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CARP EXTENSION DAR targets 120,000 hectares in NegOcc for distribution

watchmandailyjournalThe Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has yet to award 120,000 hectares of land to farmer-beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in Negros Occidental.

This was revealed yesterday by Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes, who met with Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and other national government agencies on Friday to discuss the programs, which are part of the human development and poverty reduction cluster of the administrationthat will be implemented in the province in the next few months.

Delos Reyes said they are targeting to distribute 50,000 hectares of land to Negrense beneficiaries this year.

He stressed that they are “working against time,” as he revealed that there are issues with the records. “I will talk to the regional and provincial heads to address these issues,” he added.

Delos Reyes revealed that he is looking beyond 2016 to complete the land distribution for beneficiaries in the whole country, which is why the agency is pushing to extend the program.

While he noted that the proposed CARP extension is met with criticisms, he stressed that there are success stories in the program.

He saidDAR has showed that production cost, especially in sugarcane, can be brought down while the income and revenue of the farmers increase, citing the data of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).

“SRA data showed that all 29 block farms in the entire country have lower production cost and higher income for farmers even if the land is distributed,” he said.

He also said they are working on support services for farmer-beneficiaries.

Earlier, Marañon had expressed opposition to the proposed CARP extension.

When sought for a comment, Delos Reyes said everyone is entitled to an opinion. “I’m working with him to make sure that those lands will be awarded (to beneficiaries) so their lives will become better. We may disagree on things but that doesn’t prevent us from working together.”

The DAR secretary said the extension bill is still in the House Committee on Agriculture and he is hoping that it will be brought to the floor when the Congress resumes on May 4./WDJ

Source: http://www.watchmendaily.com/news/carp-extension-dar-targets-120000-hectares-in-negocc-for-distribution/

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