Support services for organic rice farm extended

THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Negros Occidental-North has implemented pest management, monitoring and control measures to the organic rice farm to be established in Murcia town last week.

The Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), or the support services team of the agency, led the supervision of the project to ensure the readiness of A&G Esteban Farmers Association in Barangay San Miguel.

Officer-In-Charge Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer Rizalina Yuguing, in a statement, said the project is focused on major crop-based producing organizations like that of rice.

It has a one-year target of increasing farming yields through climate-resilient technological interventions for adaptation and mitigation measures, she added.

The association is one of the five sites in northern Negros Occidental identified for the transfer of technology, establishment of demonstration farm, and provision of farm machinery under the Climate-Resilient Farm Productivity Support Project (CRFSP) of the DAR.

A total of 300 farmers will be the direct beneficiaries of the project in Murcia, Cadiz City and San Carlos City.

The DAR-Negros Occidental I said the identified agrarian reform cooperatives (ARCs) are rice-producing communities with both irrigated and non-irrigated farms.

It said the rich soil and the favorable climatic conditions have encouraged most ARBs in the area to go into rice farming and other high-value crops.

Once requirements are met, the DAR will provide appropriate farm machinery and equipment such as hand tractor with implements, floating tiller, mechanical rice thresher, water pump irrigation system, rice transplanter, rice seeder and collapsible dryer to maximize farm productivity of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program-awarded land, it added.

The project also aims to eliminate the problem of a sourcing farm laborer, make farm activities easy through farm mechanization and provide the opportunity to own and manage common service facilities as business assets.

The agency said the goal of the project is mainly to increase farm and family income of the agrarian reform beneficiaries.

The procurement of farm machinery and equipment will address the gap between man-animal labor and machinery, the DAR said, adding that this will make farm activities easier and faster.

The CRFSP, meanwhile, is anchored on the goal to build resiliency for agrarian reform communities with an emphasis on enhancing and sustaining the agricultural productivity of the organizations as adaptation measures towards farming mechanization.

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