during the event.
Also joining the convergence initiative was Camarines Sur 4th District Representative Felix William ‘Wimpy’ Fuentebella who committed his full support to the program as he revealed how his office will integrate its projects with the convergence development framework of Garchitorena especially on road networks.
Under the Intervention Plan, Garchitorena will be provided rural infrastructures such as farm-to market-roads, school buildings, bridges (Tulayang Pangulo), flood control projects, and potable water systems. Forty six (46) classrooms are likewise programmed for repair.
On the production support side, the town’s farmers will be provided farm machineries & garden tools, seedlings of seaweeds, coconut and other high value crops, tilapia fingerlings, mangrove propagules and many more.
The intensified coconut production and tree planting under the National Greening Program (NGP) and organic farming are also included in the package. A livestock and poultry multiplier farm will likewise be established in the area.
In order to ensure sustainability, these projects will be complemented with appropriate livelihood programs, while the farmers will be made to undergo technology trainings as para-technicians and agri-extension workers.
To date, the total worth of the convergence program is now more than 228 million pesos.
DAR Bicol Regional Director Luis B. Bueno, Jr., while taking note of the newly completed 2-classroom school building in Brgy. Ason and CPWASH project in Brgy. Canlong, recalled that the local convergence initiative started with the collaboration between DAR and PCA, when then RD Maria Celestina Manlagñit-Tam and PCA V Manager Eduardo Allorde agreed to expand their partnership by involving other line agencies.
For his part, DAR Camarines Sur II head Ramon Fuentebella said that DAR being the lead agency in this venture, has already been implementing projects for the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Garchitorena long before the convergence idea was hatched. He added that DAR’s Agrarian Reform Communities Projects (ARCP II) has eleven (11) subprojects in Garchitorena that range from FMRs, flood controls, solar dyers to school buildings and health stations, with a total worth of more than 47 million. Of these, two solar dryers and two 2-classroom school buildings are already completed.
The municipality of Garchitorena in Camarines Sur province will soon become one of most notable sites of the government’s high-impact projects in Bicol region expecting a smooth run of implementation.