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6 agribusiness venture agreements to be revoked.

By Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY - Six Agribusiness Venture Arrangements (AVAs) signed between agricultural firms and agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) may be revoked after being reviewed by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC), a top official of the Department Agrarian Reform (DAR) said Thursday.

Of the six AVAs, five are in Mindanao and only one in Visayas, DAR officer-in-charge Rosalina Bistoyong said in an interview during a hearing conducted by the House Committee on Agrarian Reform on the impact of AVA at the CAP Grand Auditorium here.

She said the PARC, chaired by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, will revoke the AVAs of the agrarian reform beneficiaries with private investors due to the "very low lease rental payments and lack of provision in the AVA contract for settlement."

In September 2016, she said Duterte revoked the AVA between Marsman Estate Plantation Inc. and Davao Marsman Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development Cooperative.

The DAR's Administrative Order 09, which is currently under review, defines AVA as "the entrepreneurial collaboration between ARBs and investors to implement an agribusiness venture involving lands distributed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)."

The order sets out various forms of AVAs, including, among others, lease agreements, management contract, marketing agreement, service contract and production/contract growing/growership, she said.

Bistoyong said they are discouraging the farmers to go into lease agreement with private investors as most of the complaints DAR receives from the ARBs stemmed from this kind of scheme, "especially so if the lease rental is very low as to not give them earnings or income to provide a descent life for them."

"What is happening now is that they complain when they already have engaged with investor. It's now difficult for us to intervene. If we would want to intervene it's quite too late already," she said.

She said DAR provides the ARBs legal assistance if they are faced with legal challenges on the AVAs.

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Title Annotation:Mindanao
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Nov 24, 2017
Words:320
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