BANAUE, Ifugao – Remarkable civil society organizations (CSOs) and Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AFC) volunteers of the Department of Agriculture (DA) shared their transformative stories on embracing agricultural innovations during the AFC and CSO Summit on September 7-8, 2023 in Banaue, Ifugao.
Regional Chairperson for Fisheries and Aquaculture Jerome Baay highlighted the DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ programs on fisheries development, fisheries resources and law enforcement, extension programs, and fisheries policies program, among others.
Meanwhile, Manpat-a Farmers Agriculture Cooperative president Basilio Ngaseo also shared their marketing and trading success through farmer clustering and consolidation, collaborations with Cordillera office of the DA (DA-CAR), other cooperatives, and the private sector. He shared that they had accomplished their success through transparency, cooperation, accountability, teamwork, and being God-centered. Ngaseo also emphasized good agricultural practices (GAP) and underscored its vital role in their association’s accomplishments as they have gained benefits from practicing GAP. Accordingly, they were the first ones in Benguet to acquire the GAP certification. “I strongly urge more farmers to pursue and maintain their GAP certification. It is important to acknowledge that there are still individuals unaware of GAP. To raise awareness, we must persist in our GAP practices and actively promote its benefits,” he said.
Further, the FY 2022 DA Search for Outstanding Rural Women 4th runner-up Jolenda Lomas-e also shared her experiences as an empowered woman farmer producing heirloom rice in their rural area in Kadaclan, Barlig, Mt. Province. She also conveyed her unwavering appreciation to DA-CAR for its instrumental role in enabling her and her community to revolutionize their livelihoods through numerous interventions given to them, from various agricultural machinery to comprehensive training programs and seminars that the women farmers skillfully incorporated into their farming endeavors. “I’d like to express my gratitude to the DA-CAR for their invaluable guidance in enhancing our livelihoods as farmers, as well as for the numerous interventions they have generously provided to support farmers’ organizations,” she expressed while encouraging the other farmers to share their success stories with other farmers for inspiration.
Michael Lumas-i also divulged his success in the integrated farming system on rice. Aside from rice, he is also producing vegetables, fruits and other root crops. Accordingly, the DA saw his potential in integrated farming and certified his farm, Bacayan’s Integrated Farm, as a learning site for agriculture. Because of his dedication and contributions to agriculture, he and his family was recognized as a regional Gawad Saka Awardee in 2005 and national 2nd placer in 2006. As he was reaping the benefits from all his hard work and being a beneficiary of DA, he advised the other farmers to also embrace agricultural programs being implemented. “We should give these programs a try before proposing any policies to enhance them. I thoroughly enjoyed engaging in DA’s programs because the benefits extend not only to me but also to my family, and even the members of our association have reaped the rewards,” he stated.
The Summit with the theme, “Cultivating Success: Transformative Stories of Agricultural Triumph Through Agricultural Innovations,” also served as a platform for dialogue, collaboration, and problem-solving within the farming community and with other stakeholders. By CEWaytan