Project to help farmers become entreps: official

THE DEPARTMENT of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in partnership with the city government will start to implement next month the project that intends to help farmers turn into entrepreneurs.

Councilor Marissa Salvador-Abella, chair of the city council’s committee on agriculture, said this is under DAR’s “Linking Smallholder Farmers to Markets” (LinksFarm) project, which aims to educate farmers on agro-enterprise.

“We really need to train them on agro-enterprise,” Abella said, citing that it is important to make the farmers also become “business minded.”

The city council approved the request last week of DAR to ink a memorandum of agreement with the city government on the implementation of LinksFarm project.

The project will be implemented in Barangays Tungkalan and Catigan, Toril. This was conceptualized by DAR with the help of Catholic Relief Services to organize and assist the farmers engage in market systems.

John M. Maruhom, regional director of DAR XI, said on July 6 in its letter request addressed to Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte that this project will be implemented in a period of two years in the identified barangays in Toril.

“It shall be noted that the project aims to assist agrarian reform beneficiaries and smallholder farmers to access to greater value in the market chain through collective production and marketing of their products and strengthening of business support services,” Maruhom said.

In the proposed draft of the memorandum of agreement, the project is intended to help the farmers to “sustainably engaged in market systems.” This is expected to result where the growers utilize improved agricultural production, post-harvest and credit acquisition practices for enhanced agro-enterprise management.

The project, the proposed draft of the agreement added, will also result where smallholder farmers can “collectively market their products to better alternative markets.”

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