The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has procured PHP27.59 million worth of farm machinery and equipment for the 53 agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) in the province of Pangasinan.
In an interview on Thursday, DAR-Pangasinan chief agrarian reform program officer Estelita Archita said the distribution of farm machinery and equipment would happen between February and March this year.
“This is under the Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARCs) project of DAR for this year,” she said.
The farm machinery and equipment consist of grass cutters/harvesters, farm tractors, hand tractors, knapsack sprayers, rice reapers, water pumps, cultivators, and farm tractors, among others, she added.
Members of the regional bids and awards committee, which is composed of representatives of all four provinces, including Archita, conducted the post-qualification in Pangasinan to verify the compliance of the winning bidder to the Committee’s legal and technical requirements for the contract.
Archita said the project covers 34 municipalities of the province.
“Aside from giving them the farm machinery and equipment for free, DAR also provides training and capability building to the ARBOs so they could use these machines as an enterprise and not individually,” she said.
Aside from the ARBOs, the project is also establishing enterprise-based crop nurseries with greenhouse facilities and tissue culture laboratories in agrarian reform beneficiary organizations, state universities and colleges, and local governments.
Archita said among the beneficiaries are the Pangasinan State University (PSU) Sta. Maria and Infanta.
“PSU has the technical capacity to implement the tissue culture project. They are partnered with DAR-assisted agrarian reform beneficiary communities,” she said.
The SuRe ARCs is DAR’s program that aims to support the country’s agricultural sector and enhance food security.
It used to be called the climate resilience farm productivity support services program. (PNA)