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NegOcc ARBs showcase products in agripreneurial expo

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By Erwin Nicavera (PNA)

BACOLOD CITY -- Farmer beneficiaries in Negros Occidental are showcasing their agricultural products in the week-long Agrarian Agripreneurial Expo 2019 to mark the 31st year of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The activity, held at Ayala Malls Capitol Central here until June 30, is hosted by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Negros Occidental-South.

Being sold are food products such as muscovado, sinamak, coffee, oatmeal cookies, taro and carrot chips, fresh fruits, virgin coconut oil, and personal care items like moisturizing soap.

Provincial agrarian reform program officer Teresita Mabunay said Tuesday the agency extends its services to post-land distribution as part of the program’s holistic approach to help alleviate the lives of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and provide them a better and financially-stable future.

“Let it be known that CARP implementation does not end with the distribution of lands to the landless farmers,” she added.

Mabunay noted the agency is mandated to deliver a more responsive and integrated package of support services to the ARBs and their organizations needed to make the land become productive.

Negros Occidental has the largest land reform area in the country. As of 2018, a total of 187,677 hectares of land have been distributed in the province since the program started in 1988.

Meanwhile, the ARB organizations participating in the expo were identified through the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development and Sustainability Program, formerly called Program Beneficiaries Development Division.

Some of them are recipients of various DAR programs such as the Village Level Farm-Focused Enterprise Development and LinkSFarm.

Mabunay urged Negrenses to support local farmers by visiting the expo and purchasing their goods.

During the expo, a film on the success stories of various ARB organizations, highlighting their struggles and accomplishments, is also being shown.

The DAR Negros Occidental-South has also set up a consultation desk to address inquiries about the land reform program and its support services.