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DOST-PCAARRD and CARE Philippines forge partnership to empower smallholder vegetable farmers

DOST-PCAARRD and CARE Philippines forge partnership to empower smallholder vegetable farmers

In a significant step towards supporting the smallholder vegetable farmers in selected municipalities of Laguna, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the  Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) and Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) Philippines join hands through a collaborative project, “aGAP (Asenso sa Good Agriculture Package) Social Enterprise Project.”

Seated from left to right, Socio Economics Research Division (SERD) Director Ernesto Brown, DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora, CARE Philippines Country Director Reiza Dejito, aGAP Senior Technical Adviser Maria Teresa Bayombong, and aGAP Project Manager Alfred Eugenio Bautista holding the signed Memorandum of Understanding. Standing as witnesses to the MoU signing are Technology Transfer and Promotion Division (TTPD) Director Noel Catibog and Crop Research Division (CRD) Director Leilani Pelegrina (Image credit: TTPD, DOST-PCAARRD).

The official partnership between DOST-PCAARRD and CARE Philippines was sealed through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on February 12, 2024 at the RD Guerrero Hall, DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center (DPITC) in Los Baños, Laguna.

“PCAARRD has long believed that collaboration is essential to develop innovative projects and technologies. Given the PCAARRD and CARE Philippines’ wide network of local partners, government agencies, and community-based organizations, working together on a project will allow for greater reach and engagement with rural communities to ensure that our interventions reach those who need them the most,” said DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora during the program. 

CARE is a premier international development and humanitarian organization devoted to protecting human dignity and combating poverty. CARE Philippines Country Director Reiza Dejito also expressed her enthusiasm for the forged partnership. “CARE Philippines is excited to advance hand-in-hand with DOST-PCAARRD, our farmers, and all stakeholders. We are united in our belief that through collective action, innovation, and compassion, we can transform the landscape of Philippine agriculture for generations to come,” said Director Dejito.

Representatives of the DOST-PCAARRD and CARE Philippines together with the Agri Aqua Business Hub (AABH) of the Socio Economics Research Division (SERD) of DOST PCAARRD (Image credit: TTPD, DOST-PCAARRD)

With a shared vision of providing comprehensive solutions to foster sustainable agri-based enterprises, the DOST-PCAARRD Agri-Aqua Business Hub (AABH) and CARE Philippines are pooling their expertise to enhance linkages between farmers and buyers. Moreover, the collaboration aims to bolster the capacity of farmers to enhance competitiveness and meet market demands effectively.

Key attendees at the MOU signing event from CARE Ph include Director Reiza Dejito, Country Director, aGAP Senior Technical Adviser Maria Teresa Bayombong, and aGAP Project Manager Alfred Eugenio Bautista. PCAARRD attendees, on the other hand, include Executive Director Reynaldo V. Ebora, Socio-Economics Research Division (SERD) Director Ernesto Brown, Crop Research Division (CRD) Director Leilani Pelegrina, Technology Transfer and Promotion Division (TTPD) Director Noel Catibog, and SERD Assistant Director and AABH Operations Manager Meliza F. Abeleda.

As a commitment, a solicited parallel project with the Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) will be closely monitored by the AABH. This project aims to support the linkages between farmers and buyers. It also hopes to improve the capacity of the farmers to become more competitive and meet the market requirements. 

This partnership signifies a crucial milestone in the journey towards uplifting smallholder farmers and fostering sustainable agricultural practices, aligning with the broader goal of promoting inclusive growth and rural development.