DA-BAR pushes developmental approach in R4D

"Ang approach namin ngayon ay [Participatory Agriculture and Fisheries R4D Technology Transfer towards Entrepreneurship and Sustainability](PARTNERS), dahil lahat kayo ay partners [ng departamento]. We will renew and strengthen our partnership towards a program. Ngayon, kayo ang may boses. Buuin natin ang kwento,” DA-BAR assistant director Lales said as he addressed the farmer-leaders who participated in the 4-day scoping and appraisal activity on 27-30 June 2023.

Targeting a more grounded technology scaling and transfer initiatives, the bureau has implemented the PARTNERS program, intended to address the needs of the sector through grassroots movement. In this modified way of developing programs, activities, and projects,  the bureau aims to do away with the traditional approach but instead, “balikan natin ang mga na-produce na technology in the past, then we go down and we hear from you [farmers] directly,” as Lales described.

Kung ano ang pwedeng ilaban, ilaban natin,” DA-Caraga regional executive director Ricardo M. Oñate stated in a discussion during the courtesy visit of the DA-BAR delegation. The visit served as a kick-off for the first scoping and appraisal activity of the bureau, in line with its recently crafted PARTNERS program.

For its first scoping and appraisal mission, the DA-BAR team engaged various farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) in Agusan del Sur and Dinagat Islands. The activity served as a venue for the FCAs to present the current situation and needs of their respective municipalities as well as priority commodities. It also allowed the respective provincial local government units (LGUs) and DA-Caraga to share and discuss the various interventions that have been implemented in response to the needs of the agri-fisheries sector in the region.

Afterwhich, a workshop was conducted in order to allow the FCAs, through the guidance of DA-BAR, DA-Caraga, and LGU, to delve deeper into the identified challenges and needs of the region, as well as propose possible interventions. Further to the discussion and workshop proper, the team also visited sites of existing initiatives of the DA and the province in line with improving the sector.

PARTNERS program consists of six stages, four of which are targeted to be completed within the calendar year. The first two stages cover prioritization and target setting. The third stage, which targets action planning and validation, involves scoping and appraisal activities in identified areas with high poverty incidence and low agricultural productivity. (### Geline Nicole A. Morillo)