AGUSAN DEL NORTE – In the attainment of their goal to eradicate poverty while protecting the environment, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga, through its Sustainable Livelihood Program, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – Region XIII, granted seven (7) people’s organizations (POs) in Buenavista, Las Nieves, and Butuan City, Agusan del Norte with various agroforestry livelihood projects.

Consorcia Agroforestry Farmers Association (CAFA) and Ibuan Agroforestry Farmers Association (IBAFA) in Las Nieves, received Rubber Cuplumps Trading Projects, individually. While the Balungagan Farmers Association Inc. (BAFAI) was granted with a Falcata Trading Project. In Butuan City, Barangay Dulag Organic Farmers Association Inc. (BDOFAI), Manila de Bugabus Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MMPC), and Bitan-agan United Farmers Association Inc. (BUFAI) received Cacao Production and Cacao Beans Trading Projects, separately.

While in Buenavista, the Simbalan Rubber Farmers Association Inc. (SRFAI) received a Coffee Shop Project.

A view of the interior part of the Buenas Coffee at Barangay Simbalan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. The Buenas Coffee is the coffee shop project granted by the DSWD-SLP and DENR to the Simbalan Rubber Farmers Association Inc.

The implementation of these projects is the two agencies’ goal to alleviate poverty and improve the living condition of poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged areas, while safeguarding and preserving the environment.

Before the turnover and implementation of these projects, DSWD and DENR thoroughly researched and studied the viability of these agroforestry projects. DSWD-SLP focused on the market feasibility, while DENR ensured that the environment is kept protected and conserved once the projects were implemented. On top of these, the agencies also aimed to maximize the resources available in the area and promote it to the community.

SRFAI Chairperson Primo Paring expressed his elation and gratitude to the agencies and promised that they will work hard and nurture the Coffee Shop Project given to them.

Malaki ang aking pasasalamat sa ahensya ng DSWD at DENR para sa proyektong ito. Habang kami ay nabubuhay, aming pinapangako na aalagaan namin ang proyektong ito at sisiguraduhing lalago ito(We are very grateful to the DSWD and DENR for this project. While we are still alive, we promise to take good care of this project and make sure that this becomes successful),” Paring said.

A member of the Consorcia Agroforestry Farmers Association blissfully raises the ribbon after the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

These projects are a result of the memorandum of agreement signed by the DSWD and the DENR on December 14, 2018. In this partnership, an amount of PHP20M was allotted to fund 24 people’s organizations in the Caraga region and grant these associations with various agroforestry livelihood projects such as Rubber Cuplumps Trading, Cacao Production and Cacao Beans Trading, Falcata Trading, Abaca Processing and Trading, Mudcrabs Production and Fattening, Bangus Production, Danggit Production and Processing, Coffee Production and Processing, and Coffee Shop Establishment.

In DSWD, it is the Sustainable Livelihood Program delegated to head the implementation of the agroforestry livelihood projects.

The Sustainable Livelihood Program is a capacity-building program for poor, vulnerable, and marginalized communities to improve their socio-economic conditions by providing them with access to livelihood opportunities.#

The DSWD-SLP and DENR leads the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the project turnover of the Cacao Production Project to the Bitan-agan United Farmers Association at Barangay Bitan-agan, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte. They were also joined by the representatives from the Local Government Unit of Butuan City and Barangay Local Government Unit of Bitan-agan.
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