To help uplift the economic conditions of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), provide immediate and alternative source of income and ensure food security amid the pandemic crisis, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Mountain Province has conducted a hands-on livelihood meat processing seminar to women ARBs through the Convergence on Livelihood Assistance for ARBs Project (CLAAP).
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO) Jane Toribio said the DAR-Mountain Province has conducted a series of hands-on demonstrations and training on meat processing among the eighty-nine (89) beneficiaries of the CLAAP program.
“We realized that because of the crisis, ARBs cannot sell their animals due to community quarantine in their localities. The production cost keeps on increasing, since the hogs cannot be disposed as scheduled in the market. Hence, the ARBs experienced a big loss affecting the socio-economic status of the household beneficiaries,” Toribio said
To address their concerns, Toribio said the DAR, through the CLAAP project, provided processing equipment and materials to start off the conduct of livelihood training activities. The hogs which were not sold by the CLAAP beneficiaries were then used for the actual demonstrations. The processed meat was later turned over to the cluster beneficiaries so they could sell their products and have additional income for their respective families.
“Through the seminars, ARB-participants who were not able to sell their hogs, eventually used it for the meat processing activity. They later sold their processed meat to the nearby neighborhoods in their respective barangays,” Toribio said.
CLAAP Project Development Officer II Pao Tumapang, who happened to be a community trainer on meat processing, facilitated the hands-on training and coached the ARB-participants. He introduced four recipes for the meat processing, which include: classic longganisa, homemade special embutido, spring rolls, and hamburger patties.
“Through these business schemes, ARBs were able to gain additional knowledge on food processing and incomes to bring home to their respective families, especially during this time of COVID-19 crisis,” Tumapang said.
She disclosed that for the seminar to push through, the participants were only required to bring their own packed lunch as their counterpart. She said other CLAAP beneficiaries who were not able to attend will also be scheduled and be provided with the same training.
Meanwhile, the DAR in Mountain Province also conducted monitoring activities for the sayote industry of the 84 CLAAP beneficiaries in the Municipality of Bauko.
“CLAAP farmers have been supplying their harvested sayote to the “LinksFarm” or Linking Smallholder Farmers consolidator and they were able to generate income out of the marketing assistance provided by the Bauko Organic Producers Credit Cooperative (BOPCC) and Monamon Farmers Irrigators’ Association (MONFIA).” Toribio said.
“LinksFarm” is a DAR program for the agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) in partnership with the Local Government Unit (LGU) and private entities which aims to engage farmers in agricultural productions and marketing. It also aims to make smallholder farmers increase their agricultural productivity and effectively manage their agricultural production by applying a value chain process.
The sayote products were also procured in tons by the LGUs of Mt. Province, Laguna, Bulacan, and Cavite, and used as relief goods in their localities during this COVID 19 crisis.
For their contributions in food security, Toribio said the farmers donated most of their products to the Bureau of Jail Management & Penology (BJMP), and to their own LGU of Bauko, who also distributed the sayote products to families affected by the pandemic.
(dargovph/ SRNY/ RSP)