Newly-appointed Agrarian Reform Secretary Bernie Cruz on Monday vowed to lead the Department of Agrarian Reform in bringing progress in the countryside by prioritizing the needs of the farmer-beneficiaries.
Outgoing DAR chief John Castriciones turned over the stewardship of the agency’s leadership to Cruz.
Cruz said he wants to fast-track the distribution of certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) to agrarian reform beneficiaries as well as the provision of support programs and services to farmers’ organizations and expedite the cases under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program implementation.
“Under my leadership, the agency would double its effort to distribute all the remaining undistributed lands to the landless farmers, provide support services to agrarian reform beneficiaries and bring social justice in agrarian reform communities,” he said.
Farm consolidation may be the best path toward improving agriculture, livelihood, and productivity — the mega-farm and inclusive partnerships for agricultural competitiveness projects.
“Both initiatives are intended to improve market linkages and the competitiveness of farmers and aid the DAR in coordinating with institutional partners that can assist in the capital buildup,
management skills, and research and development,” Cruz said.
The improvements of farm incomes and productivity would also do much to encourage agricultural expansion and inspire succeeding generations to continue farming, both of which are critical to the nation’s achieving food security, he stressed.
“I am committed to bring industrialization in the agricultural sector and through the provisions of support services, such as livelihood opportunities, infrastructure projects, farm machinery and equipment, capability-buildings training, loan facilities, among other support, we can achieve a stable rural economy,” he added.