By Ana Raymundo
Last October 19, 2012, Honorable Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman sealed a partnership with representatives from the Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka or PAKISAMA through a Memorandum of Agreement. The representatives from the PAKISAMA include Mr. Vicente Rabe, and Mr. Raul Socrates Banzuela, who is their national coordinator.
The project comprises of a community-based sustainable livelihood program for Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries on Integrated Diversified Organic Farming System (IDOFS) to support food production and generation of their household income. The PAKISAMA will also provide an Agricultural Workers Skills Enhancement training program for the communities. It will cater to Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries located in rural areas, with three municipalities in Oriental Mindoro as the pilot sites.
It will consist of five phases from which, the beneficiaries will learn new and sustainable methods for farming with improved technology. The phases include, Phase 1: Training on Basic Modules of IDOFS and ASWE with hands-on application of learning. For IDOFS, establishment of learning farms on the beneficiaries’ households and for ASWE, internship or placement to a farm of an individual farmer or cooperative or agricultural groups’ enterprises. Phase 2 includes the training of selected beneficiaries to become farm technicians and trainers to expand the project among the Pantawid Pamilya Beneficiaries. Phase 3 will be for the enhancement of productivity and commodity organizing; while phase 4 is designated to product and market development. Lastly, phase 5 is focused on sustainability, which is on partnership and strategic and tactical alliances building.
The project is intended to provide additional income opportunities for families aside from guaranteeing their daily sustenance. Aside from that, it will empower them with the means to invest in other basic needs such as health and education. Furthermore, it not only aims to keep the FAITH or that “Food is Always In The Home,” but is also family-oriented in that it promotes family farming, in which, different members of the family are engaged in the activity.
The PAKISAMA is known for its active role in various national and regional agrarian concerns, in which it remains to be a strong defender of farmers around the country. The cooperation and efforts of the PAKISAMA in this project are deeply appreciated by the Sustainable Livelihood Program. Moreover, the DSWD looks forward to a fruitful pilot implementation and eventually carry out this promising project all around the country.