A total of 116 women farmers of Arakan, North Cotabato are smiling from ear-to-ear after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) trained and provided them with a rag-weaving entrepreneurial project to help them augment their household income.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Marion Abella  said the project is one of DAR’s skills training program under its Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) which seeks to enhance the capability of the women’s organizations of Barangays Allab and Kuran in Arakan.

“We want to capacitate and help empower women farmers by grooming them into entrepreneurs. That is why we are providing them with the necessary skills to give them options in generating income for their family,” said Abella.

In rag weaving entrepreneurial project, the women were taught how to weave the rags into doormats and potholders. A doormats fetches a price of P25.00 pesos per piece and a potholder P7.00.

“Our market study shows that selling these items can earn them as much as 3,000 per month. This is a big addition to every farming family’s income. The women can sell these in hospitals, schools, hotels, business establishments, and households,” Abella said.

In addition to the skills training, the DAR also provided the start-up materials for each of the women’s organization that included 60 kilos of rags, 10 doormat frames, and two potholder frames.

Abella stressed that the DAR is also committed in linking agrarian reform beneficiary organizations to various markets through its Marketing Assistance Program (MAP).

“The MAP aims to hasten the development and establishment of enterprises in agrarian reform communities. This is carried out by building and sustaining links between and among farmer entrepreneurs, cooperative producers, processors, agribusiness firms, other institutional buyers, and service providers,” said Abella.

He added: “The DAR also partnered with line agencies like the Department of Trade and Industries (DTI), Department of Labor and employment (DOLE) and the Department of Science and Technology (TESDA) to train agrarian beneficiaries in product development and entrepreneurship.”  (30) (Pinkyroque/ dar weave)