Through the DAR-Cebu initiative, 500 farmers would get financial assistance
A cooperative initiative of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the province government of Cebu would help around 500 agrarian reform beneficiaries in Pinamungajan, Cebu’s southwestern town.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia stated on Monday that the Enhanced Countryside Development (ECD) initiative seeks to maintain food security during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and targets farmers in the barangays.
On the margins of the distribution of certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) in Barangay Lamac of the abovementioned town, DAR Secretary John Castriciones and Garcia signed a memorandum of arrangement (MOA) for the project.
According to Garcia, the provincial government would act as a “link” between agricultural beneficiaries and government financing sources, allowing farmers to get loans and ensuring that their farmland is not sold.
She said that in the past, agrarian farmers had to sell their land because they couldn’t afford to buy seeds or agricultural technology.
“After giving the farmer the CLOA, he couldn’t earn a life off of a piece of paper; he needs money to buy seeds and tools to plow the land,” Garcia stated in Cebuano. “What do they need to realize the genuine spirit of agrarian reform, if it’s money to pay his agricultural operations, then give it to them.”
The province would act as a conduit for farmers seeking agricultural loans from the Land Bank of the Philippines, the Development Bank of the Philippines, and the Philippine Veterans Bank, according to the MOA.
Beneficiaries will get assistance in selling their farm product in addition to being registered in the ECD program.
Castriciones, on the other hand, advised farmers to introduce their children to farming, highlighting the national government’s goal of providing a three-hectare plot of land to individuals who complete a four-year agricultural degree but lack land to till.
He added, “Ang agrikultura ay siyang pag-asa ng ating bayan (Agriculture is our country’s hope).”
The DAR chairman expressed gratitude to the province of Cebu for sharing their rural effort, which directly benefits agricultural workers, particularly those who have benefited from the land reform program.