Region 12 farmers to benefit from DAR, IFAD Project

THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is set to launch the newest foreign-assisted project dubbed "Value Chain Innovation for Sustainable Transformation in Agrarian Reform Communities" (Vista) project.

The DAR announced Monday that the Vista project aims to improve the livelihood and enhance the community resilience of vulnerable rural populations through a value chain development approach anchored to natural ecosystem adaptation.

The IFAD mission team is composed of experts worldwide who specialize in rural finance, value chain innovation, environment and natural resources, institution, governance, land tenure, gender, and targeting and social inclusion.

Representatives of the DAR and IFAD initially met in Koronadal City early this month to discuss the project's salient points.

Dorothy Lucks, IFAD team leader, said she was excited about the possibilities that this region can offer in terms of production and marketing innovation of coffee, cacao, and coconut for the benefit of ARBs in agrarian reform communities (ARCs).

Faspo Assistant Secretary Rene Colocar said the team has identified four towns in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) to visit for comprehensive data gathering from farmers and stakeholders on how to design the project, molded to the needs of the farmers in the target areas.

The ARC sites to be visited are in Tupi, South Cotabato; President Quirino town in Sultan Kudarat; Maasim town in Sarangani; and Antipas in North Cotabato.

Farmers are expected to increase productivity and income with more government-initiated projects coming their way through the DAR.