PARACELIS, Mountain Province – Eighteen corn farmers from the different parts of this corn-producing municipality successfully completed the Farmers’ Business School (FBS) on Corn Program of the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR).
The season-long program, which started in July and ended in September, taught the farmers on seed selection, fertilizer management, corn pest management, proper harvesting and drying, bookkeeping and financial management, and marketing, among other farming technologies.
This program is a collaborative effort of the DA-CAR Corn Program headed by Gerardo Banawa, the municipal agriculture office, and the local government unit of Paracelis.
The beneficiaries of this program are the members of the farmer cooperatives and associations (FCA) which belong to the corn model farms. The FCA beneficiaries are the Mabatu Farmers Agriculture Cooperative, Samana Farmers Association, and Lattang Gardeners and Farmers Association.
Before the graduation ceremony, the Corn Program team visited the three FCAs on October 12. The team also paid a visit at the Dupligan Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative, also a corn model farm, at Tanudan in Kalinga on October 11.
During the visits, Corn Program Staff Ronan Soriano shared some additional information on precision farming, specifically on fertilizer use and application, and planting distance, among others. DA-CAR recommended this new technology for a bountiful yield as per the findings of the University of the Philippines Los Baños and the Bureau of Agricultural Research.
To celebrate the success of the FBS corn students, the graduation ceremony of FBS was then held at barangay Bacarri recently.
In his opening message, Paracelis Municipal Agriculturist Engr. Abraham Gaddawan told the graduates that of all the FCAs, they are very lucky because DA chose them to benefit from the program.
Likewise, Mountain Province Provincial Corn Coordinator Eva Acosta shared an anecdote about “King Arthur and the Witch,” which recognizes women “to be in charge of her own life.” Acosta told this story because she noticed a significant number of women graduated from the FBS.
She further added that the farmer-beneficiaries are also in charge on how they could apply the significant knowledge they gained from the program.
“Ti desisyon, adda kinya tayo. Choice tayo nga nu inadal tayo iti atigddog nga panawen ket isapuso tayo wenno i-apply tayo. Ngem iti pampanunuten yo ket ‘Nagadu dayta, ammo mi dayta nga dati’, it’s your own choice nu anya iti pangusaran tayo kadagiti maal-adal tayo iti biag tayo,” (The decision is ours. It is entirely up to us whether or not we put what we have learned to use. You might think, ‘Wow, that’s a lot. We already know that’, but how you use what you learned is entirely up to you.) Acosta said.
Furthermore, Municipal Corn Coordinator Rogelio Ngafitna expressed his admiration for the elders for persevering with the program and completing the studies despite being “in the latter stages of their life.” Also, Assistant Agricultural Programs Coordinating Officer David Sumalag congratulated the graduates on finishing the FBS on Corn Program successfully.
Joe Padiangan, one of the graduates, thank DA-CAR for the opportunity to learn more about corn farming. He also added that this was a great experience because some of them experienced the feeling of a graduate and to march on stage since some of them did not complete their schooling.
“Ado ti naadal ko. Manipud idiay panangpili tayo ti usto nga imula tayo tapnu ado ti apitin tayo. Ken diyay usto nga panang-abono. Isu nga thank you kadagidiyay nga insuro yo,” (I learned a lot. From proper seed selection to fertilizer management. Thank you for the learnings.) Padiangan said.
Also present in the graduation ceremony are the following learning service providers who also made the FBS on Corn Program possible: Ernesto Batoy, Rosalinda Ballawig, Maricel Binalay, and Glenn Dela Peña. By JBPeralta