MANAPLA -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Negros Occidental I identified fourteen agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) as potential pilot recipients of the World Bank-funded Inclusive Partnership for Agricultural Competitiveness (IPAC) project.

The beneficiaries are from the seven barangays of Manapla town and Cadiz City in Negros Occidental.

Representatives of the ARBOs gathered Tuesday in a multi-sectoral consultation workshop held at Northland Resort Hotel here.

Teresita Mabunay, OIC provincial agrarian reform program officer II, said the IPAC project is aimed at helping farmers alleviate their standard of living, reduce poverty incidence, and develop the agri-business industry in the province.

Mabunay said the project is awarded to organizations already capable of propagating their respective cooperatives. It will also enable them to continue existing farm programs through support services and access to loan.

During the consultation-workshop, the ARBOs presented their project proposals which will be reviewed by DAR for World Bank funding in a form of either loan, grant, or soft projects like farm-to-market road.

Milagros Flores, OIC provincial agrarian reform office I, said that DAR is now in the process of validating the profile of the proposed development project called “North Negros Sugarcane Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) Cluster,” which is a requirement for IPAC.

“Organizations should also be strong and with readiness to handle enterprise projects since we are pushing for agri-business development,” she said.

Flores added that the said ARC cluster composed of seven barangays are already qualified, but still subject for the provincial and regional development endorsement and approval of the National Economic Development Authority.

DAR‘s target implementation of the project is in 2016, with other line agencies like Department of Agriculture, and Land Bank of the Philippines as the credit program’s depository agency.