The Department of Agrarian Reform in Negros Occidental is conducting two trainings for agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations in Pontevedra town and Kabankalan City under its support services program that started yesterday and will run until Thursday.
Ronald Gareza, chief of agrarian reform program officer for support services, said yesterday that members of General Malvar ARB-Multipurpose Cooperative and Kausuagan ARB-MPC of Pontevedra are training in Sugarcane Farm Management under the Block Farming Program of Sugar Regulatory Administration and DAR in Pontevedra. Wives of farmer-members of Occidental Negros Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Planters Association, meanwhile, are training in bags and souvenir- making with the Department of Trade and Industry in Kabankalan City, Gareza said.
He said 90 farmer-members of the cooperatives are being trained in technology transfer and improvement of production through new farming techniques.
Block farming is the integration of small farm lands where ARBs will surrender their land cultivation and management to the cooperative that will be handle the profit sharing, Gareza said.
He also said DAR is encouraging farmers with small land areas to join cooperatives to maximize the use of their lands and should surrender only the management and the cultivation of their lands and not ownership.
With block farming, they expect to increase sugarcane production from 60 tons per hectare to 80 to 100 tons per hectare, he added.
DAR does not only help ARBs but also their wives to help in their livelihood efforts during the lean months, and added that 28 wives of ARBs who are members of ONARBPA are trained in making bags and souvenir items made from beads. He said DAR plans to tie up with the Association of Negros Producers in marketing their products with the help of DTI.
DAR and DTI will also facilitate the trainees’ start-up capital Gareza said.*LTG