By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has partnered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to help at least 36,000 farmers to boost their income via livelihood projects.
Through the “Convergence on Livelihood Assistance for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Project” or CLAAP, the program aims to develop and improve farmers’ agri-business enterprises that will further increase the income of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), small holder farmers, and farmworkers.
The CLAAP targets to help not only farmer beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) but also non-ARBs.
The program is expected to be implemented among 73 provinces within various agrarian reform communities (ARCs) and agrarian reform areas throughout the country.
Under the partnership program, DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Emily Padilla said that the DSWD has already allocated and transferred the P1 billion fund for the project to them.
“In collaboration with DAR, the DSWD will provide technical assistance in the review and approval of livelihood project proposals by the regions,” Padilla, who is heading the CLAAP implementation, said.
Meanwhile, Padilla added that DAR, for its part, has allotted a P186 million worth of its manpower, technical and management skills, and the cost of series of capacity building training for the farmers.
Undersecretary Padilla also explained that DAR will be responsible for the implementation activities such as planning, supervision, and procurement of materials for the establishment or assistance of farmers’ agri-businesses.
The CLAAP implementation has started in December 2017 and will end in December 2019.
With the project’s completion in 2019, Padilla said they are expecting the 36,000 ARBs and non-ARBs (30 percent are women)to operate and manage viable livelihood projects.
“These agri-businesses are expected to earn for them additional household income,” she said.
Padilla added that they will continue to monitor and evaluate the establishment and development of the farmers’ agri-business to ensure the success of the project.