BAR convenes Davao Occ stakeholders for PARTNERS approach to agri needs

Participation and partnership in addressing agricultural concerns was highlighted by DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research assistant director Joell H. Lales in his message during the scoping and appraisal activity held on 18 July 2023 in Davao Occidental. 

“This is a monumental activity, as part of BAR's mandate of managing ang linkaging research for development among its stakeholders. The bureau prioritizes R4D [research for development] interventions in partnership with the stakeholders such as research institutions, regional field offices, and local government units. … Everyone is encouraged to convey and determine the problems and the suggested solutions,” Lales underscored. 

Attended by five Davao Occidental-based farmers cooperatives and associations (FCAs), and national and local agencies, the activity–similar to those earlier held in Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, and Sarangani–served as an avenue for stakeholders to collectively look into proactive solutions that shall address the agricultural needs of the municipalities of Malita and Sta. Maria, Davao Occidental. 

Using the bureau’s Participatory Agriculture and Fisheries R4D Technology Transfer toward Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (PARTNERS) approach, DA-BAR spearheaded a series of workshops where FCAs, Manuel Peralta Farmers Association, San Antonio Indigenous Association, Lais San Antonio Farmers Association, San Antonio Vegetable Farmers Association, and San Antonio Welders Farmers Association, raised the challenges they are facing that have resulted in low productivity and income. These include limited access to new agricultural technologies, agricultural supplies and tools, irrigation, and market information, and inadequate production and post-harvest facilities and equipment.  

Together with DA-BAR scoping team, national and local agencies, including DA-Special Area for Agricultural Development Program, DA-Agricultural Training Institute Region 11, DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Trade and Industry, Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology, and Davao Occidental provincial and concerned municipal agriculturists, provided inputs and guidance and discussed their respective programs and projects that may be accessed by the FCAs. 

In line with the discussions, local chief executives of Davao Occidental, Santa Maria mayor Claude Benjamin II Bautista and Malita mayor Bradly Bautista, expressed their full support to the initiatives of DA-BAR, specifically its PARTNERS approach, and delegated their respective Municipal Agricultural Offices to cooperate and provide assistance in the conduct of succeeding activities.

The scoping and appraisal activity aims to have an initial assessment on the existing problems in communities with low farming and fishing productivity as well as high poverty incidence to gauge and establish research for development-related interventions that would support in addressing the identified challenges. The PARTNERS approach aims to bring tailor-fitted interventions to stakeholders in selected areas or communities based on their identified needs by proactively engaging the farmers and fisherfolk and strengthening collaboration among stakeholders in achieving an inclusive development. (###Mara Shyn Valdeabella)