AAIGA activities explained
r. Leonora K. Verzola, coordinator of the CHARM-2 Project component on Agriculture, Agribusiness and Income Generating Activities(AAIGA), expounded on the rationale of this component during the Information and Education Campaign (IEC) on Organic Agriculture (OA) and Policy Dialog Cum Technology and Market Encounter held at the Hotel Supreme, Magsaysay Avenue, Baguio City.
Verzola talked about the purpose, outputs and different activities of AAIGA. The activities, which is aimed at the micro and small rural enterprises developed with four different outputs. First, she sees the need to establish or strengthen agri-based marketing groups.
The AAIGA also conducts adaptive research for value chain development, facilitate organic certification in upland and shifting cultivation systems; and facilitate development of brands, labels, trademarks, and geographic identification, she said.
She added that market linkages must also be established. Here, the component supports Local Government Units (LGUs) in strengthening market information management.
A critical output is micro-credit wherein the AAIGA helps producers by linking them to credit providers. The component also undertakes micro and small rural enterprises activities to facilitate the processing products for value chain development, design packaging materials, and promote development of small rural enterprises.
With these plans, the challenge now for CHARM-2 Project sites in the Cordillera highland is to increase income, attain food sufficiency without compromising the fragile environment and the culture of the Cordillera people, she said.
According to Verzola, the project looks at ways and means to support the sustainability of major production systems such as Traditional Agricultural systems (subsistence oriented, de facto organic rice, and coffee), Conventional Systems (commercial vegetable production), and favourable environment (policies, market, technologies). In these production systems, the project supports the adaption and development of organic production strategies suitable to the existing farming system.
Two batches of IEC on organic agriculture (OA) were already conducted by AAIGA. These were attended by participants from the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDOs), Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDOs), Municipal Agriculturist (MAs), Agricultural Technologist (ATs), and project staff.//JellyPearl Potectan and Jayson Berto