MARKING the 31st year of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp) implementation, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Negros Occidental - South is hosting the Agrarian Agripreneurial Expo 2019.
The week-long activity opened at the Ayala Malls Capitol Central in Bacolod City on Monday, June 24. It is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. everyday.
The expo aims to showcase the products developed by farmers in Negros Occidental, particularly those of agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (Arbos) assisted by the agency.
Participating farmer-beneficiaries were identified through the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development and Sustainability Program (ARBDSP) formerly called as Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD).
Some of these Arbos are recipients of various DAR programs including Village Level Farm-Focused Enterprise Development (VLFED), LinkSFarm and product development, among others.
Provincial Agrarian Reform program officer II Teresita Mabunay, who spoke at the opening rites, said “let it be known that Carp implementation does not end with the distribution of lands to the landless farmers.”
Mabunay said as holistic approach to the program’s objective to alleviate farmers from poverty and provide them and their families with better and more financially stable future, the DAR extends its services to post-land distribution.
“The agency is mandated to deliver a more responsive and integrated package of support services to the ARBs and their organizations needed to make the lands become productive,” she said.
The official pointed out that DAR’s support services are engaging those of various institutions and individual experts from both the public and private sector.
This is to provide development support that will enable beneficiaries to produce market-competitive products through value-adding and competent management and operation of their enterprises and livelihood activities, and actively participate in the industry.
Mabunay urged Negrenses to support local farmers by visiting the expo and purchasing locally produced goods like muscovado, sinamak, virgin coconut oil and moisturizing soap, coffee, oatmeal cookies, taro and carrot chips, and fresh fruits.
Part of the expo is a film showing of Arbos’ success stories that highlights the different struggles and accomplishments of local farmers since the start of Carp.
A free consultation desk was also set up to cater to inquiries about land reform and support services.
This is to further strengthen the knowledge, awareness and understanding of the public on various programs of the agency.
The expo demonstrates the department’s full support and appreciation to ARBs, who are pivotal to the success of agrarian reform in the country, Mabunay added.