MARBUT, Samar – OIC-Secretary Rosalina Bistoyong of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) was impressed how the various agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) in Eastern Visayas rise four years after super typhoon Yolanda devastated this region.
Bistoyong was amazed by the income earned by the Legaspi Fishermen and Farmers Association (LEFFA) since 2015 as reflected in the latter’s production board that welcomed her during her recent visit to selected ARBOs in Leyte and Samar who were recipient of DAR’s assistance to hardest hit areas in Region-8.
LEFFA’s income on vermicast production alone reached more than ₱200K during the said period.
This coastal municipality in Samar was among the hardest hit areas. Thus LEFFA was chosen to be among the 100 recipients of shredder machines, African Night Crawlers (ANCs) and trainings given by DAR as assistance extended to agrarian reform beneficiaries to start up a livelihood and recover from that horrible experience.
Having been left with nothing, LEFFA took advantage of all the assistance pouring in from various government agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs) to recover. The shredding machine, the 30 kilos of ANCs and the training on how to produce ANCs, vermicasts and vermi-tea helped them rise from devastation, according to LEFFA chairman Benderito Dacuno.
From the initial five vermi-beds in 2015, LEFFA has now 18 vermi-beds. At ₱10 per kilo of vermicast, Dacuno stressed that this organic fertilizer is very in demand among farmers, gardeners and even NGOs.
They likewise earned from organic vegetable production and rental of common service facilities such as tractors and threshers they received from DAR, he added.
Happy over the result of the assistance extended by DAR, Bistoyong promised to give the organization a truck before the year ends, which according to her, the ARBO can use in their business operation.
She also promised to expose them to more livelihood trainings such as dairy product production.
Before leaving, Bistoyong challenged the LEFFA to reach the ₱1-million mark in vermicast production.
At the moment LEFFA is also into relending activities, rice trading, fish pond operation, carabao dispersal and catering services.