By Mike U. Crismundo
Butuan City – At least 13,000 farmers in Caraga region are expected to benefit the rural development projects under the Duterte Administration, a top official of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) disclosed yesterday.
Dubbed as the Convergence on Value-Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment (ConVERGE), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) provided funds for these rural development projects, according to DAR Region 13 Director Julita A. Ragandang.
She said the ConVERGE project is a leveled-up DAR-Ifad project aimed at helping farmers move from production to marketing, trading and even recycling and surely uplift the living condition of the people while strengthened the government’s “food security” program.
The projects include construction of postharvest facilities, improvement of rural infrastructures, production and marketing of agricultural products or commodities, capability-building and procurement of farm equipment.
Some of these projects have already started, and will be in full swing will next year until 2020, Ragandang said.
Projects under ConVERGE are also being implemented in agrarian-reform community clusters at various provinces of Regions 9 and 10.
Meanwhile, some 733 farmers belonging to nine agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) in Caraga region recently received P40.3 million worth of credit assistance from the DAR’s Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP).
APCP program aims to prevent members of ARBOs from selling or leasing their farmlands, Ragandang said.
She added that the APCP program or credit assistance is being made available for farmer-beneficiaries to help them with land preparation, farm cultivation and harvest, including their expenses on seeds, fertilizers among others.