Members of the International Fund for Agricultural Development and National Economic and Development Authority (IFAD-NEDA) supervision and implementation support (SIS) Mission Team heard and learned from the CHARMP2 Scale-Up beneficiaries with regards to the Projects approach and processes in the implementation of the various subprojects under the Scale-Up.

Yolando Arban, IFAD team leader, Fatima-Zorah Yogoub, IFAD PRM Partnership Officer, Nikki Bermudez, NEDA-Central representative, Sharon Africano, NEDA-CAR representative and Project Staff visited four Scale-Up barangays to learn from the beneficiaries and the community as a whole.

The team visited four towns in the Cordilleras particularly barangay Bugnay of Tinglayan, Kalinga, barangay Calafug of Conner, Apayao, barangay Pongayan of Kapangan and barangay Pappa of Sablan, Benguet.

Project beneficiaries and stakeholders shared their stories of how they became beneficiaries of the project, the activities and processes they have encountered as they implement their subprojects, their plans and their hopes and expectations as members and beneficiaries of the various organizations and associations organized by the Project.

Likewise, the issues and concerns of both the beneficiaries and IFAD Mission team were raised and discussed to give light to issues on project implementation and explore possible solutions to specific concerns.

Of the communities visited, beneficiaries narrated some of the processes and activities they went through. The series of barangay orientations conducted by the Project components is one of the basic activities they have attended. The orientations conducted served as venue for the community members to know what the Project is all about.

Aside from the orientations, trainings, field visits to CHARMP2 sites, forums with CHARMP2 beneficiaries and actual demonstrations of what the beneficiaries learned during the farmer business school and farmer field schools were discussed.

Expanding the association’s membership and becoming a cooperative are just some of the future plans of the Project beneficiaries.

Mr. Basilio Batani from the Pappa Indigenous Agro-Forestry Farmers Association (PIAFA) of Sablan, Benguet expressed his hopes that the assistance coming from the Project will be continuing even after the Project has ended.//mjmaguide

Mission team members from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) conducted community consultations with the identified communities covered under the Scaling Up of the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP2 Scale Up) on July 24-27, 2018. This is part of the first joint IFAD-NEDA Supervision and Implementation Support or SIS Mission for the CHARMP2 Scale Up which officially started with a kick-off meeting last July 23. IFAD is the major funding agency of the Scale Up Project.

The field work was undertaken for the Mission to directly consult with the beneficiaries of the Project. Mission team members were grouped into two, Team A and Team B, for the field visits. Mission Team A is composed of IFAD-Phl Country Programme Officer and Mission Leader Mr. Jerry Pacturan, IFAD Consultant Zidni Mohamad Marohombzar, NEDA-CAR representative Mr. Gregorio Ariz and selected Project support staff. The teaam had community dialogues in Anao, Hingyon in Ifugao; Balugan, Sagada in Mountain Province,  Nagbuquel-Tuquipa, Luba in Abra; and Bagu, Bakun in Benguet. Through the activity, the Mission Team was updated on the progress or status of the projects being implemented in the respective communities. The mission also noted the issues and concerns faced by the communities for possible solutions and/or recommendations.

During the community dialogue proper, Mr. Marohombzar and Mr. Ariz discussed with the livelihood groups while Mr. Pacturan dialogued with the agroforestry groups. Results, findings and/or recommendations that stemmed out from the dialogues served as reference of the Mission Team in coming up with the full report enclosing their results/findings and recommendations among others for the better implementation of the Scale Up projects.

For the agroforestry groups, it was reported that most of the procured required seedlings were already delivered and undergoing climatization process while some groups have planted already.

In his dialogue with the agroforestry people’s organizations, Mr. Pacturan challenged the groups to make strategic plans in marketing their harvests to prevent possible oversupply and low price of their produce. He added that the groups should also look for possibilities of adding value to their potential products which may not be necessarily their identified commodities under the agroforestry project.

“Income in agroforestry is good but it also needs a good strategy,” Mr. Pacturan said.

Moreover, he encouraged the communities to plant or revive their coffee production because, accordingly, coffee has great potential and demand is high.

On the otherhand, IFAD Consultant Mr. Marohombzar appreciated the livelihood groups specifically those from Bagu, Bakun for their initiatives in starting a livelihood businesseven wihout the Project’s livelihood assistance fund (LAF) yet. The livelihood groups shared that they were actually encouraged by the Project staff to start making business instead of waiting for the LAF before doing so.

Kahit na huli and pagdating ng pera, nakapagsimula na kayo at magandang bagay ito (Despite the delayed downloading of fund (LAF), you have already started with your businesses and it is a good thing),” Mr. Marohombzar said.

At present, most of the livelihood groups have received their LAF and started rolling their identified businesses. Aside from the Project staff, the livelihood group’s partner-community financing institutions  who serve as the LAF conduit have started providing financial trainings like simple bookkeeping and financial management among the concerned livelihood groups.

A wrap-up meeting will be conducted on August 6, 2018 in the DA-Central, Quezon City to finalize result of the Mission.//JBAgrifino