The Department of Agrarian Reform in Bicol recently sealed new partnership with professional service providers (PSPs) after signing contracts worth P27 million for Business Development Services (BDS) covering 38 subprojects and another P3.5 million for Agri-Extension Services (AES) covering 20 subprojects, under the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity & Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) program at Hotel St. Ellis, Legazpi City, June 23, 2014.
The BDS is the capability building and technical assistance component of ARCCESS project where the recipients are those agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) who were granted with Common Service Facilities (CSF) or farm machineries. This component as support services intervention will benefit around 15,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and some 48 ARBOs in the region.
Present during the signing ceremony were DAR Bicol officials headed by regional director Luis B. Bueno, Jr., and professional service providers (PSPs)Bicolandia Greenfields Development Organization, Inc. (BIGFIS) represented by its President, Mr. Joseph Cruz;Naga College Foundation(NCF) led by itsPresident Ms. Marguerite Michelle V. Padua-Hornby;Mayon Integrated Development Alternatives & Services, Inc. (MIDAS) represented by its Executive Director, Ms. Cristita C. Triunfante; and Agricultural Training Institute-Department of Agriculture (ATI-DA) headed by Center Director Efren C. Sabularse.
The purpose of outsourcing BDS for ARBs enterprises from the private sector or business association is to provide the management expertise that will catalyze and fast track the establishment of self-sustaining business units among ARBOs that will consolidate their farm management and business operations in redistributed lands.
“Agrarian reform does not end with land distribution. The bigger challenge is for ARBs to retain their awarded lands or not fall into the trap of selling or pawning their lands because of poverty,” RD Bueno stated in his message.
Through ARCCESS, RD Bueno went on, “our ARBs are provided with strategic and sustainable support services in the forms of professional service provision including agri-extension services and business development services, and common service facilities or farm machineries and equipment, so that they can maximize the productivity of their awarded lands and engage in agri-related enterprises.”
Regional Program Beneficiaries Development Chief Lerma B. Dino explicated that “as a whole, the provision of BDS to ARBOs under ARCCESS aims to improve the performance of the agri-enterprises of the ARBOs, their access to markets, and their ability to compete in mainstream and niche market – with the end goal of increasing their (ARBs/farmers) income.”
“Specifically, BDS intends to empower the ARBOs in terms of technical/production, marketing, financial and organizational/governance management to realize self-sustaining agricultural enterprise, based on the needs assessment conducted in every sub-project. For the commonly assessed needs, interventions shall be done to address the existing weaknesses of the ARBOs,” Ms. Dino further said
Modernized Rice Production & Marketing, Pineapple Production & Processing, Abaca Production/Processing & Marketing, Mechanized Block Farming for Corn Production, and Intensified Vegetable Production are just some of the subprojects that will be provided with BDS interventions to benefit another batch of thousands of our ARBs in Bicol.