Major improvements in the Abaca enterprise of the Agusan del Norte Agrarian Reform Community
cluster were recognized by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) during the
Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (PHL COSOP) Mission 2022 last October 22.
Led by Country Director Umit Mansiz, the IFAD team was composed of Asia-Pacific Region Director
Reehana Raza and PHL Acting Country Programme Officer Yolando Arban.

The mission visited the abaca farming community of the Cadahondahonan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries
Cooperative (CARBC) in Sitio Cadahondahonan, Participating ARBO of the Tubay-Jabonga-Kitcharao-
Santiago ARC in Agusan del Norte. Through a dialogue, the beneficiaries were able to share their
experiences, developments after ConVERGE interventions and concerns.

A discussion between the IFAD team and the San Isidro Upland Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative,
Lead ARBO of the cluster was also conducted. The ARBO’s notable practices and efforts in consolidation,
marketing, membership and mentoring of its participating ARBOs were presented to the mission, which
were recognized and acknowledged by the team.

To culminate the one-day activity, the IFAD-supported projects in Caraga, including ConVERGE convened
to presents its accomplishments, best practices and lessons learned to the IFAD team.

The Philippines Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (PHL COSOP) Mission was conducted by
IFAD to primarily align its in-country engagements with the development of the Philippine Development
Plan (PDP) for 2023-2028, as well as visit some of the project areas of its funded projects.

Also present during the said activity were Department of Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Atty. Milagros
Isabel Cristobal and Assistant Secretary Rene Colocar, along with ConVERGE National Project Director
and DAR Caraga Regional Director Atty. Merlita S. Capinpuyan, together with the DAR and ConVERGE

By: Charlemagne Kierra Rubillos