Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John R. Castriciones lauded the sixteen (16) DAR-assisted agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) in North Cotabato for earning a combined gross sale of P 2,897,931.00, despite the difficulties brought by the community quarantine due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Castriciones said the 16 ARBOs from North Cotabato include the Bagolibas Multipurpose Cooperative (MPC) , Birada Martinez ARB Landowners Association, B’laan Klayag Amda De Du Sansato ARB Cooperative, Comprehensive Producers Association, Kalawaig Water Sanitation Association, Kisandal MPC, Liliongan Farmers’ Association, Malapag Farmers’ Association, Malatab Women’s Association, Mua-An Small Coconut Farmers Association, Nalpan Farmers’ MPC, New Leon MPC, Nuangan ARB Association, Perez ARB Rag Weavers Association, Perez ARB Rubber Farmers Association, and Sto. Niño Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative.
“I am pleased to know that amidst the crisis, they still managed to earn incomes to sustain the financial needs of their respective families as well as to contribute in sustaining food security in the country,” Castriciones said.
The gross income earned by the ARBOs were sourced out from the sales of their farm produce which they harvested from April to May of this year. Among the food products marketed by the ARBs include cardava banana, watermelon, mongo beans, and coconut. Non-food products comprise of rubber cup lumps, oil palm, doormats, broom sticks, and soft brooms.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Reynaldo Anfone said that the authority given by the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID- 19 to the DAR to issue quarantine accreditation passes helped the ARBs and ARBOs to transport and continue marketing their products amid the pandemic.
“During the whole duration of the enhanced community quarantine, DAR ensured the continuous movement of food and non-food supplies of the farmers to the marketplace. Even if we are now under the general community quarantine, the DAR personnel in the province continuously helped the ARBs in every possible way they can,” Anfone said.
Anfone added that aside from marketing farmers’ agricultural products, the DAR also assisted some of the ARBOs engaged in livestock production by helping them look for buyers in the local market.
“I am proud of these ARBOs, that even during these trying times they continue to serve as frontliners in producing essential goods needed for our daily consumption,” Anfone said.