BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) continues its commendable progress in the development of farm clusters in the region.
During the cluster development plan (CDP) presentation and capacitation training on Sept. 20-22, 2023 in Baguio City, representatives from various farm clusters spanning six provinces, along with their local government officials, convened to showcase their CDPs.
To fully realize the objectives of the farm and fishery clustering and consolidation (F2C2) program, the clusters must first establish their CDPs. Crissa Genice Datic, F2C2 regional focal person, shared that in the initial phase of F2C2 implementation, DA-CAR conducted a series of workshops across the region, engaging clusters from different provinces and municipalities to craft their CDPs.
This capacitation activity marks the second phase of CDP preparation, where the farm clusters of the different major commodities such as rice, corn, highland vegetables, coffee, sugarcane, fisheries, and livestock presented their CDPs, focusing on their identified needs and their upgrading plans, to the regional technical working group. Furthermore, the clusters engaged in breakout sessions, offering in-depth feedback and suggestions to enhance their CDPs.
As part of the capacity-building training, DA-CAR invited Marsha Pasong from the Department of Trade and Industry-Cordillera to conduct an entrepreneurial mind-setting seminar. Likewise, Yeng Taneo from the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) provided insights on the Kadiwa financial grant assistance program.
Datic also shared her findings from a recent trip to China, where she benchmarked best practices from farmer cooperatives and industry clustering know-how. These discussions yielded valuable insights, enabling participants to enhance their CDPs.
In her message, Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation Division Chief Susan Balanza stressed the importance of including not only DA resources but also those from other government agencies and the private sector in their CDPs.
Balanza also emphasized the need for farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) within specific clusters to be accredited as civil society organizations, and their members to be registered with the Registry System for the Basic Sector in Agriculture.
Concluding the event, AMAD Agribusiness Promotion Section Chief Jocelyn Beray urged participants to remain patient and diligent in refining their CDPs, as these plans serve as the foundation for essential interventions.
The creation of the CDP, as mandated by the DA Memorandum Circular no. 21-2022, will serve as a framework for the implementation of farm clustering in the region for the next five years. JBPeralta