From five (5) Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARB) Organizations’ members during its conception in 2019 to currently 13 members on-board, the RSS’ C.A.S.H. for Farm Productivity Program has no plans of hitting the brakes soon. Two of these 13 are newly engaged and just started planting in November and December of 2021.
C.A.S.H. or Comprehensive Assistance to Small Holders for Farm Productivity is a comprehensive strategy under the RSS Program with a 3-pronged objective of increased productivity for farmers, better cane supply for the mills, and risks/needs addressed leading to responsible sugar growing. 578 small farmers, who cover a total of 497 hectares of land, are currently benefitting from the results of this program.
The tonnage of the demo farms increased significantly from past averages. TSJTARC (San Juan Torena Agrarian Reform Coop.) and THESFA (Tres Hermanos Small Farmers Assn.), ARBOs that joined in 2019, showed consistent and significant increases in tonnage from new plant to ratoon 1. THESFA’s tonnage for new plant is 98-125 Tc/ha and 75-87 Tc/ha for ratoon 1. This is more than double their past average of 50 Tc/ha. Meanwhile, SJTARC’s tonnage for new plant is 77-89 Tc/ha from its average of 75 Tc/ha.
All CASH 2020 likewise have new plant yields better than past averages. DEARCO (Don Esteban Agrarian Reform Coop.) recorded an increase of 29 Tc/ha, or 45% increase, HABARC (Hda. Bongco Agrarian Reform Coop.), NARC (Nabinay Agrarian Reform Coop.) and CADARBA (Caridad dela Paz ARB Assn.) recorded an average increase of 16 to 26 Tc/ha or almost double their average, while HAARC (Hda. Anita Agrarian Reform Coop.) has recorded an increase of 5-11 Tc/ha, or 10-20% increase from past average yield.
The increase in tonnage can be attributed to the ARBOs’ good management of their sugar fields, full compliance to the CASH demo farm protocol, HYV (high variety yield) selection suitable to the area, correct timing, good weather condition, and follow-on technical coaching.
The demo farms also saw a substantial increase in net profits, with almost double and triple their past averages.
The high net profits are the results of high tonnage, increase in sugar market price (Php1, 700-1,750 at time of milling vs. P1,500 of last CY); Ratoon has lesser production costs (no land preparation, HYV, planting expenses), and higher mill incentives (i.e. trucking allowance). Significant increases in the total dividends received by each farmer-member from CASH 2019 ARBOs were also noted.
7 ARBOs out of 11 will expand the full application of the CASH demo farm protocol to more hectares of land for CY 2021 – 2022.