Who says the government never cared about indigenous peoples (IP)?
In a statement Thursday, Feb.25, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in North Cotabato said it turned over a P1.3-million hauling truck to the B’laan Klayag Amda De Du Sansato ARB (agrarian reform beneficiary) cooperative.
Based in Bacong Village, Tulunan town, the particular cooperative is composed of IPs. The truck will allow them to quickly transport their agricultural products to trading centers and markets.
On average, the B’laan Klayag Amda De Du Sansato ARB Cooperative delivers 40 tons of cardava banana per month to Liberty Fruits, Inc. situated at barangay Mua-an, Kidapawan City as well as other markets.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Reynaldo Anfone said the delays in the delivery of cardava banana would be greatly minimized, if not totally avoided because of the efficiency of transportation equipment provided by the DAR.
“The provision of hauling truck will surely lessen the transportation cost of the cooperative in bringing their agricultural produce to the market. The cooperative is also expected to earn more by establishing an additional enterprise such as hauling services rental,” Anfone said.
The IP cooperative has been engaged in the cardava banana trade since 2016, or after the DAR-Catholic Relief Service project dubbed “Linking Smallholder Farmers to Market” was launched in the area.
The truck donation was carried out via the “PaSSOver: ARBold Move for Deliverance of ARBs from the COVID-19 Pandemic” project. It was made in response to the urgent need to come up with timely and effective mechanisms to assist ARBs amid the ongoing health crisis.