DA strengthens program to aid Indigenous People
The Department of Agriculture (DA) intensified its measures to aid the Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs), better known as Indigenous Peoples (IPs), which are considered among the least focused sector in the country.
“Its development has long been placed on the sidelines making its people continuously wallowing with poverty,” the DA said in a statement.
“Despite owning vast ancestral domains, majority of them remain unutilized and unproductive due to IPs incapacity to develop them for livelihood concerning the lack of farming and financial resources,” it added.
In support with the President’s directive, the DA, headed by Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, has launched a sustainable livelihood program for the members of the IP Community in a bid to improve their living condition and fight poverty among their communities.
Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo, also known as 4Ks, is a special project developed by the DA which is expected to espouse an enhanced provision of agricultural and fisheries related livelihood, investments and services to the ICCs nationwide.
Last month, the DA has launched the 4Ks program in Balindog Research and Experimentation Station (BRES) in Kidapawan City North Cotabato.
4Ks Program shall only cater to organized groups, whether registered or unregistered, and whether holders or non-holders of Certificate of Ancestral Domains Title (CADT), Certificate of Ancestral Domains Claims (CADC) or Certificate of Land Owner Award (CLOA), provided that they are recognized by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) as legitimate IP Organization.
4Ks aims to help IPs maximize the use of the ancestral agricultural lands and turn it into productive, profitable, self-sustained and developed resilient agricultural enterprises.
“Through this program, the DA is espousing a different but more sustainable approach in addressing poverty while at the same time promoting greater food productivity,” Piñol said.
Included in the program are series of interventions aligned for the IPs to help them in the development of their own communities.
Among the interventions offered include granting the IPs agricultural loan from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC). This will be implemented through a No-Interest, No-Collateral, Pay-Upon-Harvest loan program amounting to P300,000 for 5 hectares of Tree Farm with a 500-tree population per hectare