MANILA — Around 200 farmer-members from different agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) in the MIMAROPA region attended the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) face-to-face and virtual ARBOs Summit held over the weekend.
With the theme “Breaking Barriers Towards Digital Marketing,” the summit was organized to impart to the farmers’ new trends in agri-business and digital marketing.
“With the boom of online selling, it is time for farmers’ products to be available for purchase online. This summit intends to inform them of the advantages of online selling so they can expand their market reach,” said Atty. Marvin Bernal, DAR Regional Director for MIMAROPA.
Bernal said the summit supports the advocacy of DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III to provide farmers with opportunities for learning and to promote unity and cooperation among different cooperatives and organizations.
A forum was held where topics on online selling, product development, business management, and access to digital markets were discussed and imparted to farmers.
Bernal said the event was also an opportunity for the farmers and farmer-leaders to reconnect, expand their knowledge, and share their experiences in enhancing the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
The summit widened the participants’ information about the different programs and services offered by the DAR and other partner agencies of the ARBOs.
The participants of the ARBO summit also received updates on land tenure, farm mechanization, solar irrigation projects, livelihood programs, climate change mitigation, and adaptation activities, enterprise development, and credit and microfinance programs, all of which are relevant to the management and operation of their coop enterprises towards poverty alleviation in the countryside.
Invited guest speakers were Joel Valera and Jerica Dalisay, Regional Director of the Department of Information, Communication and Technology-MIMAROPA and CALABARZON respectively; Maria Isabel Pagayona of Department of Trade and Industry; Elmer Relente, owner, Anpilo Agrifarm; Marden de Guzman, owner, Forever Mom Business TV; Heidi Ballesfin, owner, Homegrown organics; and Ace Estrada, co-founder and head, Rural Rising PH.
ARBO members who attended came from the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan.