Friday, March 22, 2013

DAR to Help Turn Farmers Into Business Managers

From the Website of DAR

DAR to Help Turn Farmers Into Business Managers

From farmers to business managers.

With this vision, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has rolled out its new program aimed at developing the skills of farmer-beneficiaries and their organizations in accessing credit facilities and in managing their farms as business enterprises.
Called PBD (Program Beneficiaries Development) Lawyering, the new strategy seeks to transform agrarian reform beneficiaries into farm managers using the land awarded to them as social capital.

According to Secretary Virgilio De Los Reyes, the “PBD Lawyering” strategy aims to promote countryside development by capacitating agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and their organizations to actively engage the market.

“The role of DAR at present is not only as distributor of agricultural land, but an orchestrator of rural development,” Delos Reyes said.

“The whole point of what we are trying to do now is we put together enterprise development, we put together strengthening of organizations; we put in agricultural extension; we put in credit; we put in farm equipment; we put in land tenure improvement; and we put in R&D for ARB organizations,” he added.

Delos Reyes explained that the new strategy would complement the global solutions currently being implemented by the DAR to fast-track the land acquisition and distribution (LAD) component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The first phase of the PBD Lawyering program involves forming PBD Lawyering teams in the DAR provincial level to be culled from a pool of support services staff, lawyers, and legal officers.

These teams will be trained as learning coaches of agrarian reform beneficiaries and their organizations on how to access credit facilities and other financial services from diversified sources; capture private investments; create opportunities for growing and/or expanding their enterprises; enhance financial health and viability; and strengthen their ability to manage or mitigate risks.

“This is a unique training program where the combined expertise and experiences of the Department’s legal and the support services offices are harnessed to enhance the legal and support services on access to credit of ARBs and their organizations,” Delos Reyes said.
Partners in this endeavor are the Bureau of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development (BARBD) and the Legal Affairs Office (LAO), together with private sector social enterprises. Two batches of training involving 133 participants from Regions CAR, I, II IV-A, IV-B, IX, XII, and XIII have already been conducted. Currently on-going is the training for Regions VI, VII, and VII in Cebu with a total of 56 participants.

The succeeding batches involving Regions III, V, X, and XIII are scheduled on March 18-22, 2013 in Rizal, and April 1-5, 2013 in Cagayan de Oro.dar web news pix 2 march 8 2013
Delos Reyes explained that PBD Lawyering entails mentoring of ARBs and ARBOs (agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations) that are facing credit-related challenges, constraints, and problems in order to help them better manage their business operations.
This direction in PBD implementation complements the usual support services to improve ARBs’ productivity — such as post-harvest facilities, physical infrastructure, credit and microfinance services, and others — and would attempt to wean away the ARBs and their organizations from dependence on government support interventions.

Also known as “Enterprise Lawyering”, PBD Lawyering is currently focused on credit delivery and sustainable access to credit.

“Credit assistance is critical to increasing ARBs’ productivity and marketing of their products. By being able to optimize production level and sell their products, ARBs and their organizations should be able to enhance their financial bottom-lines, which would lead to an improvement in their quality of living,” Delos Reyes explained.

The training runs on a four & a half day session with the following modules: Foundation Module 1 – Revisiting PBD Thrust and Directions; Module 2 - Exploring the Business and Regulatory Environment; Module 3 - Successful Models and ideation for Cooperative-Managed Agri-based Enterprises; Module 4 - Understanding the Building Blocks of Financial Viability and Growth; and Module 5 - Crafting of Technical Assistance Plan and Team Coaching for Selected Priority ARBOs.

Experts and practitioners from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), Bureau of Internal Revenues (BIR), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Development Bank of the Philippines, and from the private sector such as Mark Ruiz, Vincent Rapisura, and Edwin Salonga of MicroVentures, Inc. and Social Enterprises Development  Partnerships Incorporated (SEDPI), among others were tapped as resource speakers.

“All learning outcomes of these modules bring to fore ARB organizations that are credit smart, credit worthy and financially viable,” Delos Reyes pointed out.

DAR Website


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