by April Pearl Naguita August 24, 2021
On December 16, 2020, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) XI led by RM Jimmy L. Apostol held a Groundbreaking and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) Signing for the IA (Irrigators’ Association) Model Farm Project under the EPAHP Program in Batinao, New Bataan, Davao de Oro. The IA recipient, the Batinao, Cabacungan, Sto Nino Irrigators Farmers Association (BACASIFIA), Inc. received from the partnership a 2,500sqm-area of Model Farm equipped with pumps and water tanks comprising the drip irrigation system with a 24x20 meter-greenhouse for a total project cost of Php 1Million.
EPAHP is an offshoot and intensified form of the Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP), a program with a framework to mitigate hunger, ensure food and nutrition security, and reduce poverty through the convergence of different government agencies to directly benefit family farms, farmer organizations, and marginalized sectors of the country.
Partner agencies namely the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP), Compostela Valley State College (CVSC), and the Local Government units at the provincial, municipal and barangay levels were also present in the Groundbreaking and MOA Signing whose commitment was to provide capability building in the aspects of crops selection, technology, management, marketing, and other assistance to the IA.
As maybe recalled, last year, the Institutional Development Section (IDS) of the Region headed by Lani M. Sumabat conducted a screening to determine the recipient IA, to which IDS at the IMO level submitted their nominees. With criteria to meet, the Davao de Oro IMO’s nominee, BACASIFIA under IA President Caraciolo O. Jaso was chosen, who was the same recipient for the 2018 Most Outstanding IA for the Department of Agriculture Rice Achievers Award of PHp1Million, and Most Outstanding IA 1st Runner-up under the NIA Regular Search in 2017.
The BACASIFIA has already reaped their first harvest of lettuce on July 19, 2021, and expected another round of harvests for crops such as eggplant, tomato and ampalaya. Based on the need identified by the IA themselves, the model farm project is directed towards their women who need such livelihood support and can best sustain the management for the undertaking.
The BACASIFIA Model Farm is NIA XI’s first model farm under EPAHP which, in this respect, trained and immersed the beneficiaries into diversified farming by introducing production technologies through the provision of capitalization, and capability building, aspects where rural-based groups typically have constraints on. Fulfilling the purpose of EHPAP, the Model Farm in the long run aims to provide the IA:
(i) Sustenance of foods on their table; and
(ii) Alternative source of income while waiting for rice harvest.
NIA XI through its IMOs is helping different IAs through model farms with different mechanisms under EPAHP throughout the region.