DA-BAR R4DE interventions focus on farmers, poorest areas

To maximize the limited resources of DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research, its R4DE interventions now focuses on farmers and the poorest areas of the country with low agricultural productivity, according to OIC director Joell H. Lales during the inauguration of the Benguet State University Agricultural Processing Center (BSU-APC) on 13 December 2022 at La Trinidad, Cordillera Administrative Region. 

“We are really maximizing the returns on investments which is why we have to come up with a targeted program that will facilitate and enable a very strong convergence of institutions, public-private partnership model to enable us to realize the purpose of scaling up. Ideally, with the presence of DA, state universities and colleges, local government units, farmer cooperatives associations or the farmers and the private sector if they are identified already at the very concept” says OIC Director Lales. 

He added that in DA-BAR’s perspective, farmers must be the number one beneficiaries of the Agri-Processing Center and emphasized that he hopes that the utility and services of the center be maximized. 

“This edifice could only have meaning if we could show very good documentation later, evidence or documents that would show that it really helped the farmers” OIC director Lales further emphasized in his message. 

Aligned with the goal to optimize the productivity of farmers in the region, the BSU-APC shall house R&D activities for fresh farm produce traded at the Benguet Agri Pinoy Trading Center (BAPTC)—the country’s biggest vegetable trading facility. Among these is the refinement and training on vegetable processing and value-adding technologies toward providing farmers and consumers income and health benefits. The BSU-APC was funded by DA-BAR under its Research Facility Development Grant program. 

Also present during the inauguration were BSU vice president for Research and Extension Johnny Guzman Dati, Sr., vice president for Business Affairs Norma Banania, BSU-APC project leader Violeta Salda, BSU-Food Science Research and Innovation Center director Lesley Dale Umayat, ORS director Gretchen C. Ablaza, as well as DA-BAR and DA-CAR officials and staff. (### Maria Ruby G. Lumongsod)