BANAUE, Ifugao – In a bid to intensify government’s principle of transparency, partnership, and accountability, the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR) conducted a consultation with the farmers and cooperatives associations (FCAs) in Ifugao recently at Banaue Hotel.
Besides presentation of DA-CAR accomplishments and plans for the province, the consultation facilitated the gathering of insights, suggestions, and feedback from FCAs for better program implementation.
A workshop in the afternoon session also gave the farmers a chance to nominate their agricultural input preferences based on their commodities. Among the identified needs are different varieties of high-yielding, high-quality, and disease-resistant seeds and seedlings for rice, corn, and high value crops farmers.
On machinery and facilities, the farmers requested knapsack sprayers, grass cutters, harvesters, recirculating dryers, forage choppers, feed mixers, incubators, multi-purpose drying pavements, and greenhouses, among others.
Some farmers also wanted trainings and techno-demonstrations on organic agriculture and livestock production.
With this, Mae Kio-isen from the Field Operations Division reiterated the need for every FCAs to be civil society organization (CSO)-accredited and for the farmers to be registered in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) for them to be eligible to different program interventions of DA-CAR.
As of Feb. 13, 2023, a total of 46 FCAs have already been CSO-accredited in the province. The municipality of Aguinaldo leads the number of certifications with an impressive number of 26, followed by Alfonso Lista with eight, Kiangan with four, Lagawe and Lamut with three, and Asipulo and Tinoc with one.
Meanwhile, Engr. Marcial Bayodao from the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division also clarified that the proposals from farmers are the basis for possible interventions. Kio-isen further explained that the agency cannot grant all the proposals of every FCAs due to budget limitations.
Ifugao provincial veterinarian Dr. James Gopeng further supports this statement. He said that the provincial local government unit is having a dilemma on what FCA proposals they can consider despite their willingness trying to accommodate each of them.
Ifugao provincial agriculturist Domingo Mariano also expressed his gratitude to the farmers for attending the consultation despite their hectic schedules. He further recognized the importance of strong coordination between DA-CAR and the provinces of the region.
“There is a need to focus on planning and budgeting, with the view of getting informed of developments, which will move the province into an effective consensus,” the provincial agriculturist stated.
In closing, Ifugao Agricultural Program Coordination Office Director Charlemagne Monayao assured the farmers that their office is always open, and they are willing to assist them for any concerns they may raise, especially about the submission of project proposals, which the APCO validates and evaluates initially before endorsing to the regional office.
This year, DA-CAR have already conducted five provincial farmers’ consultations to listen and prioritize the real needs of the farmers. Upcoming schedule is on February 28 in Benguet. By JBPeralta