PROSPECTS for a socialized agro-forestry program to empower local employees as stewards of agricultural and forests land is now being recommended by the Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU) as it capacitates employees amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The PSAU said the Socialized Agro-Forestry for University Personnel (SAUP) program aims to supplement the income of PSAU employees. The PSAU identified three steward schemes for the program, namely: cooperative, individual and clustered.
Under the cooperative program, each employee will individually manage the land in terms of agricultural production wherein only allowed modules (combination of two crops) will be planted. Harvested crops may be dropped in the consumer’s cooperative for consignment agreement.
The individual scheme of the program will be managed by consumer’s cooperative from production to marketing. Based on the land suitability assessment, an integrated farming approach will be implemented in the area. Profit sharing will also be implemented upon sales of the harvested crops.
PSAU president Honorio Soriano said that for the clustered scheme, management of the land will be according to block. There will be allowed modules to be planted in the site, in which planning will be done in groups, according to Soriano. Profit sharing will be implemented upon sales of the harvested crops.
“This program is a win-win situation as the lands will be handled by employees and will still be a part of the university in its overall program,” Soriano said.
PSAU’s study showed that all schemes obtained positive net values in both the five-year and 10-year analysis. The clustered scheme showed the highest possible benefit to future beneficiaries as the clustered scheme reduces some costs in the labor aspect.
“Clustered stewardship scheme appears to be most sustainable,” Soriano said stressing that the scheme has ease access to capital, minimal logistics cost and has ease to post-harvest and processing services of the university.
“The familiarity and working relationship of members in the cluster would also be helpful in management of the land. There will also be sustainable relationship with the suppliers and buyers due to the larger input requirement and production yield,” Soriano added.