SAN PABLO, ISABELA — In a bid to bolster economic opportunities and empower rural communities, the Department of Trade and Industry Region 2-Isabela in partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform, organized a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) initiative focused on enhancing skills in corn processing. Held on May 03, the training proved to be a significant step towards fostering innovation, efficiency, and sustainability in the agricultural sector.

Under the guidance of the Technical Skills Development Authority (TESDA), twenty-three Agrarian Reform Beneficiary (ARB) members of the Dalena Farmer Agriculture Cooperative (DFAC) were equipped with essential skills in producing nutritious snacks utilizing white and yellow corn flour as primary ingredients.

Further, the one-day intensive session enabled participants to explore the diverse possibilities of corn-based products, including corn kropek, chicha corn, corn brew, and corn noodles. The training emphasized its usage versatility and potential for market expansion, highlighting its importance as a locally abundant resource.

A key focus of the program was on preprocessed forms of these products that extend its shelf life, and address critical challenges faced by ARB members due to fluctuating prices. This approach reduces food waste while simultaneously creating additional income opportunities for rural communities.

The DTI Isabela’s CARP led a successful collaborative effort, empowering local communities through targeted initiatives. The involvement of provincial coordinators alongside DTI representatives ensured the seamless facilitation of the activity.

This endeavor marks a pivotal step towards fostering economic growth and improving livelihoods in the region. By leveraging locally available resources, these initiatives will help promote economic resilience and contribute significantly to the overall development of the agricultural sector.

The successful implementation of this training program serves as a testament to the commitment of government agencies in sustaining development and uplifting the lives of agrarian reform beneficiaries in province. ♦

Date of release: 15 May 2024