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Masbate farmers take enterprise dev’t training on organic agriculture, rice production

MASBATE, September 5, 2022 – To provide an avenue for farmers to promote value-added products made from organically-grown vegetables and to sharpen the crop production and entrepreneurial skills of rice farmers, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) program conducted two (2) Enterprise Development Trainings, one on Organic Agriculture and one on Rice Production, for two (2) Monreal Farmers’ Associations (FAs).

Sixty (60) beneficiaries from Macarthur Monreal Farmers Association (MMFA) and Cantorna Monreal Organic Farmers Association (CAMOFA) engaged in vegetable and rice farming and fishing as a source of livelihood participated in the training. This is a part of the Upland/Rainfed Rice Production Project and Organic Agriculture Production Project of DA-SAAD transforming farming activities into sustainable community enterprises.

The training was simultaneously facilitated by several personnel of the SAAD – Regional Program Management Support Office (RPMSO) and SAAD – Provincial Program Management Support Office (PPMSO) Masbate on July 13-14, 2022.

Enterprise Development Training on Organic Agriculture Production

Through validation and monitoring activities conducted by the SAAD Program, 30 members (24 females and 6 males) of the CAMOFA were selected as recipients of the Organic Agriculture Production and Enterprise Development project worth Php 335,753 which includes various planting materials such as vegetable seeds and kitchen supplies. Partial delivery of the said interventions has been made and will continue in the third quarter of FY 2022. They will soon be cultivating various vegetables such as cucumber, eggplant, ampalaya, tomatoes, sitao and pechay.

To effectively utilize the interventions that will be provided to the association, the group took the training on Entrepreneurial Capability for Organic Agriculture on July 13, 2022 at Brgy. Cantorna Chapel, Monreal.

The training proper was spearheaded by SAAD RPMSO Researcher, Ms. Honey Leah O. Cantoria. Topics about vegetable processing, product labels, packaging and product costing were discussed, which opens the beneficiaries to entrepreneurial opportunities for vegetable production and management.

Moreover, learners actively participated in a cooking demo of various vegetable-based products like tomato marmalade, tomato green chili salsa, fresh chili paste and pickled chili.

Meanwhile,  Lyra Cantela, member of CAMOFA expressed her gratitude to SAAD for the training that they have received, “Nagapasalamat kami kay dako-dako na bagay para sa amon na makaaram kami lalo na sa amon na mga babae, pwede kami makahimo sin pwede pang-benta basta may puhunan pwede kami makahimo na makabulig sa amon para maibenta namon an amon produkto kay may aram na kami. Salamat sa DA kag sa SAAD, dako-dako an bulig sa amon na mga pobre.”

(We are grateful for the opportunity to learn [about enterprise management], especially for us women. We can make profits through the products we have learned to make. Thanks to DA and the SAAD Program for continuously helping the poor).

Rice Production and Enterprise Development Training

Using the same monitoring and validation process, the MAMOFA was chosen as a beneficiary of the Rice Production project amounting to Php 360,870 which comprises of upland rice seeds, foliar and organic fertilizers, empty and laminated sacks, collapsible storage, pulverizer, vacuum pack sealer, 10-kg weighing scale, and various kitchen supplies that have been partially delivered and will be completed in the third quarter of FY 2022.

With this, 30 learners (16 females and 14 males) took the training on Rice Production and Enterprise Development on July 13-14, 2022 at Barangay Macarthur Evacuation Center, in which speakers from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG) shared their expertise on their respective topics.

Mr. Teodoro Oriola, OPAG Senior Agriculturist, discussed land preparation and water and nutrient management while Ms. Sharon Pardeño, OPAG Seed Inspector, tackled pest management. These topics would help farmers acquire knowledge and proper maintenance of rice crops and land areas following the concepts, principles, and key checks of the PalayCheck system and preventive measures and medication in case of crop infestation.

Moreover, during the second day of the session, enterprise-related topics such as product costing and product labeling and packaging were discussed by SAAD RPMSO Researcher, Honey Leah Cantoria. The participants also took part in a cooking demo of various rice-based products like rice polvoron, rice carioca, puto de leche and sabalangko.

To come up with additional income, the two associations plan to make value-added products once their crops are ready for harvest. In a systematic manner, they plan to designate roles for members in harvesting, processing, and selling the products within their localities.  ###

Writer:  Jay A. Ogaya, DA-SAAD Masbate Information Officer

Source: DA-SAAD Masbate

Photo Sources:
Jay A. Ogaya, DA-SAAD Masbate Information Officer
Maribeth Mangalino, DA-SAAD Region 5 Report Officer

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