LEYTE, PHILIPPINES—The agricultural industry is constantly under pressure to increase output as global populations continue to grow. A study suggests that the Philippines’ agricultural industry should focus its efforts on innovation by acquiring new technology platforms and rescaling farmers and farm workers. Innovation is seen as the animating force behind the future of production.
Factors like climate change, population growth, and food security concerns have propelled the agricultural industry into seeking more innovative approaches to improving crop yield and ensuring food sufficiency. Shifting weather patterns, such as increase in temperature, drastic changes in precipitation levels, and ground water density, affect farmers, especially those who are dependent on timely rains for their crops.
This is critical as agriculture is impacted by environmental factors that cannot be controlled, unlike other industries where risk is easier to model and predict.
Technology transfer by way of capability building activities is thus a major initiative utilized by the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program towards creating increased income and providing stability for the rural poor communities.
It is important that farmers are equipped with training/s that are up–to–date to ensure that new, improved technologies are used and for us to continue to help improve their capacities to produce tangible benefits. Their adoption means more intelligent, sustainable agriculture – allowing farmers to maximize efficiency and yield, while minimizing risk.
The Leyte Provincial Program Management Support Office (PPMSO), which began SAAD Program implementation only in 2018 because Leyte province is an expansion area, conducted the following succession of trainings on the commodity interventions in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, some even overlapping due to the exigency of time and operational arrangements.
The 2–day Corn Production Enhancement Trainings were conducted on May 8–9, June 5–6, and July 26–27, 2018 at Ocean Pearl Cove Resorts, Inc., Tabango, Leyte; Camp Kawayan, Burauen; and Balai Constancia, Bislig, Carigara, respectively. Farmers trained totaled 106, coming from the localities where the trainings were conducted.
From July 10 to August 17, 2018, 2–day successive trainings on Vegetable Production were held in four sites, namely: BLAMPCI, Tabango; Balai Constancia, Bislig, Carigara; Juan Titang’s Beach Resort, Palompon; and Epiphany’s Garden, Alangalang. Common among the topics discussed were Farm Production System, Cropping Pattern, Seed to Seedling, Land Preparation, Insect Identification, Management Control, Disease Identification, and Management Control.
Also instilled in the participants were Values Formation concepts. Invited resource persons were East–West Seed Co. Knowledge Transfer staff, Agricultural Technologists from OPA–Leyte, and Mr. Alvin C. Portugal, a private entrepreneur. The total number of participants trained was 471 belonging to nineteen (19) organized farmers’ associations.
Finally, the series of trainings on Swine Production and Management happened from July 4–October 5, 2018. These 3–day trainings were attended by 613 swine farmers. The venues where the trainings were held were Balai Constancia, Bislig, Carigara; Sergis Beach Resort, Sabang, Palompon; BLAMPCI, Tabango; Kitchen Yum, Palo; and Juan Titang’s Beach Resort, Palompon.
In all, farmers trained in various technologies totaled 1,190. What was remarkable was that farmers shared a common passion to learn, they were open to new ideas, and had unbridled, infectious enthusiasm, which was manifested by their decisive questions in every training and through sharing of experiences, mores, practices, and beliefs.
The continuous capability enhancement activities are SAAD Program’s commitment to partner with farmers and their associations as they face the challenges of the times. We add value as we team up with identified beneficiaries for growth because we want what we have started to be sustainable. Collectively, we desire to live in a better world. We want our lives to be easier.
Innovating by applying technology and development is the program’s way of contributing to nation–building, one step at a time. By working together, we will make it happen.
Writer: Michael F. Dabuet, DA-RFO 8 Administrative Officer III
Copy Editor: Ela Arciaga, SAAD PR & Communications Officer