The AFCs during the monitoring of rice processing center and combine harvester. Photo courtesy of RAFC Zamboanga Peninsula. (Photo courtesy of RAFC ZamPen)

The Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC) of Zamboanga Peninsula elevated its game in terms of monitoring and evaluation of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA)-funded programs and projects amid COVID-19 pandemic.

With proper precautionary measures and following health protocols, three teams composed of AFCs from Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay with representatives from DA Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) conducted the monitoring and evaluation in their respective areas on July 21 to 24, 2020.

The team is part of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries’(PCAF) service brand called We Transform Results into Actions through Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing or simply “WeTRACK” which monitors and provides feedbacks and update of the DA-funded programs and projects, as well as the agency’s programs, activities and projects.

“We truly value the efforts of our AFCs and other stakeholders in providing feedback on the implementation of DA’s programs and projects, through monitoring and evaluation. With We-TRACK, we foster a tradition of transparency and ensure that these recommendations are given fair consideration,” said PCAF Acting Executive Director Liza Battad.

Prior to the actual monitoring and evaluation, PAFC Sibugay conducted its meeting on July 2 to set its members’ activities. On the other hand, RAFC ZamPen team monitored projects covering production and post-harvest facilities, livestock, and farm-to-market roads.

The results, findings and specific recommendations of the Monitoring Team will be gathered and presented in an exit conference on August 6 at DA-RFO. The results will be submitted to the concerned parties to address these issues and concerns.

“The help of the private sector stakeholders at the grassroots level in terms of monitoring and evaluation of DA-funded projects and programs will definitely help the Department in harnessing its policy shifts,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The Department’s policy shifts aim to empower marginalized farmers and fisherfolk in the food system and support diverse distribution efforts; harness food system’s interconnectedness with other sectors toward building resilience; address hunger and all forms of malnutrition, and provide solutions that are context-specific. ###JC (With reports from WeTRACK team and PMKMD Chief Estrella Tulay)