DA to boost partnership with IP community in San Marcelino

DA, through its Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) and regional office Central Luzon, endeavors to provide agriculture interventions that could further boost the productivity and profitability of Lupon ng Itanglew sa Ganap na Asenso (LIGA), an Indigenous Peoples’ Organization composed of Aetas living at Sitio Itanglew, San Marcelino, Zambales. 

On 16 February 2023, DA-BAR OIC-director Joell Lales and DA-Central Luzon regional technical director (RTD) for Research, Regulatory & Integrated Laboratories Dr. Arthur Dayrit visited the community and had a discussion with LIGA.

LIGA chairperson Marlon Tiglao shared during the discussion the identified agricultural needs of the community. These include those related to water access and transporting of goods, which greatly affect their agricultural production, specifically of upland crops, such as ubi and gabi. In response, RTD Dayrit committed to send technical staff from the regional office to assess and provide necessary support to address said needs.

Among the farmer-partners of the DA-BAR-funded R4D project titled, Accelerated Production and Commercialization of Purple Yam in Selected IP groups in Central Luzon, LIGA also shared their volume of purple yam production and their ongoing partnership with MAYANI, an agri e-commerce platform that markets farmers’ produce in a digital agri value chain. 

Noting the strengths, opportunities, as well as the challenges and needs of the farming community, OIC-director Lales recommended an assessment of R4D services and interventions that may be prioritized and implemented in and by the community through the regional office.

Municipal agricultural officer of San Marcelino, Zambales Remin Sardo and agricultural center chiefs of DA-Central Luzon research outreach stations–Dr. Emily Soriano, for Upland Development, Magalang, Pampanga, and Robinel Ocampo, for Lahar and Ash Laden Areas, San Marcelino, Zambales, also participated in the discussion and shared their plan to conduct a participatory rural appraisal in Sitio Itanglew toward planning and developing a program that can be endorsed for possible support of DA-BAR and the regional office and in collaboration with the other related agencies and organizations in the locality. (### Mara Shyn Valdeabella-Pacunana)