MUSUAN, Maramag, Bukidnon, June 19 – “Dako among pasalamat nga ang BUFFALO, TAMARAW, LIMUS ug BTL MPC na accredit na nga mag-uuma, pwede nami makadawat ug mga hinabang sa gobyerno pinaagi sa Department of Agriculture sa Region 10.

[We are grateful that the BUFFALO, LIMUS and BTL MPC is now an accredited farmer that qualify us to receive government assistance through the Department of Agriculture in Region 10.]

Said Winnie L. Loable, President of Bukidnon Free Farmers Agricultural Laborer Organization (BUFFALO) after receiving the farmer accreditation of BUFFALO, Tried Agricultural Movers Association of Rural Active Workers (TAMARAW), Land Tiller Inhabitants of Musuan (LIMUS), otherwise known as BTL, including the BTL Multipurpose Cooperative from the Department of Agriculture (DA).

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) or Rice Fund, pursuant to DA Administrative Order No. 09, series of 2019.

The three-year validity accreditation provides access of government services of the farmer-group.

Being enlisted in the Registry System for Basic Agriculture (RSBSA) and accredited by the DA would mean that the recipients of the program are legitimate farmers.

Accreditation provides easy access for the farmers and their groups to become partners of the department in its agriculture-related initiatives.

Created through RA 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 MOA executed between Central Mindanao University (CMU) and BTL affirmed the end of the 33-years conflict.

The MOA states that the 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 that this is the start of the economic and farming progress with the government’s assistance.]

Aside from its accreditation, BTL also received 500 bags inbred certified rice seeds worth P760,000 from DA-RFO 10 in support 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 agri interventions to the farmer group,” said DA-10 OIC Regional Executive 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 G. Derije mentioned, as part of the social responsibility of the university and humanitarian considerations, it also prioritized research, extension and production for total community development.

Rep. Zubiri added that basic goods and services which include potable water and electricity will be installed to improve the life of BTL.

TAMARAW President Joven M. Jugos and Evaresto Forten of LIMUS expressed their gratitude and optimism, for the first time they availed government services aside from being recognized as legitimate farmers.#(ATCabig)