The Bureau of Agricultural Research conducted the 1st Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) National Congress on February 20-21, 2014 at the Manila Hotel with the theme of CPAR : "Pagtutulungan ng mga Mananaliksik, Magsasakat MangingisdaTungo Sa Malawakang Pag-unlad ng Pamayanan". The event aims to recognize CPAR success stories and showcase its significant accomplishments in the different regions of the country. The event was participated by key officials and representatives from the DA -Regional Field Units (RIARCs), LGUs, private sectors and two (2) successful CPAR farmer beneficiaries.
Headed by OIC RTD Louella Rowena, J. Lorenzano, Marissa Luna Carmen Honrade, Ellen Marasigan CPAR Farmer Cooperative Gloria Cruzat & Florida Misuit from Bansud, Oriental Mindoro from DA MiMaRoPa attended the said congress.
Welcoming the participants was DA-BAR Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar. In his message he cited that CPAR program is one of the flagship programs of the DA-BAR and is geared towards verifying the technical and economic feasibility of mature technologies in specific locations prior to widespread adoption.The program uses the community-based participatory approach,which means that the community members are actively involved in the testing and application of the new farming systems and technologies.
DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala was impressed by the testimonies of the farmers. "Puntahan natin ang mga magsasaka't mangingisda at alamin ang pangangailangan nila". At may bago daw theme song ang mga magsasaka "For the First Time" kasi karamihan sa mga beneficiaries natin ay ngayon lamang naka attend ng ganitong congress na sila ang bida," Sec Alcala said.
To spice up the event successful CPAR beneficiaries shared their experiences on how CPAR projects were implemented and how these projects changed their lives. Here are some testimonies of the farmers:
"The implementation of the CPAR project has changed the community's situation for the better".
"We are happy with how our lives have improved because of the CPAR project"
"We are no longer dependent on private lending individuals or institutions for the inputs"
"Lumaki ang ani,nakapagaral ang mga anak, nakabili ng motorcycle,na improved ang bahay, nakadagdag ng employment.
Another highlight of the event were the CPAR poster competition where the representative from region 8 won the 1st prize and display of sample products developed from CPAR projects.
BAR distributed a coffee table book to the participants " Channels of Progress: Bringing Innovations Closer to the people, a compilation showing R&D efforts of the DA & the technologies resulting from them have helped farmers & fisher folks produce more with less resource. (cbhonrade)