The Department of Agriculture–Cordillera (DA-CAR) recently conducted a capability building training for Farm and Fisheries Clustering and Consolidation (F2C2) program in Baguio City recently.
The training aimed to capacitate the staff, regional technical working group, and agricultural extension workers (AEWs) for the overall implementation of F2C2 in the region, especially for the preparation of the cluster development plan (CDP).
The representatives from across the region learned the different tools that will help them in the implementation of the program and the creation of CDP, including organizational profiling and diagnosis, resource mapping, situational analysis, strategic planning, and enterprise assessment.
The participants were also updated on the capacity development plan, formation and composition of the site working group, documentation of production practices, creation of production modules, and the basic concepts of the Agro-Enterprise Clustering Approach.
Regional F2C2 focal person Crissa Genice Datic explained that the program is part of the strategic thrusts under the “Eight Paradigms to Level Up Agriculture.” Accordingly, the agriculture department seeks to mobilize policy action, generate technical and financial resources, and galvanize public and private sector support towards F2C2 as its core development strategy.
“The program is a strategy and will work closely with other banner programs of the agency. The strategies will be implemented in the different clusters identified by the banner program,” Datic said.
DA-CAR’s five banner programs are high-value crops, organic agriculture, rice, corn, and livestock.
Datic further explained that the region is in dire need of creating a CDP through the guidelines of the DA Central Office’s Memorandum Circular no. 21-2022. The plan will serve as a framework for the implementation of farm clustering in the region for the next five years.
Meanwhile, Field Operations Division Chief Virgina Tapat explained the relationship between the Province-led Agriculture and Fisheries Extension System (PAFES) and the Collaborative Provincial Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Programs (CPAFEP) to F2C2 and CDP.
The main framework of PAFES is CPAFEP, while the framework of F2C2 is CDP. According to Tapat, PAFES and CPAFEP is just like F2C2 and CDP, but they focus on macro-level provincial agriculture development.
On the other hand, F2C2 and CPD concentrate on micro-level farm clusters with a grassroots approach. LGUs must prioritize their commodity needs and their budget with the guidance of these plans.
Tapat also clarified that the creation of these strategies and plans would prepare the LGUs for the devolution, as stated in the Mandanas-Garcia ruling. This means that all the matters on agricultural development, especially the capacity building of farmers and AEWs, would become the responsibility of the local government.
In retrospect, DA Administrative Order 27 was signed in 2020 to adopt farm and fishery clustering. Its goal is to efficiently channel agricultural assistance such as credit, modern production methods, farm machinery, post-harvest and program facilities, transport and logistics, packaging support, as well as information and communication technologies, to farm and fishery clusters. By JBPeralta