QUEZON CITY -- A total of one hundred eighteen (118) officials and staff from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), representatives from local government units (LGUs), and agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) organizations graduated from the course on “Agro-enterprise Development (AED) Integrated Learning Session” conducted by the DAR for seven (7) months.
The DAR, through the Support Services Office (SSO), recognized the graduates during the "Online Agro-enterprise Development (AED) Integrated Learning Session cum Recognition Program."
Atty. Milagros Isabel A. Cristobal, Undersecretary for SSO, said the agro-enterprise facilitators are instrumental in the economic empowerment of the farmers and in facilitating the launching of agro-enterprise projects in the countryside.
“Now, you are part of the DAR-certified agro-enterprise facilitators who are expected to encourage more ARBs to join clusters to increase their production and engage in marketing agreements with institutional markets,” Cristobal said.
She said the participants in this course engaged in an interactive discussion on the relevance, effectiveness, and initial impact of the AED projects with the microfinance complementation approach.
“Consistent with the thrust of the current administration, we expect your wholehearted support through the Linking Smallholder Farmers to Market with Microfinance (LinkSFarMM) program as well as the other program beneficiaries’ development intervention of the Department, “ she said.
Ronald M. Gareza, Director of the Bureau of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development (BARBD) congratulated the 118 graduates, stating that the certificates will serve as a testament to how they utilized and applied the knowledge and skills to help the ARBs and smallholder farmers in planning and systemizing their production and introducing them to effective market engagements.
“It is the first step that will lead you in helping transform the lives of the ARBs and smallholder farmers to become better farmer-entrepreneurs,” he said.
He stressed that despite the challenges, the efforts in applying the learnings gained from the AED Course bore fruit with the 32 project sites launched now adapting the AED clustering approach in their agricultural activities. (DAR)