Monday, July 6, 2009
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has approved 102 new and continuing projects for its Community-based Participatory Action Research program (CPAR) that is benefiting over 7,000 farmers all over the country, the DA Regional Field Office (RFU) for Bicol announced on Thursday.
CPAR is a location-specific research extension that deals with improved farming-systems technologies for specific micro- agro-climatic environment within a province or municipality, DA regional executive director Jose Dayao said in a statement.
It is a downstream research method focused on technology verification and adaptation in the community. It also involves extension activities on the technology needs identified by the community, Dayao explained.
This development strategy was strengthened through the leadership of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap as part of his initiative to boost the agriculture sector through increased production and farmers’ income, he said.
It was designed to encourage and enhance the development of enterprises and agribusiness ventures in the farming and fishing communities with the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) instituting and implementing an innovative approach to Research, Development and Extension (RD&E).
Through the program BAR enjoins communities to be responsive, dynamic and systematic in production management.
The BAR also aims to encourage communities to maximize the application of information-based decision-making to ensure organized product management system toward the development of agribusiness enterprises and contribute to community empowerment and self-reliance, motivating them to develop productive and profitable enterprises, Dayao said in the statement.
To fast track the program, the BAR is implementing policy guidelines in receiving CPAR grant being implemented by the DA-RFUs through the Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Centers and the Regional Fisheries Research and Development Centers.
Its implementation is also in partnership with local government units (LGUs) and organized agriculture and fisheries groups like cooperatives, farmers’ organizations and nongovernment organizations (NGOs), he said.
To receive a grant, the project must cover at least two barangays, and that a common technology must be identified for the area, hence the “one-project, one-technology” approach.
Likewise, the proponent must be willing to provide counterpart funds, and the LGU and NGO partners resources in cash or in kind, Dayao said.
BAR is providing funds to support project activities for a maximum of two years. The proponent together with the partner institutions will make the necessary plan and mechanisms to sustain and expand the project beyond this period, he said.
To maximize the impact of the project, site preselection is recommended based on a set of criteria to ensure that the necessary support systems are in place and that partner institutions will support the project.
The Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) is done to ensure that the project addresses the existing needs of the community and recognizes the resources of the areas, the Bicol DA chief said.
In the PRA, a community plan is drawn and the CPAR Action Plan is prepared taking into consideration the identification and selection of technology options for optimum utility, presentation and validation of technology options and relevant information to stakeholders, as well as the agreement and packaging of CPAR projects that include research and extension activities.
Final approval of the CPAR project proposal is based on the guidelines set in the Community Research Grant Manual and the existing needs and priorities of the area and in line with the thrusts and goals of DA, he said.
So far, CPAR have 89 continuing projects being implemented in 299 barangays of the country’s 16 regions and over a dozen of them in Bicol are successful, Dayao said.
The region was also given a substantial share in the 102 new projects recently approved for this year, he added.
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