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

“Kalinga contributed to the Cordillera’s pride for reaping awards and cash prizes during the National Rice Achievers Award,” said Narciso Edillo, Regional Executive Director, Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office – Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-RFO-CAR).

He personally congratulated the people of Tabuk City during their celebration of the 17th Mataguan Festival and 11th City Founding Anniversary in Tabuk City, Kalinga on June 21, 2018.

In addition, Edillo recognized the efforts of farmers in the development of the country’s agricultural industry. He encouraged them to innovate for the improvement of their farm operations and to increase yield of production.

He furthered that farmers should take these opportunities since with the Duterte’s Administration support to the farmers is heightened. With the present administration, irrigation is now free and farmers can now avail crop insurance even they are not included in the Registry System for Basic sectors in Agriculture (RSBA). They just have to consult the Provincial/ City Agriculture Office for details of availing the services.

Moreover, DA is encouraging the households to go back to the basics thus they should be able to develop their own backyard gardens at least for home consumption.

Another point stressed by Edillo is for the farmers to think of the upcoming generation. They should start engaging their children to farm activities to continue their legacy as farmers. DA also supports the Gulayan sa Paaralan program to be able to help sustain agriculture and secure food for the country by teaching the children even at a young age.

The celebration was attended by about 2,000 farmers, traders, and members of cooperatives, youth clubs and rural improvement clubs within the City of Tabuk.

Agricultural achievers who have contributed to the city’s pride were also honored during the program.

Moreover, farmer organizations were also awarded with agricultural inputs such as rice and vegetable seeds; sasso chicks; and farm equipment that includes water pumps and hand tractor with complete accessories. This is to increase production of farmers and to support farm mechanization program. //KGawigawen