DAR empowers 56 ARBs in faraway Albay island

— distributes swine, feeds, and vitamins

A total of 56 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who are members of Hacienda Tabaco Farmers Association (HATAFA) in Hacienda San Miguel Island, Tabaco, Albay received swine, feeds, and multi-vitamins from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) after the DAR-Albay team traversed the wavy ocean for 45 minutes just to provide the beneficiaries with additional income over and above their regular income sourced out from the agricultural produce of the lands they till.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer I Patricia Rastrullo said the swine breeding project is being implemented under the Convergence on Livelihood Assistance for ARB’s Project (CLAAP) where each of the 56 beneficiaries received gilts, 168 sacks of feeds and several boxes of multi-vitamins.

During the turn-over ceremony, a veterinarian oriented the beneficiaries on the proper way of taking care of the gilts for them to productively benefit from its breeding or reproduction.

Rastrullo emphasized that the ultimate vision of DAR is to ensure that the ARBs can increase both their production and income after the DAR has awarded them with lands and provided them with package of support services.

Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer (CARPO) Herbert Tengco reminded the beneficiaries that under the terms and conditions mutually agreed upon between HATAFA and its members, each ARB awarded with a gilt has an obligation to pay back to the association two gilts.

This system will enable the agrarian reform beneficiary organization (ARBO) to have an extra income from the sale of one gilt and the other to be re-distributed to other members.

This roll-over scheme assures that all members of the ARBO will have an opportunity to become a beneficiary of the project.

HATAFA Chairman Adelina Balingbing expressed her gratitude to the DARPO Albay team for choosing their organization as a beneficiary of the project.

“We will perform our duties more than what is expected of us, so that in the near future we will continue to enjoy the benefits that the DAR provides for its beneficiaries,” she said.


Sultan Kudarat LGU receives P37-M farm-to-market road project from DAR

ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat– Farmers and residents here are now assured of ease of travel and fast transport of their agricultural produce with the completion of a P37-million farm-to-market (FMR) road project from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned over recently to the provincial government of Sultan Kudarat.

DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Rodolfo Alburo, who led the turnover and inauguration rites, said the 7.48-kilometer road that connects barangay Bugso to barangay Gapok is now concreted.

“Farmers coming from both Gapok and Bugso now have an opportunity to improve their livelihood because they can now go to market centers located in both barangays to bring their produce and demand a fair price for their produce,” Alburo said.

Project manager Eduardo E. Suaybaguio, speaking on behalf of Foreign Assisted Projects Undersecretary, Bernie F. Cruz, said that before the road was paved with concrete, farmers and residents walk through a very narrow and rough footpath which becomes slippery whenever it rains.  

“Vehicles could not drive through either. But with this FMR, the area is now accessible to all types of vehicles,” Suaybaguio said.

Suaybaguio said the FMR project would provide the more than 5,000 residents of the community, where around 1,700 are agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), good quality of agricultural products coming from nearby towns.

Mayor Randy L. Ecija, Jr. of Sen. Ninoy Aquino said that the project is not just for the local government, but for the entirety of the residents and farmers in the area.

The road project funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was implemented under the Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development (MinSAAD) project of DAR.


DAR-Tacloban transforms 23-hectare CARP-awarded lot into a vegetable garden

TACLOBAN CITY – Despite having been categorized as highly urbanized, this city is still capable of producing tons of vegetables. This is what the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) would like to prove as it starts to transform a 23-hectare awarded lot under the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) into a vegetable garden.

DAR Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay said they have initially utilized a one-hectare lot for the planting of fast yielding crops such as kangkong, pechay, lettuce, okra and pepino to contribute to the sufficient supply of food in the city and neighboring towns, aside from providing livelihood to the farmers.

According to the plan, the DAR would simultaneously conduct Farmer Field School to the 20 members of the New Kawayan-Cabalawan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmers’ Association to sustain the initial project and eventually spread its area until the entire 23 hectares have been covered.

“In partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the city government of Tacloban thru the City Agriculture Office, the DAR has initiated this February 2021, the plan to make a portion of the agricultural lot in Barangay New Kawayan, which is covered by a collective Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), into a vegetable garden where the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) are guaranteed of sure income,” Aya-ay explained.

Aya-ay added that they would like to replicate DAR Secretary Brother John Castriciones’ “Buhay sa Gulay” program, an urban farming project, where its initial implementation in Tondo, Manila became a success, with Quezon City and Caloocan City following its footsteps.

In this project, the DAR provides the farmers with garden tools and other farming materials, while DA and the City Agriculture Office will provide the seeds and training.

“The project commenced on the first week of February with the preparation of the land, layouting, plot making, and plant sowing. Planting of seedlings into their assigned plots is scheduled this week and on the last week of the month, it is expected that the farmers could already start harvesting. At the moment, the making of 60 plots, measuring 1 x 20 meters continues,” the regional director said.

Meanwhile, Sonny Colete, an ARB of lot 9, which was chosen as the demo farm, said: “This is an opportunity for us to be assisted in developing and improving our lots and in turn, contribute in providing food in our city.”