BACOLOD CITY – The Benez Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmers Association (ARBFA) based in Barangay Alangilan in this city has been identified as the pilot site for the implementation of an integrated communal vegetable farm initiative in Western Visayas.
Called “Buhay sa Gulay”, the project was launched by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in collaboration with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program last Monday.
“We give them lands to cultivate and we provide them with the necessary training and support services in accordance with the agrarian reform’s objective of uplifting the lives of the farmer-beneficiaries,” DAR-6 regional director Sheila Enciso said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, after leading the program launch with other agency officials at the Benez ARBFA farm site on March 29.
Enciso encouraged the farmer-beneficiaries to integrate their farm activities into communal agribusiness ventures to achieve greater production volume.
Senior Supt. Gilbert Peremne, assistant regional director of BJMP-6 based in Negros Occidental, said the market for the farm products is secured based on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the two agencies.
The DAR had earlier forged an MOU with the BJMP for direct farm-to-table marketing that will provide food to persons deprived of liberty.
Benez ARBFA, a cooperative assisted by DAR Negros Occidental I-North, is comprised of 28 beneficiaries, collectively managing a 1.4-hectare land turned into a vegetable garden awarded to them under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
According to the Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), the association has availed of capacity development training, agri-extension services for vegetable production, and poultry and livestock feed supply worth PHP270,000, and seed capital assistance amounting to PHP405,000 in the past eight years.
The DAR, through the PBDD, institutes development and support services interventions through the provision of training programs and construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure facilities. (PNA)