Crops grown by agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) will soon be used to feed detainees in Leyte.
This, after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) linked up with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) on the matter of food sourcing and sustainability. DAR Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay said the partnership, which will benefit the city, district, and municipality jails in Leyte, is part of the government’s Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program, where government institutions work together to support poor people in the countryside through feeding programs in schools and provision of community meals for workers and laborers.
“This program guarantees the farmers with a ready market for their products while the jails are assured of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables,” Aya-ay said in a statement Monday, March 15.
Under the partnership, the BJMP of Isabel town will purchase food supplies such as vegetables and poultry products from the Mat-e Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (MARBA), a DAR-assisted farmer organization, to feed persons deprived of liberty (PDLs). The partnership between DAR, BJMP and MARBA was formalized through a signing of the marketing agreement held at the DAR municipal office. This made MARBA the 15th agrarian cooperative in Eastern Visayas to be linked successfully to an institutional buyer by the DAR under the EPAHP program.
“The BJMP will buy MARBA’s products based on the prevailing market price, and the food supply will be picked up in a designated area,” DAR Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Amita Barte said.
“Under the EPAHP, instead of buying food supplies elsewhere, the city, district, and municipality jails, as well as the Department of Health’s-retained hospitals are encouraged to buy food supplies for the feeding of PDLs and hospital patients, from the agrarian cooperatives,” she explained.