SAN ISIDRO , Leyte-– Sixty-eight farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) here and from four nearby municipalities completed recently the different modules on hybrid vegetable production conducted by the East-West Seed Co. in preparation to an agribusiness venture being cooked for the former by the government. The farmers and ARBs are all members of ARB organizations (ARBOs) from Barangay Daja Diot in this town and the municipalities of Calubian, Leyte, Tabango and Villaba being groomed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to be agri-entrepreneurs by tapping the East-West Seed Co. for the technology transfer. Ramil Rodaje, 49, one of the ARBs who completed the training, said that he did not only learn on how to produce more, but he was also taught on how to produce more with less expense.
The result also encouraged the farmers to continue vegetable production as they are earning much from just a small lot. Daisy Monreal, senior technology transfer specialist of East-West Seed Company, said that 30 of the graduates showed potentials of a farmer technician and will be trained further to serve as trainers to other farmers. DAR Regional Director Sheila Enciso said that after completing this training, the ARBOs will then undergo another one from a different professional service provider, this time on business development for the marketing of their products.
This is the concept of the Agrarian Reform Communities Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS), Enciso explained. The ARBOs are being prepared to be competitive not only in the local market but internationally as well, especially that free trade will be opened soon, she added. Enciso disclosed that DAR has already commissioned earlier the Metro Dumaguete College for the business development training of the ARBOs in selected areas in the region. Meanwhile, San Isidro Mayor Susan Ang is looking forward to seeing her town as vegetable producer and her constituents engaged in livelihood. Last year, DAR has already provided these ARBOs with five power tiller cultivators and five water pumps that they used in their farming operations as recommended by the Visayas State University commissioned earlier who conducted the needs assessment and design assessment to ensure the success of this project venture. (JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA)