Panabo City – 25 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries of PAHECO Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PEARBEMPCO), a DAR-assisted agrarian reform beneficiary cooperative from Panabo City, Davao del Norte, graduated last December 4, 2020 from the DAR Farm Business School (FBS) and are now certified farmer entrepreneurs.
The FBS offered multiple trainings on high-value crops farming and business management to enable ARB students to manage their agri-business enterprise. Hands-on tutoring on basic farm recording, bookkeeping, and accounting courses were taught. New farming techniques, consisting of land preparation and planting to harvesting and marketing are some of the modules that were also part of the course.
According to Lucia Corpuz, DAR Davao del Norte FBS Point Person, “We started last March 5, 2020 and due to the rage of the pandemic, FBS was halted because of the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the country. But through the discretion of PEARBEMPCO which volunteered to take all actions just to continue the course, we were able to resumed and complete the FBS a few months later because my students were very eager to finish the course and practice their learnings in their vegetable farm. They even started the vegetable farm during the implementation of ECQ”
The simple graduation ceremony was graced by the newly appointed Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II of Davao del Norte, Crisostomo Bernaldez, who said that DAR does not only distributes land titles and farm lands but prioritizes also on further empowering farmers through incorporating business in their system. He added: “I challenged them to apply their new learning and ensure the success of their endeavors to continue supply agricultural products, especially root crops and other vegetables, into the market places”.
Panabo City Mayor Jose Relampagos also extended his support by handing out farm tools and other equipment to the graduates to maximize their full agricultural productions.
The graduation ceremony also coincided with the Harvest Festival of the graduates where they showcased their respective products coming from their FBS Nursery. This nursery was initiated by DAR and the cooperative contributed in its completion, solely for the FBS students’ benefits. During the graduation, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between DAR, PEARBEMPCO and Panabo City LGU on the their total commitment in supporting these graduates in their agricultural production.
Felipe Pagaduan Jr., PEARBEMPCO Chairperson extended his thanks to the DAR and to the LGU of Panabo City for the project that gave huge impact to the lives of the ARBs in their cooperative. “Tungod niining FBS sa DAR, karon pa jud sukad mi nabisitahan sa atong mayor sa siyudad. Ug kining proyektoha, naghatag gyud kini og dakong tabang arong muuswag ang panginabuhian sa among mga membro diri sa coop kay naa na silay ikabaligya nga mga gulay ug mga lamas aron maka-income sila”. (Through this DAR FBS project, we are privileged to have been visited by the mayor of the city for the first time and this DAR Project gave a huge help to our ARB members in augmenting their quality of life since they can now sell vegetables and other farm products to generate income”.
Seen gracing the event were Divino Dalanon, DAR Region XI Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer and Gerardo Reginio, Regional FBS Point Person.