P1.8B Mindanao farm communities project in full swing: DAR

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said on Monday that the P1.8 billion infrastructure projects in the farm communities of Mindanao are in full swing.

DAR officials said the infrastructure projects are through the Mindanao Settlement Area Development Project (MinSSAD).

The MinSSAD Project, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is a DAR-Foreign assisted project that extended its support services to its target settlement areas to help combat poverty, as well as to ensure viable and sustainable growth and development among the farmer-beneficiaries.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser C. Pangandaman said since its beginning in September 2001, MinSSAD project implemented 756 infrastructure projects in 123 barangays in Region 10, 11 and 13. MinSSAD has ended last year and will be renewed.

Pangandaman said the infrastructure projects include 107 farm-to-market roads, 50 bridges, 27 irrigation facilities, 36 potable water supply, 111 post harvest facilities, 96 barangay health stations, 218 school classrooms, 91 multi-purpose pavements and 20 multi-purpose buildings.

The DAR chief said foreign-assisted projects like MinSSAD play important role in implementing Republic Act 9700 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program extension with reform (CARPer).

“CARPer is not only about land distribution but also empowering our farmers nationwide through support service,” Pangandaman said.

Republic Act (RA) 9700 or CARPer, which was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last year amended certain provisions of RA 6657 to further strengthen CARP and extend it for five more years.

Mayor Benglen Ecleo of San Jose, Dinagat Island, one of the municipalities which benefited from MinSSAD projects, said his constituents are very lucky to receive such support services.

“Our farmers from remote areas have now access to better livelihood opportunities,” Ecleo added.

Pangandaman said three regions with their six provinces were recipients. These include Bukidnon, Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte.

“DAR is very greatful to the Japanese government for helping our department in providing our farmers an opportunity to uplift their economic lives. Through their infrastructure projects, they helped us improve the mobility and accessibility of the settlement communities to a wider market,” he said. (dailymirror)

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