ANGELES CITY – As part of its mandate of being one of the key agencies implementing the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 3 continuously gives various assistance to some 84 communities and 212 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
DTI Region 3 Dir. Blesila Lantayona said that under the CARP, they are tasked to provide support services to farmer-beneficiaries by organizing them into cooperatives or associations, giving them entrepreneurial and skills training and financial brokering.
Lantayona said that DTI was instrumental in the establishment and development of the 212 MSMEs in the region particularly in building their capability. This includes production of raw materials, trading, processing and marketing.
She added that because of DTI’s continuous support, the farmer-beneficiaries became entrepreneurs and learned the ropes of their respective industries. Today, Lantayona said some of the products of these MSMEs are already available in leading department stores.
The province of Nueva Ecija produces veggie noodles, dairy products, slippers, cogon craft, cucumber, mushroom and furniture while MSMEs is Tarlac are now selling crochet/knitted products, ylang-ylang essence, chichacorn, sweet potato products, muscovado, and fresh mangoes.
The farmer-beneficiaries in Zambales are now selling processed fruits, pastilles, ginger products, camote products, fresh and processed mango and Bulacan farmers produce sabutan bags, dairy products, pastillas, bakey products, sukang paombong, and meat products.
In Pampanga, farmer-beneficiaries developed cassava products for feeds, aqua culture, hog raising, buntal hats/bags, bankwang weaving, bottle wine holder sub-contracting, and processed meat production.
On the other hand, Bataan became popular because of their cashew processing, coffee production, lasa broom making, fruits and vegetable processing and buko pie making. And lastly, Aurora is now marketing its world-class Sabutan products, coffee, coco vinegar, corn and furniture.
Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program of 1988 was created under the revolutionary government led by then President Corazon Aquino. The key phrases on the declaration of policies of the state are: promotion of social justice, sound rural development and industrialization, equitable distribution and ownership of land, and protection of farmers’ rights.
The ultimate goal of CARP is to reduce poverty, increase agricultural productivity and encourage investments in rural areas.
To date, CARP is considered as the most ambitious program of the national government on agriculture. According to CARP, out of the country’s total land area of 29.8 million hectares, the arable land and permanent crops consists of 10.7 million hectares. Since 1972, CARP’s total land distribution was pegged at 6.578 million hectares while the farmer-beneficiaries reached 4.05 million. The national government has also spent almost P200 billion for CARP since its implementation in 1988.