Appraisal in CamSur highlights convergence as one of PARTNERS’ vital elements

Carrying on with the initial phases of the Participatory Agriculture and Fisheries R4D Technology Transfer toward Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (PARTNERS) approach, the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) conducted its fourth scoping and appraisal activity in the province of Camarines Sur on 01-03 August 2023.

“Makikinig muna kami, habang sila [farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs)] ang nagsasalita”, DA-BAR assistant director Joell H. Lales stated, underlining the important role of the FCAs, alongside the convergence of efforts from the DA-BAR, DA-Bicol Region, DA-Special Areas for Agricultural Development (SAAD), the local government unit, and other relevant agencies, in the development of the province’s agricultural community.

Farmer-members from Siembre Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization, Marupit Farmers’ Association, San Pedro Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization, and Cabusao Root Crops and Vegetable Growers Association from the municipalities of Bombon, Cabusao, and Camaligan were among the participants of the scoping and appraisal activity in Camarines Sur. These FCAs rely mostly on  rice, sweet potato, vegetables, and swine as their priority commodities.

With the various programs and interventions that their communities receive from their local government unit as well as several DA agencies in the region, the bureau, through its PARTNERS approach, aims to put together a more consolidated and targeted response to their identified challenges and needs. 

DA-Bicol Region regional technical director for Research and Regulations Dr. Edgar R. Madrid reaffirmed the inclusivity of the PARTNERS approach. “Whatever output we will produce [from] this activity, we will have ownership; hindi forced ang programs [that we receive] from the government,” he highlighted. During his message at the onset of the activity, he also encouraged participants to share their thoughts, discuss their insights, and disagree with one another in the process in order to come up with an inclusive, harmonized output.

Aligned with the bureau's PARTNERS approach, the scoping and appraisal activity is part of a sequence of efforts aimed at creating customized solutions for the communities in provinces characterized by high poverty and limited agricultural productivity. (### Geline Nicole A. Morillo)