By Chito Chavez

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on Friday said that two farm machines worth P2.7 million were turned over to the farmer-members of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in North Cotabato.

This is in line with the DAR’s efforts to reduce the vulnerability of agrarian reform areas to climate change.

“The department aims to improve farm productivity and the earning capabilities of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) by providing farm tractors like these under the Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support (CRFPS) Project,” said Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Reynaldo Anfone.

He noted that the recipients of the farm machines were the Lamuyon Communal Irrigators Association, Inc. of Alamada and the Popoyon CARP Beneficiary Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Tulunan.

Both groups received a 35.5 horsepower four-wheel drive tractor.

“We really want to help our ARBOs through these kinds of interventions, especially those organizations situated in areas that are heavily affected by climate hazards such as floods and dry spell. With these tractors, increase in their productivity and income is expected in the coming harvest season,” he added.

Anfone noted that a combined area of more than 1,000 hectares are expected to be served by the tractors which will be managed by the recipient-organizations.

He added that the department will closely monitor the management of the agricultural machines and the implementation of the CRFPS project.

Assistant Regional Director H. Roldan A. Ali also challenged the ARBOs to properly manage the machines.

“There are many organizations who really wanted this kind of assistance but you were fortunately chosen based on the project criteria and we are expecting you to encourage more membership so that more ARBs will benefit from it,” said Ali.

Ali also urged the officers of the organizations to carefully plan the operation of the farm machines by making the schedule of activities for the efficient and effective utilization of the tractor.

He emphasized the importance of strictly adhering to the operation and maintenance policies to ensure better stewardship of the project.

Marilyn Estanda, Chairperson of Popoyon CARP Beneficiary MPC, expressed gratitude for the farm machine.

“We are grateful for the government for this tractor given to us. Most of our members are relying mainly on rice farming. This will be of great help to augment the limited availability of farm machines in our community especially during land preparation and harvest season,” Estanda said.