The Support to Agrarian Reform Communities in Central Mindanao (STARCM), a project funded by the European Union and implemented by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), will hand over infrastructure and agricultural support projects, including communal irrigation and cultivation machinery to farmers’ cooperatives in barangays Rogero and Basingan in Bubong.
The irrigation project, STARCM officials said, is expected to increase yield and income of the farmers in the villages. It is estimated that the crop production would increase from 3,600 bags to 7,200 bags in a year.
The cultivation machinery and threshers would also be distributed to Lalawan Farmers and Basingan Multi-Purpose Cooperatives on Sept. 7.
The equipment, they said, “is a response to the lack of farming equipment available for the farmers to improve their harvest. High cost of farm machinery and insufficient farm inputs are common problems encountered by farmers in far-flung communities” in the area.
Land Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman will lead the distribution of farming equipment and turnover ceremony, together with STARCM national project director Oscar Mama, STARCM European co-director Glynn Baker, DAR-ARMM Secretary Allen Hofer Usman, and other local government officials in Lanao del Sur.
The provision of support infrastructure services forms part of STARCM’s continuing work to build a strong rural economy in 50 agrarian reform communities (ARC) in the region, a press statement said.
A seven-year project that started in 2001, STARCM is actively assisting 23 ARCs in North Cotabato, 13 ARCs in Lanao del Norte, seven in Sultan Kudarat, and seven in Lanao del Sur.
To ensure the completion and ownership of irrigation systems and machineries, the local government units provide cash and in-kind counterpart for the STARCM-assisted projects.
The ARCs serve as priority areas of STARCM’s services to enhance the standard of living and introduce self-reliance among 55,000 households in southwestern Mindanao.