Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Negros Occidental are now assured of a regular market for their farm produce with the signing of marketing agreements between four farmers’ cooperatives and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology on one hand, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on the other.
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) facilitated the negotiations between the uniformed services and the farmers’ groups.
Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III said he engaged the support of other government agencies to help promote the welfare of the agrarian reform beneficiaries.
“This move of inviting other government agencies to partner with the DAR is aligned with President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s national goal of improving the lives of the farmers,” Estrella said.
DAR Undersecretary Milagros Isabel Cristobal said the agreement was being implemented under the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) Program.
The EPAHP is one of the banner programs of the government to mitigate hunger, ensure food nutrition security, and establish sustainable agriculture by 2030.
Cristobal said the program offers mutual benefits to concerned parties. The BJMP district jails and the AFP would be assured of a steady supply of fresh vegetables for the dietary requirements in their facilities, while the four ARB organizations (ARBOs) would have a regular market for their farm produce.
“This partnership will serve as a tool so our ARBs can have an assured market for their products and open opportunities to further expose their products to other target buyers,” Cristobal said.
DAR Western Visayas Regional Director Sheila Enciso expressed her gratitude to the members of the 94th Infantry Battalion of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division for supporting the EPAHP and partnering with the DAR and the ARBOs.
“The four ARBOs are the Barangay Ara-al Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association in La Carlota City, Victory Hills Farmers Association in Kabankalan City, Bagong Silang Farmers Association in Hinigaran, and Sitio Flora Agrarian Reform Cooperative in Kabankalan City,” she said.
Enciso lauded the said collaboration stating that Negros Occidental is the pioneer province in the country to forge a partnership agreement between the ARBOs and the AFP.
Under the said agreement, the four ARBOs agreed to ensure the delivery of the required volume of poultry products, fruits, and vegetables to the BJMP and the AFP. Maricel V. Cruz