MASBATE – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) held five (5) batches of trainings on upland and rainfed rice production and processing, white corn production and processing, and high value crops production to prepare its farmer-beneficiaries from the province of Masbate for the May planting season.
The Upland and Rainfed Rice Production and Processing training, attended by 45 pre-selected SAAD beneficiaries, was conducted in Sitio Cantorna, Monreal on 25-26 April 2018.
Meanwhile, four batches of White Corn Production and Processing and High Value Crops Production trainings were held in the municipalities of Esperanza on 5-26 April 2018 and Pio V. Corpuz on 26-27 April 2018. Afterwards, the participants were given OPV white corn seeds.
The resource speakers for the said trainings were technical staff from the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 5. Marcial Bustarga, from Rice Program, lectured on land preparation, rice production, pre- and postharvest practices, and farm planning and budgeting. On the other hand, Cyndie Pardo, from the Regional Crops Protection Center, discussed integrated pest management. The farmers also had workshop and reporting activities on farm planning and budgeting.
Bustarga emphasized the importance of farm planning and budgeting, as he said the combination of the two will lead to wise decisions and proper allocation of farm resources, which will ultimately lead to productivity.
“It is not enough for a farmer to know the cultural practices of rice farming. What is more important is he can plan these activities properly and allot his budget wisely so that he will know at once if he will profit or not on the proposed business,” Bustarga mentioned.
Wilfredo Nelmida, Agricultural Programs Coordinating Officer who oversees the simultaneous activities of the SAAD program in the province, advised the farmer-beneficiaries to prepare the land before planting and practice synchronous planting for efficient use of irrigation and minimization of pest damage within an area.
With the acquired knowledge, majority of the participants hope that the provided projects of the SAAD Program will prosper. Thirty-eight-year-old Bicolano farmer, Fred Alminana, said that the latest farming practices and technologies he learned will be a big help to him. He will receive one bag of upland rice seeds and one bag complete fertilizer this May 2018, which will be an additional source of livelihood to his eight-hectare tenancy coconut plantation.
The province of Masbate has been selected as one of the 30 priority provinces of the SAAD Program due to its high poverty incidence rate among families based on the 2015 data of the Philippine Statistics Authority, which is at 35.5%. Livelihood interventions in the form of rice, corn, high value crops, pig, chicken, goat, and carabao will be given to more than 4,700 farmers from the municipalities of San Pascual, Monreal, Balud, Mandaon, Esperenza, and Pio V. Corpuz.
Writer: Jean Amoloza, PR & Communications Officer
Source: Lovella P. Guarin, DA-RFO 5