BACOLOD CITY: The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is targeting to distribute 50,000 hectares of land to farmer-beneficiares in Negros Occidental this year, Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said.
The 50,000 hectares is part of the 120,000 to 130,00 hectares yet to be distributed to beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in Negros Occidental.
“We are working against time. I will talk to the regional and provincial heads to address this,” said De los Reyes, who met with Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. of Negros Oriental and other officials of national government agencies, on Friday here to discuss the human development and poverty reduction programs to be implemented in the province in the coming months.
De los Reyes said he is looking beyond 2016 to complete the land distribution for beneficiaries nationwide, which is why the agency is pushing to extend the program.
Although he noted that the proposed CARP extension is met with criticisms, he said there are success stories under the program.
De los Reyes said DAR has showed that sugar production cost can be brought down and that income and revenue for the farmers can be increased, citing the data of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA).
“SRA data showed that all 29 block farms in the entire country have lower production cost and higher income for farmers even if the land is distributed,” he added.