July this year, the provincial government of Camarines Norte through Governor Tallado spearheaded the groundbreaking ceremony of a multi-million project for farmers, farm workers and agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders.
The giant project includes the Agri-Pinoy Trading Center worth 44 million pesos to be jointly financed by the Department of Agriculture and the PLGU; the Agrarian Information and Marketing Center (AIMC) to be funded by ARISP 3 Federation Development worth 15 million pesos; and the Farm School to be financed by ARCP 2 via the Performance-Based Grant System (PBGS) worth 62 million pesos.
These projects with a total cost of almost 111 Million pesos are anchored on the improvement of agricultural production to boost farmers’ income and tourism. The Agri-Pinoy Trading Center is viewed to be an effective venue of trading for producers and buyers, and a response to the low income of vegetable and fruit farmers in the province. The trading center will showcase state of the art facilities such as the cold storage to sustain the freshness of fruits and vegetables, a digital industrial weighing scale, and a delivery trucks. The AIMC on the other hand will be designed to showcase the products of agrarian reform beneficiaries. The farm school which is expected to pave the way for the influx of visitors from different neighboring provinces via knowledge journey and exposure will be funded by the ARCP2-PBGS.
At the end of 2014, the projects are expected to bring about significant increase in income of farmers, an empowered farmers who are capable of initiating collective bargaining agreement with the producers.
In this light, the Department of Agrarian Reform National Project Coordinating Office as represented by Deputy Director Herman Z. Ongkiko led the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between DAR and the Provincial Government of Camarines Norte for ARCP2-PBGS Contract to Reform.
Mr. Ongkiko in his short message confirmed the award of 75 million pesos to the Provincial Local Government Unit of Camarines Norte through Gov. Tallado which signifies the good performance of the province in terms of delivery of services to agrarian reform communities. Performance-Based Grant System is an incentive to Performing LGU for partaking in governance reform initiatives.
Joining USEC Grageda during the groundbreaking was NPCO Deputy Director Herman Ongkiko, RD Maria Celestina M. Tam, PARO Leo Gaveria, and representatives from Department of Agriculture-Central Office, Governor Egay Tallado and Vice Gov. Jonah Pimentel and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Having the three big projects at hand, sustainable development of agri-enterprise endeavor in the ARCs in Camarines Norte is expected to head way and poverty reduction can be at a quicker pace.