The Department of Agrarian Reform has given P90 million with more to come to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations of Negros Occidental through support services, DAR Undersecretary Rosalina Bistoyong, said yesterday.
Bistoyong, who was in Bacolod City, said it will be even more beneficial when Negros Occidental and Oriental are part of the Negros Island Region for more focused and concentrated support services and additional budget.
Aside from support services given, Negros Occidental also received P360 million in credit assistance from DAR through its Agrarian Production Credit Program as of September 2015, the biggest chunk from the P1.5 billion rolled out for this year, she said.
DAR is concentrating on Negros Occidental because of its high percentage of lands to be distributed yet. I t has the largest balance of land acquisition and distribution, she said.
“As we acquire lands and distribute, we couple it with support services, then we connect it with farmers in their credit assistance so that they can have the capital to roll in their respective lands,” she added.
They are now in full swing for the implementation of its convergence project with the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), particularly for support services to farmers, she also said.
Facilities worth P12.9 million, including five 120 horse power tractors, 18 threshers and 23 shredding machines with implements, and six months skills training, have been allotted to Negros Occidental, she said.
Farm equipment are under the banner program of Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services that aims to provide business development services and farm mechanization to also equip farmers to be entrepreneurs, she added.
Bistoyong attended the Farmers Organic Market inauguration and blessing at May's Organic Garden in Bacolod City yesterday
Ramon Uy Sr., owner of the Organic Farmers Market, said the market will serve as the trading post for organic farmers and training center for farmers to learn product value, adding that will address the marketing problem of the farmers who have no access to the institutional markets.*KDP