Sunday, July 21News That Matters

DA Forms 39 Farm Clusters in Eastern Visayas to Boost Agricultural Production

TACLOBAN CITY—The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Eastern Visayas recently announced the formation of 39 farm clusters across the region. This marks a significant step forward in implementing the Farm and Fisheries Consolidation and Clustering (F2C2) program, which aims to enhance production and foster sustainable agricultural practices in the area.

Rodel Macapañas, the Chief of the DA’s Eastern Visayas Field Operations Division, revealed in a phone interview that over half of the validated farm clusters are located in Leyte province, with the remainder distributed across Samar and Southern Leyte provinces. These clusters encompass a diverse range of agricultural activities, including the cultivation of major crops such as corn and rice and the production of high-value crops, livestock, organic agriculture, and enterprises supported by the Philippine Rural Development Project.

Farm Clusters in Eastern Visayas
Rice farming

“The establishment of these clusters is a strategic move towards enhancing our agricultural sector’s overall efficiency and productivity,” remarked Macapañas. He emphasized the importance of crafting comprehensive cluster development plans that address various aspects of the agricultural value chain, including marketing, production, organizational development, and financing.

The formation of farm clusters aligns with Administrative Order No. 27 Series of 2020 and Memorandum Circular No. 21 Series of 2022, which advocate for mainstreaming, promoting, and supporting clustering and consolidation among farmer and fisher groups to transform them into sustainable business enterprises. By consolidating resources and expertise, the F2C2 program aims to achieve economies of scale, foster stronger linkages between producers and markets, enhance bargaining power, and improve access to credit and financing opportunities.

In addition to these benefits, clustered farms will receive various forms of assistance to enhance their productivity and competitiveness. This includes access to scholarships and distance learning programs to equip farmers with relevant knowledge and skills. Furthermore, integrating modern communication and information technologies, such as drones, will improve production efficiency and management practices.

The establishment of farm clusters holds significant promise for the agricultural landscape of Eastern Visayas, offering a platform for smallholder farmers and fisherfolk to collaborate, innovate, and thrive in a rapidly evolving market environment. By pooling resources and knowledge, these clusters have the potential to unlock new opportunities for growth and development, ultimately contributing to the region’s food security and economic prosperity.

The DA remains committed to supporting the development of farm clusters and facilitating their integration into the broader agricultural ecosystem. Through collaborative efforts and strategic investments, the F2C2 program seeks to create a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable agricultural sector in Eastern Visayas and beyond.

This initiative underscores the government’s dedication to promoting agricultural modernization and rural development. It ensures that farming communities can harness their full potential and contribute to the nation’s overall progress and prosperity.

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