E. Visayas ARB-entrepreneurs sell products in exclusive fair

At least 56 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) turned entrepreneurs in Eastern Visayas on Thursday joined the four-day trade fair exclusively for them to showcase and find partners to promote their products.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is eyeing PHP2 million sales at the Robinsons Place Tacloban in a fair anchored on the theme “Hanap-Yaman sa Kanayunan” being held June 9 to 12, which is also part of the 34th anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

“To celebrate CARP’s 34th anniversary, we decided to hold a fair exclusive for agrarian reform beneficiaries. We have invited institutional buyers to drop by the fair. We hope that they will be able to link partnership with them,” said DTI Eastern Visayas Regional Director Celerina Bato said in an interview.

Among the products available are butter cookies, toasted bread, bukayo (sweetened coconut strips), banana chips, sweet potato chips, coconut vinegar, coco peat, mats, bags, coco shell-based products, noodles, tablea (a ball of ground-up cacao beans), dried fish, and handicrafts.

Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Eastern Visayas Regional Director Robert Anthony Yu thanked the DTI for assisting ARBs in developing and promoting local products.

“Their products are not anymore raw with the proper labeling and packaging. They’re not just farmers, they are entrepreneurs. It is now more marketable with the help of DTI, realizing the other mandate of the DAR under CARP to support the farmers and help raise their income,” Yu said during the opening.

CARP is the redistribution of private and public agricultural lands to help the beneficiaries survive as small independent farmers.

Yu explained that the CARP is also regarded as a complete program as it does not end in the distribution of agricultural lands to landless farmers, but it also provides simultaneously various forms of support services -- basic rural infrastructures, livelihood and entrepreneurial skills, and farm technology transfer, among others, to make the farmlands more productive.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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