The PMT visits a vegetable garden irrigated by the solar-powered irrigation system project received by the Cagayan Provincial Jail in Tuguegarao City Cagayan (Photo courtesy of RAFC Cagayan Valley Facebook)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic,  the Agricultural and Fishery Council (AFC) of Cagayan Valley Region went through the participatory monitoring and tracking (PMT) activities of the Department of Agriculture (DA) programs and projects  using innovative  schemes.  The PMT took place  on October 6 to 9, 2020.

Instead of  the usual cross posting scheme among three districts of the province, the Municipal/City AFC chairpersons, coordinators and Local Government Unit (LGU) staff monitored the identified projects within their own municipality or city to minimize spread and exposure to the virus. Aside from observing IATF health protocols, they were also provided with face shields, face masks and disinfectants. 

Thirty three DA-funded projects  in 19 municipalities in the Province of Cagayan were monitored.  These projects are in the municipalities of Ballesteros, Abulug, Sanchez Mira, Claveria, Lasam, Lal-lo, Aparri, Gonzaga, Sta. Ana, Tuao, Piat, Sto. Niño, Solana, Enrile, Iguig, Baggao, Alcala, Gattaran and Tuguegarao City.

The M&E process included project visits, ocular inspections, documentations, and key informant interviews with the DA- initiatives  implementers.  Interviews were also done through phone calls, text messages and other virtual platforms.

The PMT interviews a representative of the Namuccayn Barangay LGU about the Spring Development Project in Sto Nino, Cagayan. The barangay is the recipient of the project. (Photo courtesy of RAFC Cagayan Valley Facebook)

The Team, led by Provincial AFC (PAFC) Chairperson Josue Balderrama, Jr, assessed that the DA initiatives and interventions benefited the program recipients, however there are still issues and concerns that needed actions from the DA and LGUs.

Projects monitored and validated include,.  Farm-to-Market Roads; provision of agricultural equipment and facilities, such as walk-behind transplanters, four-wheel drive tractors, combine harvesters and nursery; and irrigation projects, such as spring development, shallow tube well, solar-powered irrigation system and diversion dams. ###Melanie Medrano, JC