MUSUAN, Maramag, Bukidnon —BTL farmers’ organization president Winnie Loable of Musuan, Dologon, Maramag town thanked the government as they finally received their ‘farmer accreditation certificates’ from the Department of Agriculture in region 10 (DA 10) that would qualify them as beneficiaries of the government’s Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
“Dako among pasalamat nga ang ‘BUFFALO, TAMARAW, LIMUS (BTL)’ ug ‘BTL Multipurpose Cooperative’ na-accredit na isip grupo sa mga mag-uuma tungod kay pwede na mi makadawat ug hinabang sa gobyerno pinaagi sa Department of Agriculture sa Region 10. (We are grateful that the BUFFALO, TAMARAW, LIMUS and BTL MPC is now an accredited farmers’ organization because this would qualify us to receive government assistance through the Department of Agriculture in Region 10),” Loable said.
Aside from being accredited as DA’s partner in agri-related initiatives, the Bukidnon Free Farmers Agricultural Laborers Organization (BUFFALO), Tried Agricultural Movers Association of Rural Active Workers (TAMARAW), and Land Tiller Inhabitants of Musuan (LIMUS)—otherwise known as BTL—also received their accreditation certifying them as legit farmers’ cooperative operating under the trademark “BTL Multipurpose Cooperative.”
The accreditation was issued after the group has satisfactorily complied with all the requirements to be a beneficiary of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) program or Rice Fund, pursuant to DA Administrative Order No. 09 of 2019.
The three-year validity accreditation provides the said farmers’ group access to government services and become partners of the department in its agriculture-related initiatives.
Being enlisted in the Registry System for Basic Agriculture (RSBA) and accredited by DA would mean the program recipients are legitimate farmers.
Created through R.A 11203 or Rice Tariffication Law, RCEF is a government program, which aims to help farmers through the P10 billion tariff collection from rice imports covering seed, machinery, credit, and extension support to improve the competitiveness of the Filipino rice farmers.
Bukidnon third district Representative Manuel F. Zubiri, who graced the turnover ceremony, said that the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) executed between Central Mindanao University (CMU) and BTL affirmed the end of the 33-year conflict.
The MOA states that CMU will help facilitate partnership with DA and other national government agencies in sourcing assistance to help alleviate the life of informal settlers.
Loable added, “Kami nalipay, kining tungora magsugod na ug lambo ang pang-ekonomiya ug pang-uma sa mga mag-uuma tungod kay naa nay tabang ang atong gobyerno. (We are happy because with the government’s help, our farming and economic progress starts without delay).”
Aside from its accreditation, BTL also received 500 bags of inbred certified rice seeds worth P760,000 from DA-RFO 10 in support to farmers utmost desire to attain high rice production through high quality and resilient agricultural inputs.
BTL is tilling 400 hectares rice area in CMU with around 400 farmer-members.
“It is DA’s commitment to provide agricultural interventions to the farmers’ group,” said DA-10 Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado.
The DA-Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (DA-PhilMech) will also provide access to farm rice mechanization program to reduce post-harvest losses aside from increasing their productivity.
Meanwhile, CMU President Jesus Antonio Derije said this is part of the University’s social responsibility and humanitarian considerations as it prioritized agricultural research, extension, and production for total community development.
Congressman Zubiri said that basic goods and services, which include potable water and electricity, will be provided to improve people’s lives in the BTL community.
TAMARAW President Joven Jugos and Evaresto Forten of LIMUS also expressed their gratitude and optimism saying that for the first time they have availed of the government’s services, aside from being recognized as legitimate farmers. (DA 10/PIA Bukidnon)