TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Eastern Visayas and the East-West Seed Company, Inc. formalized on Tuesday (May 21) its partnership by sealing a P2.072-million contract to transform agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) engaged in vegetable production into viable agri-entrepreneurs.
Under the contract, East-West Seed Company, Inc. will provide the pre-selected ARBOs the “market-oriented agri-technology and agri-extension services” for a period of 12 months upon issuance by DAR the “Notice to Proceed” so agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) can maximize the productivity of their awarded lots and engage in agri-related enterprises.
Regional Director Eliasem Castillo who signed for DAR disclosed that the agency is tapping professional service providers (PSPs) from state universities and colleges (SUCs), civil society organizations (CSOs) and private institutions to enhance the capacity of ARBOs on agri-extension and agri-enterprise development.
According to him, this is just the first of three contracts amounting to P7.7-million the agency will enter with PSPs this year in the implementation of the Agrarian Reform Communities Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) project in the region.
Covered by the recently signed contract, Castillo said, are six ARBOs in the first district of Leyte, five ARBOs in the third district of Leyte, and eight ARBOs in the second district of Samar involving 2,196 ARBs.
Meanwhile, Technology Transfer Manager Dr. Roberto Acosta who signed the contract in behalf of East-West Seed Company, Inc. thanked DAR for the trust given to them, and promised to deliver more than the financial value of the contract.
Their company, Acosta said, had been DAR’s partner in the past 12 years in improving vegetable production of ARBs in selected Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP) areas in the region.
We’ve been working with DAR before in improving the farm productivity of the ARBs even without a contract. How much more now with a contract, He added.
Acosta also hoped that these areas they will be working on would contribute to the economic boom of Region-8.
ARCCESS was introduced by Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio De los Reyes to effectively implement Program Beneficiaries Development component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) by transforming ARBOs into viable agri-entrepreneurs thru the provision of the right support services.