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As SIFI continues to monitor and provide assistance to its Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organizations (ARBOs), the RSS intervention group launched its Comprehensive Assistance to Small Holders for Farm Productivity or C.A.S.H. Program with five ARB groups who partnered with the foundation.

A meeting was held last October 30, 2020 participated in by ARBOs coming from the LOPEZ Sugar area: 1) Mirasol Development Corporation ARC (MDCARC) in Sagay City; 2) Victorias Milling Company area which is the San Juan Torena ARC (SJTARC); 3) Tres Hermanos Small Farmers Association (THESFA) in Cadiz City; 4) Hawaiian Philippine Company area which is the Hda. Virgen 2-3 Duplex Workers Association (HAVIDWA) in Talisay City; 5) Hda. Basag Farm Workers Association (HABAFAWA) in E.B. Magalona.

The ARBOs shared their experiences, highlighting the factors that contributed to their increased yields. More significantly, the ARBOs expressed their gratitude to SIFI and partner mills HPCo, VMC, and LOPEZ Sugar for they said it was their first time to experience such good harvest.

The C.A.S.H. Program covers trash farming and soil sampling sessions, demo farm protocols from land preparation to harvest access to HYV, timely technical monitoring and sugar farm tech sessions through the assistance of the sugar mills and SIFI.  As for the ARBOs, they take care of all other production costs.

The shared outcome turned out very positive since three ARBOs garnered good harvest results. MDCARC yielded 106.664 Tc/Ha., THESFA yielded 98.48 Tc/Ha for Field #1 and 114 Tc/Ha for Field #2., SJTARC yielded 84.74 Tc/Ha for Field #1 and 89 Tc/Ha for Field #2, and HAVIDWA yielded 87.148 Tc/Ha. The average LKG/Tc across all ARBOs is 1.8.

This meant that there was a huge difference from ARBOs’ past tonnage average of 50-65 Tc/Ha. Their net income also spiked up at P94,000 – P96,000 which is more than double of past averages.

With these promising results, all five participating ARBOs agreed to continue operating their demo farms next crop year and work toward expanding to 1 to 5 hectares per ARBO.  These results have also encouraged RSS to expand its C.A.S.H. program in 2021 with the help of its RSS partner mills. This is a significant breakthrough amid the gloomy outlook of agriculture and the general economy triggered by the pandemic.