The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is already preparing in advance the mechanisms for the provision of support services to farmer-beneficiaries who are recipients of individual titles under the Support to Parcelization of Land for Individual Titling (SPLIT) in an apparent move to prevent the pawning or selling of farm lots awarded under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III has created over the weekend a Project SPLIT composite team that will conduct the World Bank Gap Analysis Study (WBGAS) to determine the appropriate and timely development interventions to be provided to its beneficiaries to ensure that they will harness and maximize the productivity of their respective farm lots.
“As much as possible, we wanted our agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) to be as productive as they can and maintain possession and ownership of their farm lots while resisting the temptation of pawning or selling them,” Estrella said.
Estrella stressed that the DAR would exhaust all means to ensure that the immediate needs of its ARBs under the SPLIT project are met so that they could start harnessing their respective farm lots once they receive their individual titles.
“We do not want to see even just one farmer being forced to pawn or sell his/her farm lot simply because he/she lacks the necessary means to till it. Otherwise, it will defeat the very purpose of the SPLIT project,” Estrella said.
The study will be undertaken jointly by teams from the DAR and the World Bank.
Estrella appointed Foreign-Assisted Special Project Assistant Secretary Rene Colocar as chairman of the DAR composite team. He will be assisted by vice chairman Rhoderick Torres and a host of team members from the central office and chief agrarian reform program officers from regional and provincial offices nationwide.
The joint DAR-World Bank composite team is tasked to assess the following aspects:
· Support services needed by ARB Organizations (ARBOs), clustered agrarian reform communities, and forestry people’s organizations;
· Extension services, such as technology transfer, farmers’ fields, and business schools;
· Accessibility and availability of inputs and machinery, pest control, and the like;
· Business development and planning
· Land tenure legal services – fair land negotiations and transactions;
· Access to market information;
· Access to funds; and
· Access to agriculture insurance.
On the other hand, the gap and needs analysis focuses on the following:
· Desk review of reports and publications on support services to ARBs;
· Data analytics of ARB survey data, which include basic information on current support services received; and
· Focus group discussions with ARBs, central/regional/provincial staff of agencies providing support services; agriculture-based civil society organizations; financial institutions; private and business sectors, farmers’ organizations, and other stakeholders.
The output of the study will be presented to the World Bank Task Team and the DAR management for review and proper action.
The SPLIT project, courtesy of the World Bank, was launched in January 2020. It seeks to parcelize Collective Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CCLOAs) to enable each member of ARBOs to take full ownership and possession of his or her share of farm lots, harness it according to his or her wishes, and direct his or her future.