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Seven SK farmers’ groups show interest in cacao industry

piaISULAN, Sultan Kudarat, July15 (PIA) – Barely a month after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Sultan Kudarat conducted the Provincial Investment Forum, seven farmer organizations have already signified intention to be part of an agribusiness venture arrangement (AVA) with an investor specializing in cacao industry.

The farmers’ groups expressed the willingness to invest or enter into an agreement with Kennemer Foods International.

Among the Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations (ARBOs) are the Kabulanan Highlanders and Sustainable Development, Inc.; KM 14 High Value Crops Farmers Association; Tribal Christian Farmers Association; Kanulay P4MP Association; and Monteverde Coffee Growers Association in Bagumbayan town and the Sinapulan ARB Cooperative and Kawayan ARB Cooperative in Columbio.

The Provincial Investment Forum and Market Matching held on June 25, 2015 at the Sultan Hall, Provincial Capitol in Isulan town was participated by 60 farmers. 

They were joined by three investors, personnel from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and some private individuals.

DAR-SK Program Beneficiaries Development Division chief Marie Rhea Betque, said that having ARBOs partnering with investors for an agricultural activity is one of the objectives of the said investment forum.

She added that aside from matching up ARBOs with investors who are in need of raw materials, the forum was also designed so that agreements inked as a result of the activity will be monitored. And if in case needed by the ARBOs, DAR will be there to assist.  

She also disclosed that there are some ARBOs or quite a few farmer-beneficiaries that are facing problems today with their AVAs because they failed to coordinate with DAR before they enter into agreement and sign contracts with the investors.

Betque said that this sort of incident DAR is trying to avoid in the future. She added that with the investment forum, we are appealing to the investors as well as to the ARBOs to abide by the rules and guidelines stipulated in the DAR Administrative Order No. 9 Series of 2006 on agribusiness venture arrangements.

Moreover, Rodolfo Alburo, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II, explained that the purpose of AVA is to engage farmer-beneficiaries and transform them to become entrepreneurs so that they may increase their income and improve their quality of life.

He added that once farmers have more than enough income, they can also pay for the monthly amortizations for the land with the LBP until full payment and finally own the land. (JJBDael DAR-SK/ACAgad-PIA 12)

Source: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/1621436928170/seven-sk-farmers-groups-show-interest-in-cacao-industry

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