The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) recently turned over P900,000 worth of farm machineries to three farmers organizations in Kabacan town in North Cotabato in a bid to increase farm productivity and their income.

The farm machineries, worth P300,000, were given to three farmers organizations namely: the Osias Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Samahan ng mga Kababaihan ng Upper Paatan, and Nangaan Irrigator Farmers Association.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Marion Abella said “the farm implements were provided under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA), after farmers’ organizations identified them as their priority in their wish list of farming needs.”

The farm machines were funded under PAMANA, a government program framework for peace and development in areas affected by conflict and communities covered by existing peace agreements.

Abella said the Osias Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative received rice production machineries, including  one rice thresher, one 24HP engine diesel, one trailer with transmission, and one power turtle tiller with 10 HP Engine, while the Samahan ng mga Kababaihan ng Upper Paatan and Nangaan Irrigator Farmers Association were provided farm supplies such as fertilizers, palay seeds, and pesticides.

According to Abella, the farm machines would be managed by the organizations as an enterprise where the farmers in the community could rent farm supplies at a competitive market price, with the proceeds to form part of the farmers’ cooperatives’ fixed capital.

“Through this scheme, the organizations will be empowered to make their organizations grow by engaging into agri-business enterprises,” Abella said.

Abella added that cost sharing scheme in the form of labor, kind or in cash in implementing business activities is required to impress upon them that sense of ownership of the projects and to ensure its sustainability.

“We also help the organizations in the establishment of the policy system and procedure which will guide them in their business operations,” he said. (pinky roque)