NEGROS Island Region (NIR) has accomplished 95 percent of the total projected accomplishment for sugar block farm project implementation, records of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) showed.
DAR-NIR Director Stephen Leonidas, who presented the region’s status of sugar black farm implementation during the national assessment and planning workshop held at Nature’s Village Resort in Talisay City yesterday, said Negros is currently “on schedule” given its high accomplishment rate.
Leonidas said 10 participating-regions, including NIR, are being assessed whether they have accomplished the creation of nurseries for high-yielding varieties and techno-demo farms, and how much was already spent from the budgeted amount.
“We only need small preparations specifically the creation of nursery and techno-demo farm in the north portion of Negros Occidental, which was delayed due to scarcity of sugarcane laborers,” he said.
Leonidas, however, said they are optimistic that it will be completed within the third quarter of the year.
Other regions participating in the three-day activity organized by DAR Central Office are Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Davao Region, and Soccsksargen represented by their respective regional directors.
Leonidas said the activity also serves as venue for these regions to hear and share experiences and success stories in the implementation of sugar block farm projects.
At the end of the activity, those who still have low accomplishment will have to make a catch-up plan, he said.
Block farming is the consolidation of the management of small farms of less than five hectares, into a bigger but contiguous unit of at least 30 hectares for purposes of improving farm productivity while individual ownership is preserved.
Currently, Negros has the most number of sugar block farms in the country with 41, Leonidas added.
The DAR-NIR, meanwhile, will gather starting today about 400 farmers for the Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organization (Arbo) Summit at Bacolod Pavillon Hotel.
The two-day event will highlight the success of various Arbos in the region and recognize them for their best practices.
It will also underscore the gains of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. It will also serve as venue to increase public awareness and support for the program.
“Aside from highlighting the success stories of our Arbos, the activity also aims to empower them through a product display showcasing their diversification and enterprise development skills,” Leonidas said.
Top officials headed by Agrarian Reform Undersecretary for Support Services Rosalina Bistoyong will grace the activity.