MASBATE, January 21, 2022 – San Roque Vegetable Growers Association (SRVGA) with 31 members completed the three-month Season Long Farmer Field School (FFS) on Vegetable Production Technology under the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program. The graduation ceremony last January 7 was held in barangay San Roque, Esperanza, Masbate.
The FFS which happened from September to December 29, 2021 aimed to enhance the association’s vegetable production practices and improve farming activities through lectures and hands-on activities.
The group utilized a 2,000 square meters vacant lot in barangay San Roque, Esperanza, Masbate for growing lowland vegetables such as ampalaya, eggplant, sili panigang, cucumber, tomatoes, cabbage, upland kangkong, bottle gourd, and squash.
The area, which was voluntarily lent by the association member Eldequito Obenita, is also the group’s meeting place every Wednesday from 8am to 4pm for the lecture and hands-on activities.
The discussed topics include:
- site location and lay-outing;
- preparation of soil media;
- land preparation and plot beds making;
- seed selection and seed sowing;
- pest and disease management;
- water management and application;
- installation of plastic mulch;
- transplanting and its advantages;
- fertilizer management and application;
- weed management;
- pruning, trimming, and ratooning; and
- proper harvesting and postharvest handling.
Cultural management in vegetable production was given attention during the FFS by HVCDP Provincial Coordinator and lecturer, Ms. Cita F. Caña from the provincial local government unit (PLGU) Masbate.
Esperanza SAAD Area Coordinator Mark B. Cristobal, and Municipal HVCDP Coordinator and Agricultural Technician Novelen B. Laurio also assisted the resource person and the association throughout the conduct of the FFS.
Moreover, special topics were also discussed such as farm planning, seed production, and simple bookkeeping. Hands-on activities were also conducted such as the making of concoctions (organic fertilizer).
With the technical knowledge acquired by the members, the association plans to continue on vegetable production and engage in value-adding enterprise once they receive the training intervention for enterprise development from the DA-SAAD targeted this year.
Prior to the activity, the association received farming inputs intended for the FFS such as 50 bags of organic fertilizers, 4 bags of complete fertilizer, 2 bags of urea, 4 rolls of vegetable twine, 18 seedling trays, 1 roll of plastic mulch, and assorted vegetable seeds amounting to Php 50,000 under the High-Value Crops Production Project on September 23.
During the commencement
Present during the graduation was Municipal Agriculturist (MA) Engr. Jever L. Malaras, Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture Hon. Cicero S. Conag from LGU Esperanza and Board Member of the 3rd district of Masbate Hon. George A. Gonzales Jr.
Municipal High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) Coordinator of local government unit (LGU) Esperanza Novelen B. Laurio introduced the 31 graduates during the activity.
The officials of the LGU Esperanza were grateful for the FFS intervention received by the farmers in their locality which will capacitate them to enhance their vegetable crop production activities.
Jocebil P. Arcenal, President of the association, was thankful to the DA-SAAD for the opportunity given to them through the FFS.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa DA-SAAD at kay Ma’am Cita dahil sa maraming tinuro sa amin tungkol sa tamang pagtatanim ng gulay at pag-aabono at pagsugpo ng mga peste.”
(I am thankful for the DA-SAAD and to Ma’am Cita for the knowledge imparted to us on the proper vegetable production and fertilizer application, as well as pest management.)
The conduct of FFS encouraged them to pursue vegetable farming and gave them an opportunity to enhance their vegetable farming practices.
“Nagapasalamat ako sa DA-SAAD na kani na FFS diri giheld sa amua, ug sa staff man san Agriculture Office, daghang Salamat po” [I would like to thank the DA-SAAD that this FFS was held in our barangay and also to the Agriculture Office, thank you very much]. ###
Writer: Jay A. Ogaya, SAAD Masbate Information Officer
Source: Mark B. Cristobal, SAAD Masbate Area Coordinator
Photos by: Dave M. Villanueva, SAAD Masbate Area Coordinator