September 26, 2002
DAR MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 07-02
SUBJECT : Guidelines for the Establishment of Farmers' Bayanihan Center for Rural
I. Background and Rationale
Under the Macapagal-Arroyo Administration, the battle against poverty continues and seeks victory within the decade. At present, majority of the poor are in the rural areas and are engaged in subsistence farming and fishing. The agriculture and fisheries sector accounts for half of the population and 77 percent of the poor. To reduce poverty and to extend the opportunities of the new economy to the rural countryside, the Administration is committed to a comprehensive rural development based on productivity improvement, asset distribution, modernized and socially equitable agriculture and fisheries sector.
The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), an asset reform program is concerned with transferring of lands to the landless farmers or provision of secured tenure rights to individual farmers to correct the historical injustices committed against them since the Spanish colonization. Land tenure improvement is recognized as an essential step in promoting the dual objectives of increasing food production and promoting wider distribution of the benefits of agrarian progress. It also serves as the basis for the character of agricultural development and a necessary condition for rural progress.
Aside from land tenure improvement, CARP is also concerned with the transformation of institutions and structures, modification of a wide range of conditions affecting agricultural sector and provision of essential support services to the new farm owners. The essential support services include measure of raising land productivity, institutional credit, cooperatives and organizations formation and strengthening, extension, local capacity trainings, physical infrastructure facilities construction and market accessing and linkages.
The CARP covers 8.06 million hectares, which represents 80 percent of the arable lands of the country. With the Department of Agrarian Reform's distribution of 4.29 million hectares to the three million farm households, the program will benefit 15 million persons or 52 percent of those dependent on agriculture. Under the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), the Department's contribution to poverty reduction target is to move the 1.8 million farmers beyond poverty thresholds in a sustained manner.
To fast track the improvement of farm productivity and develop the capability of farmers to become efficient agricultural producers and entrepreneurs, the DAR in 1993, adopted the agrarian reform community (ARC) approach to program beneficiaries development (PBD). The ARC Development Program (ARCDP) was launched to usher in an era of accelerated and sustained national growth through a people-centered, and area-focused approach in community development. The program involves provision of integrated development interventions on land tenure improvement (LTI) and program beneficiaries development (PBD) in selected ARCs.
At the end of CY 2001, the Department has launched 1,415 ARCs nationwide covering 5,098 barangays in 1,002 municipalities or an area coverage of 1.15 million hectares, which is 35% of the total distributed lands by DAR. These ARCs cover 695,363 ARBs, or 24% of the 3.0 million ARBs.
With the challenges ahead, the DAR under the present administration realizes the need to enhance the ARCDP to improve the delivery of support services to the ARBs and cater to the needs of farmers outside the ARCS. Thus, in CY 2002, the Bayanihan Agrarian Reform Zone Development Program (BARZDP) was conceptualized to rationalize, integrate and institutionalize the delivery of support services to ARBs as well as to other farmers by expanding the area-coverage through integration of the ARCs and adjacent CARP areas into viable economic agrarian reform zone or Bayan-Anihan Agrarian Reform Zone (BARZone).
The extension services and technology promotion, an essential sub-component of the Sustainable Area-Based Rural Enterprise Development (SARED) component of the BARZDP can be provided through the Farmers Bayanihan Center for Rural Development (FBCRD). The FBCRD can serve as a convergence center and a venue of the various extension services and technology promotion programs and personnel of different agencies such as the CARP Implementing Agencies, Local Government Units, DOST-PCARRD, TESDA, PCA, DA-ATI, State Universities and Colleges, Non-government Organizations and People's Organizations. Ultimately, the FBCRD, as a program support mechanism to BARZDP can contribute to the creation of a comprehensive foundation for broad-based and sustained agriculture modernization.
II. Guiding Principles
In responding to the extension and technology requirements of the BARZones, the Farmers Bayanihan Center for Rural Development shall be guided by the principles of sustainability:
• Shared responsibility and accountability for technical and financial resources among partners from the government, civil society organizations, business sector and farmers organizations in the BARZones;
• Implementation of distinct and complementary agricultural extension programs/projects of different stakeholders beneficial to ARBs and communities in the BARZones that will yield greater impact on rural development;
• Forge collaboration and build solidarities across sectors and among different interest groups and partners to harness the full potentials of the countryside as a foundation for sustainable and equitable national development; and
• Continuous resource mobilization and efficient utilization of government and partners' scarce resources.
III. Farmers Bayanihan Center for Rural Development (FBCRD) Framework
A. What is a Farmers Bayanihan Center for Rural Development?
• A provincial or sub-regional center to rationalize, integrate and institutionalize the provision of agricultural extension services and technology promotion to ensure the increased in productivity and income of the ARBs in the BARZones;
• An extension center for learning, harnessing and exchange of knowledge, skills and behaviors between and among farmers and rural development practitioners concerned with achieving common goals of sustained rural development and agricultural modernization.
• A resource library or "knowledge capture" where the farmers' wealth of experience and learning are to be documented and kept for easy access and use by other ARBs, farmers and stakeholders.
• A center for convergence that shall rationalize, integrate and institutionalize the development interventions and initiatives of various stakeholders concerned in improving agricultural productivity, establishment of viable area-based rural enterprises to significantly raise the farmers' household incomes.
• An existing rural development service-oriented institution(s) as partner in enhancing the quality of life of the farmers
B. FBCRD Goal
To rationalize, integrate and institutionalize the delivery of agricultural extension services and technology promotion at the provincial level to contribute to the attainment of food security, agriculture modernization and reduction of poverty among farmers in the BARZones.
C. FBCRD Objectives
The Farmers Bayanihan Center for Rural Development shall initially serve the 1.8 million farmers by 2004 and 3 million ARBs by 2008 to address the essential required agricultural extension and technology transfer support services of the ARBs and communities in the Bayan-Anihan Agrarian Reform Zones.
Specifically, the FBCRD aims to:
1. Forge partnership with State Universities and Colleges, government and private rural development institutions toward the establishment of a provincial agricultural technology and training service provider center;
2. Provide training, information and education to build and enhance the local capacity, agricultural production and rural enterprise development of farmers in the BARZones;
3. Assist in the establishment and development of area-based rural enterprises that will ensure food sufficiency, increase production and income;
4. Serve as resource information center for easy access of ARBs, government agencies, civil society organizations and business sector; and
5. Serve as a venue for planning, assessment, and sharing of experiences among the farmers, rural development practitioners and other stakeholders in the province.
D. FBCRD Components and Services
The FBCRD shall maximize the utilization of rural development service-oriented institutions that are strategically located and accessible to the farmers of the BARZones. The existing facilities of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), TESDA, DOST-PCARRD, DA-ATI, PCA and other research/training institutes with strong extension services shall serve as the Farmers Bayanihan Center for Rural Development, where convergence of agricultural extension services and technology promotion can be extended, primarily, to farmers, DAR personnel and other stakeholders.
The FBCRD shall provide extension services depending on the resources and expertise of the partners. The support services can be provided singly or in combination of the following:
1. Human resource development. — Provide capability-building training and educational activities to farmers in the BARZones and to other key institutional players like the DAR personnel, local government units, and civil society representatives. It shall focus on but will not be limited to knowledge and skills enhancement and development on agricultural technology production, processing and marketing of variety of crops where the BARZones have high competitive advantage.
Capability building and strengthening activities of the farmers and key institutional players shall also center on developing among others: i) the capacities and roles of the key farmers organizations in accessing of resources and services and provision services to its members and other farmers in the locality; ii) the ability of the farmers and their organizations to plan, implement and monitor their development plans in a sustained manner and advocate the adoption of these plans with other groups within and outside the ARCs and BARZones; iii) the organizational, managerial and entrepreneurial capability of farmers organizations towards a more effective and sustainable management of human, community resources and rural enterprise operations; and iv) the institutional capacity of the DAR, LGUs, civil society organizations, and business sector in order to effectively and efficiently provide services and assistance to the farmers in a more coordinated and sustained manner.
Basically, the knowledge and skills to be developed will center on how to manage and facilitate the operationalization of the extension work and agricultural technology promotion activities, social infrastructure building and enterprise operations and management.
Considering the relevance and importance of ensuring the raising of the consciousness (Kamalayan) of the farmers and key players in the BARZones through human resource development, the FBCRD shall serve as a Kabayanihan office and avenue for coordinating the extension services of the different rural development players.
2. Agriculture and enterprise technology. — Provide the latest agriculture production and enterprise (on-farm and off-farm) improvement technologies through education and training with assistance from a pool of experts, students or technicians. It shall provide training and technical assistance to networks of ARCS, Non-ARCs and BARZones and key institutional players focus on technological aspect of on-farm and off-farm production, post-harvest handling and processing of specific crops or diversified crops, livestock and aqua culture production through formal sessions, technology acquisition, demonstrations and practicum. Technical assistance shall also be provided on credit accessing, market linkaging such as E-Commerce and project proposal development to ensure wider adoption of the agricultural production and enterprise technologies.
3. Information technology. — Document latest agri-production technology and experiences of ARBs and disseminate information to various stakeholders, both locally and internationally. It shall develop information and education materials and information and management systems.
E. The Key Institutional Players
1. State Universities and Colleges (SUCs). — The SUCs shall play a crucial role in the provision of production technology through applied researches and demonstration farms both for on-farm and off-farm farming systems. The on-farm production technologies may be in irrigated and unirrigated farms focused on major and minor crops, livestock, poultry and fisheries production. Off-farm technologies that are value adding include processing and milling. Results of applied research in the experimental farms of the SUCs can be disseminated and replicated on farmers' fields and in the communities. The SUCs can extend technical and extension services to ARBs in their communities through their pool of experts and students of the SUCs.
The SUCs can also play a pivotal role in the development of the over-all agricultural development plan of the communities and the provinces to ensure balanced supply and demand of agricultural produce and setting up of agro-industries. This is important to ensure application of appropriate farming systems to command good prices of the produce and effectively respond to the demand-led production system of the globally competitive market.
2. Government Agencies. — Many government agencies have training centers like the, DOST-PCARRD, Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), TESDA, TLRC, DTI, DA-ATI that can serve as venues for formal training, planning and assessment sessions related to on-farm, off-farm and non-farm technologies. Moreover, these agencies have existing extension related programs and researches, personnel and facilities that may be pooled and delivered through the FBCRDs in order to integrate, rationalize and institutionalize the delivery of support extension services the farmers in the BARZones. With the pooling of resources and expertise of various agencies, the FBCRD shall be able to respond to the needs of the farmers and key institutional players more effectively and efficiently.
3. Non-government organizations and Agri-business Farms. — They can serve as partners in technology production and as learning laboratories catering to farmers like the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center, the Shell Training Farm in Naga City and Benguet, Nestle Coffee Farm in Davao Norte, among others.
The key players' involvement can be categorized into on-farm and off-farm services and expertise. What is important is to identify the common opportunity window for working together where convergence of resources, facilities and expertise can be marshaled for the benefit of the network of farmers in the BARZones.
4. Konsehong Bayan para sa Bayan-Anihan (Kabayanihan)
The Konsehong Bayan para sa Bayan-Anihan or Kabayanihan as partnership mechanism of various key players in agrarian reform and rural development shall serve as an oversight body. The Konsehong Bayan para sa Bayan-Anihan can assist in creating the conducive environment, setting direction and providing technical support for the operationalization of the FBCRD in the BARZones.
IV. FBCRD Implementation and Management
A. Phases of Development of the Center
Based on the protect development and management cycle, the Center shall be implemented in three phases: Pre-Implementation, Implementation and Management and Post-Implementation Phase.
1. Pre-implementation phase
a. Updating of PARDP/MARDP and Development of BARZone Development Plan. — The implementation of the FBRCD shall be anchored on the Provincial and Municipal Agrarian Reform Development Plans (PARDP/MARDP), and BARZone Development Plan. These plans shall define the contribution of FBRCD as a support program in the BARZone. Specifically, the plans can help in defining the characteristics of the FBCRD to be established, magnitude of activities to be undertaken, resources and expertise required to complement the implementation of the SARED component of the BARZDP.
In provinces where BARZones are already identified and launched, the BARZDP shall be prepared prior to the identification and establishment of the FBCRD.
b. Scanning of Centers and Partners. — The DAR Regional and Provincial field offices shall select the appropriate centers and partners taking into consideration their strategic location, geographical coverage, expertise, and resources congruent with the operationalization of the SARED component of the BARZones. A Stakeholders Analysis shall be conducted to determine the windows of opportunity for the partnership in lined with the DAR's Bayan-Anihan thrust and directions.
This activity is crucial in charting the partnership work to achieve the desired results of increasing productivity and income of the farmers and contributing to the overall goal of improving the rural economy. The Stakeholders Analysis will be able to define existing programs of the DAR and other agencies, which are foreign and locally assisted. To avoid raising of expectations and implementation of FBCRD dependent on budget not yet available, FBCRD shall be operationalized and be guided by the principles of building on what we have, collective planning, provision and mobilization of extension services through volunteerism and cost-sharing.
An orientation, consultations and meetings shall be conducted to define the nature and scope of partnership.
c. Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing. — A MOA shall be signed between the partner institutions and DAR. The MOA shall spell out the rationale, scope and coverage behind the partnership, the roles and responsibilities and cost-sharing arrangement of the partners.
d. FBCRD Strategic and Operations Planning. — Based on the PARDP/MARDP, BARZDP, ALDA and existing reports of the Department, which reflect the concrete needs and assistance requirements of the ARCs, Non-ARCs and Bayan-Anihan Zone and congruent with the DAR thrust and directions, a strategic and operations planning shall be conducted. The Strategic Plan shall define the external and internal environment where the FBCRD is located, the strategies to be employed and the five-year development plan. The Strategic Plan shall ensure maximum utilization and complementation of expertise and resources of the various key players in order to integrate and rationalize the delivery of extension services in the BARZones.
Once, the strategic plan has been completed, operations planning shall be conducted to pinpoint the activities to be conducted, cost sharing scheme and timeframe for the calendar year. The operations plan is important to ensure its incorporation in the annual physical and financial plans of partners to generate appropriate funding support and accountabilities.
2. Implementation Phase
The implementation phase shall operationalize the delivery of agricultural extension services and technology promotion or the Center as defined in the FBCRD Strategic Plan and Operations Plan.
Built-in the Strategic Plan is the conduct of periodic review and planning sessions to ascertain the level of accomplishments, assessments of facilitating and hindering factors in the implementation phase, learning and insights which can be shared with other farmers in the different BARZones and other stakeholders and re-planning of activities to be conducted to ensure achievements of results.
3. Post-implementation Phase
The post-implementation phase may be a phasing out period for DAR's active interventions but not necessarily for the ARBs and farmers and the partners in the BARZones. The FBCRD may ultimately be a permanent partner of the farmers to sustain their growth and development. It may also mean a movement to a higher level of development wherein farmers are cost-sharing or paying for the services of the Centers. It may also lead to expansion of services to cater to emerging needs of the BARZones. Likewise, the LGU may take the lead role in sustaining the operations of the Center as part of its mandate for agricultural extension.
B. Coordinative Structure
The DAR, through its respective Regional and Provincial offices shall initiate the identification and establishment of the FBCRD. The partnership will be formalized through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to be executed between the DAR and party/ies involved, specifically the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), TESDA, DA-ATI, PCA, DOST-PCARRD, Local government units, civil society organizations, and the business sector.
The Centers shall be operationalized and managed through principled partnership by a team coming from the participating institutions. The coordinative structure shall be decided and defined by the partners to warrant the implementation of the FBCRD Strategic Development Plan and Operations Plan.
V. Monitoring and Evaluation
The monitoring and evaluation of the FBCRD implementation shall be in accordance with existing system of the Department. On a quarterly basis, accomplishment report shall be submitted to Central Office, which forms part of the PBD report to be submitted to the Bureau of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development (BARBD).
VI. DAR Website (www.dar.gov.ph)
The DAR website shall serve as a communication and exchange network of information between and among the Centers, the national, regional and provincial offices, SUCs, farmer groups and the publics. The website shall also serve as source of information, for various stakeholders who may wish to be updated on the services provided, latest agricultural production technologies promoted by the Centers and the overall contribution of the FBCRD in the BARZone, in particular and in Bayan-Anihan CARP implementation, in general.
The funding for the establishment of the FBCRD shall be cost-shared by the different partners. No special fund shall be provided since this will form part of the regular ARBD fund released to the field offices.
This Memorandum Circular shall take effect immediately.
26 September 2002, Diliman, Quezon City.
(SGD.) HERNANI A. BRAGANZA