PATIN-AY, Agusan del Sur-The Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur (PGAS) is collaborating with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) through Griffith University (GU) of Queensland, Australia and other key partner agencies such as USM, CSU, PCAARRD, and BSWM for the implementation of a major research project in the Southern Philippines.
The research project, entitled “Land Management of Diverse Rubber-based Systems in Southern Philippines,” aims to boost household incomes for indigenous smallholder farmers in the uplands of the Southern Philippines through the introduction of profitable rubber-based cropping systems, sustainable management regimes and capacity building. The 5-year project brings together experts from Griffith University, University of Southern Mindanao (USM), Caraga State University (CSU), Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), and Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) of Department of Agriculture (DA).
Governor Santiago B. Cane, Jr. welcomed the partnership, saying during the inception meeting held in Butuan City last June: “PGAS will strongly support the project by providing field sites, space and facilities, and staff for extension works. This ACIAR project is very timely for the development of upland areas in the Province and it will complement the banner program of the Province, which is the Upland Sustainable Agri-forestry Development (USAD) Program.”
Dr. Johnvie B. Goloran a scientist on soil health and plant nutrition from GU, shared during a meeting held in PGAS: “This project is significant not only because it aims to boost smallholder farmers’ income via effective rubber-based cropping system but also because it addresses the gap (research) in solving rubber productivity issues in the country. It is also the first time in years that ACIAR has partnered with a Provincial Local Government Unit. ACIAR, the research arm of AusAID, usually partners with research institutions or the academe for their research projects.”
A series of activities were already conducted for the realization of the said project. A Project Inception Meeting was held in Grand Palace Hotel, Butuan City last June 13-14, 2019, to define critical functions and exhibit the commitment of all partners for the project. It was participated in by heads and representatives of each partner organization. Partners’ meeting cum workshop was also conducted on September 5, 2019 at the Provincial Capitol of Agusan del Sur to assess the literature search and review works done so far for the project.
PGAS has already partnered with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) with its previous projects successfully implemented in the province, the Philippines-Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (PAHRODF) and Provincial Road Management Facility (PRMF).