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SAAD trains 30 technicians to assist 300 sweet potato, banana farmers

BOHOL, June 25, 2021 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program in Bohol equipped 30 technicians to train 300 farmers on Sweet Potato-Banana Production and Postharvest Management.

The training activity was conducted at Reynas the Haven and Garden, Cogon District, Tagbilaran City, Bohol from June 22 to 25.

Majority of the banana sold in Bohol markets come from Mindanao because locally farmed bananas could not meet market demand. Due to this situation, there is a need to conduct the Training of Trainors to capacitate trainers with knowledge in order to train SAAD  farmer beneficiaries.

The Sweet Potato-Banana Intercropping Project was implemented in Bien Unido, Getafe, Carlos P. Garcia, Buenavista, and Mabini, benefiting 60 farmers in each municipality.

The project has an allocated budget of Php 6,308,000 to cover around 21 hectares with 711,000 sweet potato cuttings and 64 hectares with 40,000 tissue cultured bananas.

Sweet Potato-Banana Production and Postharvest Management Training

Provincial Agriculture Technology Coordinating Office (PATCO) Bohol Agriculturist II Deseada C. Dabalos discussed the banana industry profile as well as cultural management and practices such as the use of tissue cultured planting materials and the intercropping of banana and sweet potato.

“Growing bananas is like raising a child. We must give them time and TLC (tender love and care) to attain good growth performance and harvest,” said Ms. Dabalos.

Ms. Dabalos also shared the importance of managing pests and diseases as well as postharvest handling. She said “cleanliness is the key to combat pest and disease in our production area.

Buenavista municipal agriculturist Mr. Lino M. Divinagracia also shared his knowledge on identifying symptoms of “bugtok” disease caused by Ralstonia solanacearum bacteria, clearing of undesirable banana parts through deleafing and desuckering, and proper fruit bagging during the field visit at Bohol Agricultural Promotion Center Banana Production site.

Meanwhile, DA Bohol Experimental Station senior science research specialist Rosarita D. Crencia discussed necessary information on the production, common pests and diseases, as well as postharvest management for sweet potatoes.

“Bananas and sweet potato are climate resilient crops which can withstand minimal rainfall and drought,” Ms. Crencia said. She also shared that sweet potatoes are considered cash crops.

During the field visit at the Bohol Experimental Station, the participants performed actual cutting material collection and planting of sweet potato. They also observed the field demo on sweet potato and banana intercropping and visited the tissue culture laboratory.

Dako kaau ko ug pasalamat niining training kay na refresh akoang knowledge mahitungod sa saging ug kamote technology ug kani amoang paningkamotan nga mapadangat ug mapaambit ngadto sa amoang tagsa-tagsa ka mga beneficiaries ug mag-uuma didto sa kalunsuran aron makat-on sila niining teknolohiya,” shared participant Jonas T. Luega.

(I am privileged and thankful for this training. This helped me freshen up my knowledge on banana and sweet potato technology. We will do our very best to re-echo what we have learned from this training to the beneficiaries for them to improve their traditional farming practices.

Local government unit (LGU) representatives from Bien Unido (1 farmer; 1 LGU technician), Getafe (1 farmer; 2 LGU technician), Carlos P. Garcia (2 farmers), Buenavista (1 farmer; 2 LGU technicians), and Mabini (1 farmer; 1 technician); SAAD (8); Provincial Agriculture Office (2), selected farmers and association presidents (6), and PATCO (2) participated in the four-day training.###


Writer: Jolina Daño, Information Officer- DA-SAAD Region 7

Source: Ian Egam, Provincial Coordinator- DA-SAAD Region 7 Bohol

Copy-editor: Natalianne Marie O. Delos Reyes

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