More than 300 participants composed of farmers, fishers, and partner implementers from across country convened to share their experiences, best practices, and success stories achieved through the Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) program during the 4th National CPAR Farmers and Fisherfolk Congress in Diliman, Quezon City last 28-29 October 2019.
Farmer- and fisher-cooperators and beneficiaries shared their testimonies and insights on how the technologies and interventions generated through the program improved their yield and increased their profit. They recounted how CPAR was instrumental in forging better opportunities for the agriculture and fisheries sector.
Joining them were the agriculturists, aquaculturists, researchers, research managers, regional technical directors, regional executive directors from the field offices of the Department of Agriculture (DA), and representatives from local government units.
This year’s theme, “Ibayong Pakikilahok ng Masa sa Pananaliksik at Pagpapalaganap ng Makabagong Teknolohiya para Paunlarin at Pasiglahin ang Ekonomiya sa Kanayunan,” was anchored to Acting Agriculture Secretary William Dar’s twin vision “Masagang Ani at Mataas na Kita.”
“Kasabay ng pagbibigay ng ibayong halaga sa partisipasyon ng masa sa gawain ng pananaliksik, nilalayon din ng ikaapat na CPAR Congress na bigyang-diin ang naging kontribusyon ng CPAR projects sa pagpapaangat ng kalagayang pang-ekonomiya ng komunidad,” said Dr. Nicomedes Eleazar, DA assistant secretary for special affairs and BAR director, in his opening message.
Asec. Eleazar continued, “Ilan sa mga ito ay ang pagpapalakas ng agribusiness industry, agripreneurship, at agriculture and fisheries modernization na kabilang sa mga layunin natin sa CPAR.”
Meanwhile, Secretary Dar emphasized the importance of utilization of technologies in improving the country’s farming and fishing situation.
“Utilization is important. I know the limits, for example, of upscaling. But there should be means and ways with which we can really commercialize the results, the lessons we have learned from CPAR,” Dar said.
He then challenged BAR as well as partner research institutions to upscale and commercialize the technologies and interventions generated through CPAR.
“Para hindi lang iilang farmers ang nakikinabang doon sa resulta ng ating pananaliksik at mas makikinabang ang mga nasa kanayunan,” he concluded.
Other activities during the two-day congress were plenary presentations on successful CPAR projects and special topics relevant to the improvement of the program’s implementation; exhibit of products developed by CPAR proponents and cooperators; and display of CPAR posters containing its processes, implementation, significant results, and project impact.
Also present to grace the event were Rodolfo Vicerra, DA undersecretary for policy and planning; Dr. Rico Ancog, technical consultant of the Project Development and Technical Services of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARC) representing Dr. Glenn Gregorio, SEARCA director; Digna Sandoval, BAR OIC-assistant director and Institutional Development Division head; and Salvacion, BAR-Program Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) head.
CPAR is one of the banner programs of BAR that merges research initiatives and the active involvement of farmer- and fisher-cooperators.
Established in 1998, the program has helped uplift the lives of more than 13,000 farmers and fishers through technologies and interventions suited to their needs and locations.
BAR-PMED spearheaded the conduct of the said activity. ### (Rena S. Hermoso)