Success stories of the Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) funded by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) highlighting stakeholder engagement in Lamut, Ifugao; San Fernando, Camarines Sur; and San Luis, Batangas were shared in a forum jointly organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and DA-BAR last month.
SEARCA was commissioned by DA-BAR to conduct the project “Building Up from the Gains: Lessons from and Improvements for Effective Implementation of the CPAR Program.”
DA-BAR has supported CPAR as one of its banner programs since 1998. Besides the usual testing and verifying of different agricultural technology, DA-BAR said CPAR endorses the demonstration of improved farming systems and fishing technologies and practices to fit the needs and requirements of a particular micro-agro-climatic environment within a given municipality or province. Its collaborative approach in research equitably involves all possible partners in the process and recognizes the unique strengths that each entity brings.
According to Dr. Rico C. Ancog, SEARCA program lead for Emerging Innovation for Growth, the project assessed the overall implementation of the CPAR Program and captured the insights of the implementers, proponents, and the CPAR beneficiaries on the implemented CPAR projects.
He said the motivating stories are outcomes of three CPAR projects on Good Agricultural Practices in High Value Crop Production, Improved Tilapia Production, and Enterprise Development from Ragiwdiw Processing.
“Besides sharing the technical aspects of the projects implemented, the documentation also showed the projects’ impact to the community they were conducted in,” Dr. Ancog explained.
He said using the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) technology, farmers in San Luis, Batangas improved their vegetable production with the help of the Municipal Agriculture Office and they were able to link their products to the market.
Dr. Ancog also reported that even beyond the project duration, CPAR partners in Lamut, Ifugao are still benefitting from the knowledge that they gained in tilapia production.
The participants also commended the Ragiwdiw technology introduced in Camarines Sur that turns grass weeds into useful and marketable items.
Attended by 215 participants comprising farmer and fisher partners involved in the CPAR Program as well as DA-BAR project researchers and implementers, the SEARCA-hosted forum also introduced the concept and use of a results-based monitoring and evaluation (RBME) system to improve monitoring and evaluation of projects beyond the project life.
Ms. Luisa Fulguerras, a researcher from Iloilo, appreciated the importance of the results-based framework in tracking the projects implemented in her region, specifically those funded by the CPAR Program. She noted the need for a more structured training on the RBME preparation.
DA-BAR Research Coordination Division Head Anthony B. Obligado commended the efforts of representatives of the CPAR projects in preparing the framework for the CPAR Program as a starting point and assured the researchers that more assistance will be given to them to improve the program implementation.