MASBATE, December 17, 2021 – A total of 180 Masbate farmers were capacitated in producing organic vegetable products through the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program. The training aims to introduce to farmers the concepts of organic agriculture and practical techniques on organic farming and provide guidelines on implementing organic agriculture production projects.
The initiative is part of the Php 1.5 million training components of the DA-SAAD Organic Agriculture Production Project for this year to cover 120 hectares in Masbate.
Prior to the training activities, farmers already received various interventions such as garden tools, vegetable seeds, weighing scale, African nightcrawler, plastic drums, empty sacks, and vermi tea brewer from June to December 2021 under the Organic Agriculture Production Project. The associations cultivate vegetable crops such as eggplant, tomato, okra, basil, sitao, squash, ampalaya, and pechay.
Thirty (30) members from each of the six farmers’ associations (FA) namely: Magsaysay Farmers’ Association in Esperanza, Sunrise Farmers’ Organization in Pio V. Corpus, Jintotolo Island Farmers’ Association in Balud, Samahan ng Magsasakang Buhay Organiko of San Pascual, Burabod Farmers’ Association of Mandaon, and Real Farmers’ Association of Monreal received the training conducted in the last quarter of 2021.
The participants were introduced to organic agriculture and management disciplines such as organic vegetable production and vermicomposting.
Nocel Custodio from LGU Balud, Rita Gallego from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, and Niel Anthony Aban and Argio Palanas from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) discussed organic vegetable production and organic production of vermi worms and vermicast fertilizers.
Further, participants actively engaged in demonstration and hands-on activity based on the topics presented by the resource speakers.
The SAAD farmers are encouraged to practice organic farming to enhance the fertility of the soil, improve farm biodiversity, and this can also help in preventing further depletion of natural resources.
Hence, farmer’s health will be protected as well as the consumers, and the public in general. This is also another way of reducing their expenses on farm inputs since the materials used in making organic fertilizers came from biodegradable materials.
Training, seminars, and workshops are part of the social preparation component of the SAAD Program which aims to capacitate farmers in managing the SAAD livelihood projects, transforming farming practices towards developing sustainable community enterprises. ###
Writer: Jay A. Ogaya, PPMSO Masbate Information Officer
Photo Sources: SAAD Masbate PPMSO