THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has allocated P500,000 for the implementation of a project that would provide a boost to the livelihood of an Agrarian Reform Community (ARC) in a west coast village in Zamboanga City.
DAR Regional Director Julita Ragandang said the project known as the Village Level Processing Center and Enhancement Project (VLPCEP) form's part of DAR's support services to ARCs.
Ragandang said the project's ARC-beneficiary is the Malandi-Patalon Zamboanga City Agrarian Reform Association (Mapzacara) of the village of Patalon.
Ragandang led on Tuesday the groundbreaking of the project, which is set to be completed within 45 days.
Once completed, Ragandang said the processing center will help boost the livelihood of Mapzacara since it will redound to the improvement of products of the beneficiaries.
The Mapzacara is producing coconut sugar, banana chips and vinegar.
Ragandang said with improved product quality, the Mapzacara can increase the price of their products, thereby increasing the group's income.
The VLPCEP aims to develop market competitive Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) products and enhance enterprise and livelihood activities at the community level in selected agrarian reform areas through assistance in product value-adding, improvement of facilities, and assistance in documentation and license application.
Meanwhile, Ragandang said the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are also helping them in providing assistance to the Mapzacara.
She said the assistance provided by the DOST, PCA and DTI is by way of technical training. (Bong Garcia/Sunnex)