VIRAC, CATANDUANES — The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) conducted a Value Chain Analysis (VCA) Assessment of abaca in seven abaca-producing municipalities in this island on August 2 to 5, 2021. The evaluation aims to provide proof of attaining the abaca value chain’s desired outcomes using the VCA translated into Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP). It also aims to determine how the VCA was used as a planning tool and how it impacted the planning, budgeting, and implementation of agri-fishery interventions of the Department of Agriculture, local government units and other enablers. Likewise, it assesses the sustainability of the abaca value chain’s positive results.

The VC Assessment team, consists of Project Support Office (PSO) South Luzon Cluster Local and National Level Planning (I-PLAN) Head Jo Marie Libarnes, Planning Officer Alene Gregorio and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officers Kristine Peralta and Perseverando Sinogba, together with Regional Project Coordination Office (RPCO) Bicol M&E Officer Rhodelia Remot and Associate M&E Officer Emegene San Buenaventura, facilitated simultaneous key informant interviews (KIIs), focus group discussions (FGDs) and household surveys to abaca farmers, financial and non-financial enablers in Virac, Viga, Panganiban, Bato, San Miguel, Caramoran and San Andres, this province as part of the activity. Joining them virtually is PSO South Luzon M&E Specialist Arvin San Juan who led the preparation of synthesis of daily activities. The Information, Advocacy, Communications and Education Unit (InfoACE) Unit, on the other hand, conducted spot interviews of key players for each segment of the value chain. The VCA Assessment team was assisted by Gulayan sa Barangay Program and Abaca Focal Person Ariel Tabuzo.

Results of the VCA Assessment will be submitted to the DA and PRDP management as well as the Provincial Local Government Unit of Catanduanes and concerned agencies in September 2021 to serve as basis for improvement of the abaca value chain.

VCA is one of DA-PRDP’s planning tools used in outlining enterprise (I-REAP) and infrastructure development (I-BUILD) subprojects. It is a study of the value added to provincial priority agri-commodities at all stages from input supply, agricultural production, assembly, processing, and marketing. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V/PRDP-Bicol InfoACE)