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PIA Press Release
2008/11/22

DA recommends cluster approach

by L. Lopez

Tabuk City, Kalinga (22 November) -- The Department of Agriculture (DA) now shifts its program implementation style to what is known as the cluster approach, which is seen to have brought remarkable results at its early stage.

Provincial Agriculturist Gerry Jose said their office has seen how effective the programs of the department can be on farmers who were grouped into clusters.

Jose said this was tried on the rapid composting project, where hybrid rice farmers were clustered into groups of 50s and that the project delivered very good results. This inspired the office to expand the pilot area of the rapid composting project, which brought more farmers clusters.

Clustering is effective since we develop a focal point that hastens monitoring of the project and gives us easier system in the evaluation, Jose explained.

Speaking of the department's policy in handing down assistance to farmers, Jose said DA now caters to groups instead of the previous individual farmer client system. Assistance and projects are thrown this time to farmer cooperatives and irrigators associations, no more to individual farmer applicants. This way, DA encourages farmers to work together as a community, with common perspectives and aspiration, he said.

Working as a group leads to deeper cooperation and accountability and therefore builds one common target among farmers. This is the hidden agenda we want our farmers to develop from the various projects and technologies we bring, so that they can participate more effectively in producing the national targets, Jose said. (PIA Kalinga) [top]

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