The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) and Department of Agrarian Reform-Nueva Ecija (DAR-NE) sealed their commitment on Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) program with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
EPAHP is a strategic collaboration of government agencies to battle hunger, food and nutrition insecurity, and poverty.
DA-PCC Executive Director Dr. Liza Battad, DA-PCC at Central Luzon State University Center Director Dr. Ericson Dela Cruz, DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Eden Ponio and PARPO I Josephine K. Aguinaldo signed the said MOU today at DA-PCC Milka Krem, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.
“One priority agenda of the current administration is on boosting food production which will ultimately lead to food sufficiency,” Ponio said.
The MOU specified that both agencies will provide the participating Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) or Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) with support services for improved farm productivity through capacity building and technical support, infrastructure and facilities, access to financial assistance, and market assistance.
The participating ARBOs/ CBOs will be linked to prospective markets primarily the national feeding program of DepEd and DSWD which addresses malnutrition among Filipino children, as well as promotes the local dairy industry.
Five initial ARBOs and CBOs in Nueva Ecija were identified as beneficiaries to include: Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Simula ng Panibagong Bukas (SIPBU) Multi-purpose Cooperative, Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CAMPC), Bongabon Agriculture Cooperative, and Delaen Farmers Agriculture Cooperative.
“Sa lahat po ng ating magiging engagement, we can share with you whatever we have in terms of capacity building kasi iyon po ang strength namin. Sa DAR, we put premium importance on people as the lead or prime movers of development,” Ponio said.
Dir. Battad also added that qualified ARBOs/CBO’s under the Supplemental Feeding Program and related feeding programs will be accommodated soon with small-scale groups as priorities.
“Be assured na maliban dito sa limang nabanggit ay mayroon pang iba. Actually they are our champion cooperatives, kaya’t partner po tayo on helping build up relatively newer cooperatives because that is where assistance will be mostly needed,” Dr. Battad underscored.