COTABATO CITY: More than 1,190 farmer-beneficiaries in the farming town of Banisilan in North Cotabato are expected to benefit from the agricultural inputs augmentation from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) that were dispersed on Wednesday.
Reynaldo Anfone, provincial agrarian reform officer, said the dispersal was realized through the DAR’s Mindanao Sustainable Agrarian and Agriculture Development (MinSAAD) Project with a combined amount of almost PHP13 million.
Anfone said the inputs in the form of seedlings and fertilizers were part of the Agricultural Production Intensification and Expansion of Agro-Forestry and Agribusiness Crops Program under the three sub-projects of DAR-MinSAAD Project.
“These three sub-projects include the rubber, coffee and cacao production, processing and marketing being implemented in 15 barangays of Banisilan,” Anfone said.
He said farmers received 166,400 rubber tree seedlings, 240,000 coffee seedlings, 120,000 cacao seedlings, and 1,600 sacks of fertilizers.
“We are looking forward to an additional 400 hectares for rubber, 400 hectares for coffee, and 200 hectares for cacao to be planted by these seedlings. Making an additional 1,000 hectares productive, we are expecting that farmers in Banisilan will increase their productivity and income to uplift their lives from poverty,” Anfone said.
He said the Banisilan farmer-beneficiaries through their respective organizations will also benefit from the additional agricultural interventions by generating additional resources through establishing additional nurseries or augmenting their existing nurseries designed as an enterprise.
North Cotabato Governor Nancy Catamco, who served as the guest of honor during the dispersal program, vowed to provide more interventions, when necessary, for the beneficiaries to feel that the government cares for them.
“You have to sustain this project since this was entrusted to you among other potential beneficiaries in Banisilan,” Catamco told the beneficiaries in the vernacular.
A member of the proponent organizations, George Molina of Banisilan Rubber Farmers ARB cooperative, thanked DAR and the governor for the assistance.
“We are fortunate to receive the additional rubber seedlings from DAR-MinSAAD Project. More members of our cooperative will be happy to expand production areas because of the rubber processing plant given us through the project,” Molina said.