SIQUIJOR, PHILIPPINES—Twenty (20) farmers covered by the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program from the six (6) municipalities in the island of Siquijor attended the Dragon Fruit Production Technology Training at the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Provincial Agricultural Technology Coordinating Office (DA-PATCO) on 12-13 July 2018.
Dragon fruit production is 1 of 4 projects implemented by DA-SAAD in strong collaboration with the provincial and municipal LGUs. Each dragon fruit farmer with 0.25 hectare (ha) will receive 630 planting materials and 156 concrete posts. To ensure crop productivity, farmers will also receive plastic drums with cover, sprinklers and heavy-duty bolos. To sum it up, twenty (20) dragon fruit farmers will receive 4.4M worth of interventions.
Provincial Agriculturist (PA), Ms. Lilibeth P. Caroro, said during her opening remarks that, “dragon fruit can thrive well in the province because it is a desert plant”. She also added, “Marketing is not a problem because it has a known market”.
While giving the inspirational message, Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer Ms. Bernadith S. Bunado, encouraged the farmers to concentrate on dragon fruit production because it is an emerging industry. She asked the farmers to accept the intervention provided whole-heartedly and take care of it. “You are very lucky to be the dragon fruit pioneers of Siquijor. We would like you to be our lifetime partners in the dragon fruit industry,” she said.
Before starting his lecture about the Cultural Management and Practices in Dragon Fruit Production, Provincial High Value Crops Coordinator Mr. Lowel B. Salve informed the farmers that this kind of crop is under the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP). “When we say high value, it means that we can earn money from it,” he said.
Mr. Aniano Inao, a known dragon fruit farmer in the province, gave his testimony. He said that the farmers are so lucky to be the recipients of this project. He also shared his farming practices. To encourage the farmers, he told them that he is not only selling fruits but also planting materials.
The training ended with a field visit at the Dragon Fruit farm of Mr. Inao in barangay Bino-ongan and Libo, Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor.
Writer: Agnes Guanella M. Café, Interim Provincial Coordinator/Area Coordinator II, DA-RFO VII Siquijor
Copy Editor: Ela Arciaga, SAAD NPMO PR & Communications Officer