Sunday, February 15, 2009


The partnership of Bread for the World (BftW) and the Negros Oriental Institute for Rural Development (NIRD) first touched ground in Canlaon in 1999. NIRD is a non-government development organization working for sustainable development and democratization in the province of Negros Oriental, Philippines. NIRD’s programs and services are designed to realize its vision for rural development and democratization through an integrated area development approach. Its interventions are intended to contribute to the broader range of concerns to attain social transformation in the rural areas.

Canlaon is a third class interior city strategically located 9.5 kilometers from the foot of a dominant landmark, Mt. Kanlaon Volcano, which rises in serenity at the north-central part of Negros Island. Canlaon has rich volcanic fertile soil and natural resources where bio-diversity abound. Canlaon is populated with a total of 45,658 people (2000 census) inhabiting a total land area of 16,662 hectares; 9,783 hectares is devoted to agriculture, of which 4,089 hectares is irrigated Riceland, 3,330 hectares planted to commercial and industrial crops such as sugarcane, and 1,300 hectares to vegetables. CanlaonCity has no bank, no shopping center, no recreational facilities like movie house, sports, games, parks, although the 3,000-hectare protected area of Mt.Kanlaon Natural Park is situated in Canlaon City.
FORWARD I (1999-2001) intervention strategy focused on advocacy work directed towards pressuring and pushing the government to deliver the benefits and services due the marginalized rural sectors and peoples, foremost of which was the fast tracking of the implementation of the Philippine government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or CARP. FORWARD I contributed to the land tenure improvement of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs). In coordination with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), NIRD has facilitated the transfer of land ownership of 1,248 hectares of sugarland in Canlaon to 987 agrarian reform beneficiaries, who were then, seasonal farmworkers of these sugar estates.

On the other hand, FORWARD II (2002-2004) intends to continue the BftW-NIRD partnership with the marginalized farmers and farmworkers by forging the gains of FORWARD I and contribute to the development and enhancement of capabilities, knowledge, skills and attitude of productive and enterprising poor. While FORWARD I focused on the ARBs as partners, FORWARD II goes beyond the ARBs’ concerns by engaging their communities; working with the partners at the household level geared towards empowerment.


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