A total of 10 and 27 legitimate farmers’ groups/associations are to be formed and strengthened, respectively, in the CALABARZON region as agri-clusters through the implementation of the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s Bayanihan Agricultural Cluster (BAC) Program for the year 2021.
After series of profiling and validation conducted by the program’s Regional Technical Working Group, the 37 farmers’ groups are set to formalize, by signing a memorandum of understanding, their intention to operate as a cluster and consolidate their resources to achieve economies of scale in partnership with and support of the DA Region IV-CALABARZON and their respective local government unit.
The identified agri-clusters are expected to undergo a set of capability training with an emphasis on enterprise organization and management; simplified business systems and procedures; and marketing of agricultural commodities, including contract growing arrangements, to name a few.
They will also be provided by the DA with various production, post-production, transport, logistical, and marketing support, such as but not limited to, high-quality seeds, breeders, and brood stocks, feeds; fertilizer, and crop protection supplies; postharvest equipment and specialized sorting facilities; and transport equipment.
“Magiging malaking tulong para aming samahan ang BAC program dahil ito ay kumpleto at sumusunod sa value chain mula production hanggang marketing ng aming produkto. Kaya naman suportadong-suportado ng grupo namin ang programang ito,” Ms. Anathalia Garcia Tolentino shared, President of Bulihan Farmers’ Association in Nasugbu, Batangas.
Meanwhile, OIC-Regional Executive Director Vilma M. Dimaculangan said that, “Through this strategy, we are confident that our farmers and fisherfolk will greatly benefit from the advantages brought by clustering and consolidation, thus achieving their bountiful harvest and increased incomes.” #### (Radel F. Llagas, DA-4A RAFIS)
[Photo courtesy of Ms. Joana Santiago]