LA TRINIDAD, BENGUET - NIA-CAR was feeling lucky at the last working day of the year 2022, December 29, as newly designated NIA Administrator, Engr. Eduardo “Eddie” Guillen, took time to meet with the NIA-CAR officials and employees and various leaders of Irrigators’ Associations in the Cordillera in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet.
The NIA Administrator said his visit is an opportunity to get the requests from the IA leaders and NIAns themselves. He also laid down some of the aims of the administration, such as turning IAs to form their own cooperatives so as to be able to open more opportunities for farmers' groups to enter into contracts and agreements with government and private organizations to promote sustainable livelihood and business of farmers.
“Let us create and nurture strong cooperatives of farmers and irrigators, and facilitate the provision of all their needs through the different agencies of the government, and tap even the private sector. This forms part of the call of PBBM during his campaign—unity. Let us be united in helping the farmers achieve success.”
The Administrator said that the President has declared that food security is a national concern, and the farmers and irrigators’ associations are the key.
He shared that it is time that the farmers should earn most from their produce, not the middle agents or the processors.
“Baliktarin natin ang sitwasyon ngayon. We want to give you [farmers and irrigators’ associations] the chance and the capability to form the main part of whole value chain yourselves, from production to processing to marketing, especially our upland produce here in the Cordilleras,” the Administrator said.
According to Hon. Remy Albano, Vice-Governor of the Apayao, and the president of the National Confederation of IAs (NCIA) and CAR Federation of IAs (CARFIA), the NCIA is very thankful and supportive of this goal of the administration to develop IAs. For instance, the CARFIA is eyeing to provide vegetables and farm produce directly to employees of NIA including those in Central Office, as part of the direct market of the IAs.
Engr. Benito T. Espique, Jr., NIA-CAR Regional Manager, accepted the challenge and committed that the NIA and IA will sit down and form plans to be to achieve the aim to make the IAs as main actors of the entire value chain.
"Nu agkakadwa tayo nga mangsolbar, adu ti maaramidan tayo [If we work together in coming up with solutions, we can do more]" NIA Administrator Guillen said
Photo Caption 1: NIA Acting Administrator Eduardo Eddie Guillen urges NIAns to help Irrigators’ Associations to form their own cooperatives, and become main actors of the entire value chain process, from production to processing to marketing during his visit at NIA-CAR on December 29, 2022.
Photo Caption 2: NIA Acting Administrator takes photo opportunities with the officers of the CAR Federation of Irrigators’ Associations (CARFIA) headed by Apayao Vice-Governor Remy Albano, and NIA-CAR Regional Manager Benito Espique, Jr. and Administrative and Finance Division Manager Grace Fanged.
Photo Caption 3: Engineering and Operation Division personnel are delighted when the Acting Administrator visited the various work offices of NIA-CAR at the last working hour of December 29, 2022.