LEGAZPI CITY, June 26 (PIA) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) 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.
DAR Bicol regional director Luis Bueno, Jr. said the projects are under the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity & Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) program where through which agrarian reform beneficiaries (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.
Partner PSPs included Bicolandia Greenfields Development Organization, Inc. (BIGFIS) represented by its President, Mr. Joseph Cruz; Naga College Foundation(NCF) led by its President Ms. Marguerite Michelle V. Padua-Hornby; Mayon Integrated Development Alternatives and 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.
Bueno explained that 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 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,” he said.
He furthered that 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,” Bueno stated.
Modernized rice production and marketing, pineapple production and processing, abaca production/processing and marketing, mechanized block farming for corn production, and intensified vegetable production are some of the subprojects that will be provided with BDS interventions to benefit another batch of thousands of ARBs in Bicol.
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 ARBs and some 48 ARBOs in the region. (MAL/JJJP/MTVGeneral-DAR5/PIA5)