In 2019, DAR came up with a program which will support farmers by giving them services to sustain and develop their farmlands. However, the farmers should be part of an organization or association that is accredited by DAR. Once they are verified to be part of these organizations, they are entitled to receive the said support and services.
The primary process is to avail the free land titling where they will be given Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) or Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) Certificate. After receiving the CLOA or CARP certificate, the beneficiaries are to receive the support services offered by DAR under the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARB) program.
Under the ARB program, farmers can undergo different trainings for free. Some of these trainings are the production process of crops and processing of products for marketing. DAR also seeks the assistance of other agencies like Department of Agriculture (DA) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to teach technicalities in farming and production.
According to Sonia Batnag, Bontoc Provincial Information Officer (PIO) of DAR, it would be helpful if farmers would know how to process their own products. She also added that farmers will gain more if they are knowledgeable enough to market their own product. But before DAR releases support for the farmers, they are conducting needs assessment for them to identify the specific needs of the farmers.
In Bontoc, Mountain Province, there were already three association and organization which were given support services. These are the Charcongan Women’s Association in barangay Maligcong, Lukkat Irrigators Association Incorporation in barangay Talubin, and Bayyo Organization in barangay Bayyo.
In October 2019, ten members of the Charcongan Women’s Association, received four native piglets including two sacks of feeds to each member. According to Paula Chaluyen, DAR gave them piglets so that the association will be productive.
Meanwhile, the Lukkat Irrigators Association Inc. received PhP 500, 000 worth of baking equipment. The equipment should be used for the association to generate income and for the members to have additional livelihood. Also, DAR provided building to the Bayyo Organization. This was the village level processing center. The purpose of this building is for the organization to process, package, and label, and market their products. A training was also conducted for the members of the organization to know the procedures of processing until marketing their local products.
Currently, DAR is still looking for other farmers’ organizations who can be their beneficiaries of the ARB program for 2020.// Gladness Bacbac, BSU-DevCom Intern