CATANDUANES, September 14, 2021 – Fifty-six (56) rice farmers in Catanduanes underwent training on production and enterprise development under the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program.
The first batch, composed of 30 rice farmers from San Roque Palay Association (SAROPA) in Bato, attended the Training on Rice Production and Enterprise Development from August 30 to September 1.
Another batch of 26 farmers belonging to the Rainfed Island Rice Growers Association (RIRGA) from Bagamanoc and San Miguel participated in the training conducted from September 2 to 3.
The training initiative is aimed at boosting rice farmers’ production competitiveness and introducing them to opportunities for enterprise development.
Speakers from the DA Regional Field Office 5 shared their knowledge and expertise to the participants by providing relevant and efficient techniques to have a prolific rice harvest in the next cropping season.
Mr. Alex Atian, Rice Program Technical Staff, discussed rice production and cultural management practices during the training.
Meanwhile, topics on integrated pest management, common crop diseases, and effective mitigation measures were presented by personnel from Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC): Mr. Giovanni Valenciano – Senior Science Research Specialist and Mr. Godofredo Balmeo – RCPC Technical Staff.
Ms. Honey Leah Cantoria and Ms. Kim Jonah Bolivar, who are technical staff from the DA-SAAD Regional Program Management Support Office, also shared their basic approaches on food hygiene and introduced enterprising opportunities to the farmers.
Personnel from Bato and Bagamanoc local government units (LGU), Municipal Agricultural Officer (MAO) Delfin Samar of Bato, and Agricultural Technologist Ma. Teresa Villaflor of Bagamanoc were also present during the activity to show full support and share inspiring messages to the beneficiaries during the training.
“Some farmers have limited knowledge in terms of making other products using rice as the main ingredient. Through this training, they learned how to venture into an enterprise that will provide more earning opportunities. I encourage the farmers to apply the skills they have acquired as this is something new for them,” shared Ms. Villaflor. She also advised the farmers to assimilate the significance of participating in the said training and the new concepts conveyed by the speakers.
During the activity, the farmers were taught to prepare products using rice as the main ingredient to produce kropek, putopao, macaroons, sabalanko, pastillas, and polvoron.
“Dakula po ang pagpamabalos ming mga parauma sa mga tabang na nakukua mi sa SAAD. Poon po sa pagtao ninyo ning banhi, abono, buda mga makinarya, ngunyan po pigtutul-an kami kung pan-o magibo ning ibang mga produkto gamit ang bagas. Pwede po ining pagkakitaan ning mga alog mi na imbes na bagas o paloy sana ang naipapabakal, igwa na man na kami ning ibang mga produkto. Gabos po pati na mga gamit pwede mi makua sana sa laog ning halong, kaya mas madari po ini para sa samuya. Mabalos po sa SAAD,” shared Mr. Leo Tevar, member of RIRGA.[“As farmers, we are very grateful for the assistance given to us by the DA-SAAD. From providing us with palay seeds, fertilizers, and machines, now we were taught how to make processed foods using rice. This can be another source of income for us. Instead of just selling palay or well-milled rice, we can also offer other products. Most of the ingredients are accessible and are common cooking items that are easy for us. Thank you, SAAD.”]
Members of RIRGA are set to start producing rice kropek as a start-up venture, while SAROPA farmers are looking into the possibility of making putopao and rice macaroons as increased demand during the approaching holiday season may arise.
The training is part of the Php 3,269,000 budget allocated for the DA-SAAD’s Upland/Rainfed Rice Production Project for FY 2021 in Catanduanes.
DA-SAAD is a locally funded program that assists marginalized communities by providing agricultural inputs and capacity-building efforts to encourage agricultural and food production, and community enterprise development.
Currently, the program serves farmers from 30 provinces in the Philippines, including Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon in the Bicol Region. The program also caters to indigenous cultural communities, and End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) areas in the country. ###
Writer: Sarah Jane C. Taway, DA SAAD Catanduanes – Information Officer
Sources: PPMO Catanduanes
Photo Sources: Romy Judson G. Eusebio, Lory Vallespin