FIVE agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (Arbos) in northern portion of Negros Occidental yesterday received common service facilities (CSFs) amounting to P23.5 million from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
The distribution of farm machineries is implemented through the agency's Sugar Block Farm (SBF) and Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support (CRFPS) programs.
SBF is aimed at improving the productivity of sugarcane farmers that are collectively managed by cooperatives.
CRFPS project seeks to develop and sustain farm productivity through the provision of equipment and inputs in order to enhance and sustain high yield amid the vulnerability to climate change.
Under SBF program, the recipient-Arbos are Progreso Agrarian Reform Cooperative from Barangay Kapitan Ramon in Silay City, receiving one unit of farm tractor with implements including six-wheeler dump truck, disc plow, disc harrow and five-tonner trailer.
Don Esteban Agrarian Reform Cooperative from Barangay Jonob-jonob in Escalante City, meanwhile, received one unit of six-wheeler dump truck.
Under CRFPS, Hagnaya Agrarian Reform Cooperative from Barangay Tabun-ac in Toboso town received one unit of farm tractor with implements including disc plow, disc harrow, and three-tonner trailer.
The same facilities were also given to Caridad Farmers Association from Barangay Luna in Cadiz City and Camille-Reicon Farmworkers Association from Barangay E. Lopez in Silay City.
All in all, at least 200 member-Arbs cultivating almost 249 hectares of sugarcane and other crops will benefit from the projects.
DAR-Western Visayas Assistant Regional Director for Support Services Antonio del Socorro, who was present at the turnover rites and trust agreement signing at Bacolod Pavillon Hotel, said it would be difficult for an Arbo to purchase a million-worth machinery thus, the government needs to intervene.
Del Socorro said DAR is giving the kind of facilities that are needed in terms of increasing the level of production efficiency.
"Aside from the technology, these are the hard component being supported to the Arbos," he said, adding that “it is more of on usufruct which means that these are not donated yet considering that there are bureaucratic limitations with the Commission on Audit.”
Del Socorro added: “They can use it for as long as they want but in the event that they will not use the machineries, we can retrieve it and transfer to other Arbos in need.”
This will encourage farmers groups to really take care of the facilities, he also said.
Last month, another five Arbos in the southern part of the province also received various CSFs worth about P17 million.
These farm machineries are also seen to further capacitate farmers in boosting their production.
For north, DAR-Negros Occidental I records showed that since 2014 until April 2018, the agency has already turned over about P188 million worth of CSFs to 29 Arbos.
The P23.5 million farm machineries were the first batch to be given this year, it added.
For his part, Silay City Mayor Mark Andrew Arthur Golez, who also attended the activity, has expressed appreciation on the support services extended by the DAR.
The partnership with the agency has benefited farmers in his locality, Golez added.