To further identify and assess the needs and capabilities of beneficiaries under the Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo (4K) Program, the Department of Agriculture 4K National Program Management Office (DA 4K – NPMO) and National Commission on Indigenous People along with DA RFO1 4k staff conducted site visitation to the selected Ancestral Domains (AD) in the province of La Union.

In a dialogue between the tribe members and NPMO led by Ms. Lucia Campomanes, 4K Assistant Program Director, the latter mentioned that the project is not designed to change or alter their culture rather it is part of the government’s effort of empowering the Indigenous People/Indigenous Cultural Communities to alleviate their poverty and to maintain sustainability within their community.

“Hindi ibig sabihin na kaming nasa pamahalaan, nasa opisina, ay basta magbibigay na lamang, kundi dapat po nating pag isipan kung ano yung nababagay sa inyong lugar.”, says Ms. Campomanes.

The 4K program assists IP farmers by providing agri-related livelihood opportunities, investments, and other support services.

Among the interventions already received by the Indigenous People Organizations (IPOs) are vegetable seeds, mushroom starter kits, improved breed of chicken and itik for egg production, and farm machinery and equipment. The recipients have also undertaken training on mushroom production and processing.

Under the program, the Agriculture department will also fund the establishment of a greenhouse in Barangay Alibangsay, Bagulin, La Union after the revalidation of the site.

The purpose of the said technology is to raise crops all year round under a controlled and protected environment as well as to increase local production of off-season crops to make these available in their community throughout the year amid varying conditions.

Moreover, the DA 4k will continue to provide training on composting, feed formulation, and mushroom production and processing.

Meanwhile, three years after its implementation, region 1 has identified 16 IPOs from 10 ADs as beneficiaries of the program. The tribal communities in La Union include Kankana-ey, Ibaloi, and Bago which can be found in the Ancestral Domains of San Gabriel, Bagulin, and Pugo, among others.##

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