Sunday, December 20, 2009

Caraganons Life…at ease with InFRES

by: Aurell P. Arais

The struggle of farmers to have a better life is full of hardships and tedious process but not until the Infrastructure for Rural Productivity Enhancement Sector (InfRES) of the Department of Agriculture reaches its arm to Caraga Region.

In Carrascal, Surigao del Sur, InFRES brings milestone for development. The town now enjoyed two subprojects: livelihood engaging in livestock and cassava projects and farm to market road with a total project cost of more than 19 million pesos serving the barangays of Bacolod, Taganito, Panikian, Babuyan and Gamuton.

Marilyn Suguian, a recipient of working carabao said that she saves a lot on her farm since she no longer hire farm workers and the money she had save helps a lot to send her daughter to school and just recently her daughter taking up social work emerged top 7 among all examinees nationwide in the recent board examination.

Upon seeing the impact of the projects to the recipient community, Mayor Alfred Arreza is so grateful and vows that LGU of Carrascal is so willing to enroll again if there’s another round.

Another completed InFRES project is located in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur. 13.2 kilometers of farm to market road was put in place traversing the barangays of OsmeƱa, Panaytay, Charito and Marcelina.

According to Engr. Primitivo Alimpoos, the city planning and development officer of Bayugan the Infres FMR helps a lot in delivering farm produce and other products to the market.

He also said that InFRES FMR not just serves the residents of Bayugan, but also serve as the alternate access road going to and from Bayugan to its neighboring town of San Luis and some barangays of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.

Just recently, November 17, 2009, another InFRES projects was formally turned-over to the local government unit of Sta. Monica, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte. Three road segment of farm to market road were completed, the Garcia-Alegria Road segment, Garcia-Campayato Road Segment and Magsaysay Tamdumon-Libertad Road with a total length of 5.86 kilometers and with a total project cost of 14,154,443 pesos.

The completion of the said farm to market road renews the hope of farmers to strive and produce more as well as open up new livelihood opportunities for barangay residents.

Rosalinda Arlan-Penera the local chief executive of Sta. Monica, express her gratefulness to all officers and staff of DA-InFRES for giving their municipality the chance to enroll the program and urged her constituents to help in maintaining the projects for sustainability.

November 25, 2009, another project of InFRES was formally turned-over to the local government unit of Jabonga, Agusan del Norte.

The municipality of Jabonga grabbed two sub-projects, the rehabilitation and improvement of San Vicente-San Jose-Magdagooc Farm to Market road stretching 8 kilometers with total project costs of P24, 236, 677.92 and rehabilitation and improvement of Celopan and Mayuga Level 11 Water Systems with a total project cost of P 6,135,120.71.

Engr. Ramon Lagura, the Municipal Planning and Development Officer of Jabonga narrated that before the InFRES FMR were put in place, farmers mostly coconut growers and fishermen, experienced difficulty in delivering their produce to the town proper but with the completion of the InFRES FMR brings ease to their problem.

InFRES, ultimately help in increasing farm household income, reduced rural poverty incidence and improved rural accessibility…. inFRES truly makes the life of Caraganons easier. (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID DA CARAGA)


DA RFU 13 Conducts Briefing on RaSSFiP Implementing Guidelines

by: Aurell P. Arais

Butuan City – In a bid to further boost the production of palay in the next cropping season, a new scheme on rice seeds procurement and distribution will be adopted to be jointly undertaken by the National Food Authority (NFA) and Department of Agriculture with the respective local government units (LGUs).

The new scheme was based on the memorandum of agreement (MOA) earlier signed by DA Secretary Arthur C. Yap and NFA Administrator Jessup P. Navarro as an offshoot of the Rapid Seed Supply Financing Project (RaSSFiP) financed through the International Fund for Agricultural Development-European Commission (IFAD-EC) loan and grant.

Last September 11, 2009, a briefing about the implementing guidelines of the scheme was conducted at Conference Hall of DA RFU 13 attended by DA personnel involved in rice program, NFA staff headed by NFA Caraga Regional Director Gil Pepito Paqueo and other rice program stakeholders from different provinces in Caraga including some rice seed producers.

Based on the Implementing guidelines, DA will download to the NFA the RaSSFiP fund in the amount of P668,819,742.00, a loan from IFAD and the IFAD-EC grant of P430,665.420.00.

The said amount will be used by NFA for the procurement of Certified Inbred Seeds based on the volume and variety as determined by DA from certified seed growers and with certification from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).

On distribution aspect, DA shall determine the target distribution areas, the seed requirements per area in terms of variety and the volume and the farmer beneficiaries in consonance with the local government units.

Farmers could still avail the seeds on 50% discounted price through the DA authorized representative upon payment of the farmer’s equity to NFA.

In his speech during the program, Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Operations Eliseo T. Tila expressed optimism that the new scheme on seeds procurement and distribution would yield positively which may translate to higher production of rice in the region.

Before the RaSSFiP, procurement and distribution of seeds was handled solely by DA but nowadays a joint effort of DA, NFA as well as with the LGUs concerned. (Aurell P. Arais/DA-RAFID Caraga)


DA RFU 13 Hosts GMA-National Livestock Program 3rd Quarter Performance Review and Workshop

Surigao City- Despite heavy downpour and gusty winds on the onslaught of tropical storm Urduja, the Livestock Division of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 successfully hosted the GMA-Livestock Program 3rd Quarter Performance Review and Workshop held at Lipata, Surigao City last November 23-25, 2009.

Participants of the three day activity were livestock coordinators from various regions in the country except from region 2 and 7 who failed to arrive due to unfavorable weather condition.

Gracing the occasion were Mayor Alfonso Casurra of Surigao City, Provincial Governor Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte, Director Felix Valenzuela of GMA Livestock Program and Regional Technical Director for Admin, Finance and Research Edgardo Dahino.

On his speech, Mayor Casurra was so grateful for choosing his city as the venue of the national gathering and reiterated his commitment for agricultural development under his administration.

Meanwhile Governor Barbers posed challenge to all the livestock coordinators to implement a sustainable livestock program.

“Farmers need not only ruminants but to include other basic inputs. What we need is total package of approach to sustain the program”, he said.

A lively exchange of views and ideas were encouraged on the entire duration of the workshop to clarify some issues and concerns especially on the program implementation aspect.

The next Performance Review is slated to be held in Zamboanga City early part of 2010. (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID DA CARAGA)