CARAGA, May 25, 2023 – Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Caraga conducted Banana Production Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to 75 farmers in Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte from April to May 2023.
As project recipients of the Banana Production Project (lakatan) under SAAD Phase 2, the said farmers from three (3) newly formed farmers’ associations (FAs) in the municipalities of Remedios T. Romualdez, Sison, and Tagana-an learned practices in establishing a banana plantation from determining the suitability of the site through soil analysis, clearing and preparing the land, selecting planting materials, planting, fertilizer application, and pest control.
Managing and maintaining the plantation was also discussed, which includes weeding, replanting, watering, especially during the dry season, and pruning, among others.
Table 1. Participating Farmers’ Associations (FAs)
DA-Caraga Personnel Francis Louie Parina (Field Operations Division), Beb P. Palingcod (Regulatory Division), and Flora Galanida (Regional Crop Protection Center) served as resource persons for the training in RTR; and Zandy Espuerta of Provincial Agriculture Office – Surigao del Norte for the training in Sison and Tagana-an.
Mr. Espuerta also introduced an Integrated Pest Management approach to manage banana pests and diseases, which relies on a combination of common-sense practices; hence, environmentally sensitive.
While the farmers are not new to banana production, some are new to the variety (lakatan) introduced by SAAD. Mr. Rogelio Hingpit, President of Tagbayani SAAD FA, said that the training introduced them to new strategies to manage their banana production, which are corrective of the practices they got used to.
“Aduna mi experience sa pagpananom og saging. Pero ang uban diay sa among mga pamaagi baliktad ang epekto o makadaot sa among tanom. Dakong tabang kani nga training kay mas nahibalo mi sa mga angay nga practice aron malikayan ang sakit-sakit ug mas maayo ang among harvest puhon,” expressed Mr. Hingpit.
(We have experience in planting bananas, but some of the strategies we implement are detrimental to our plantation. This training is a big help to us to learn more about the appropriate practices to prevent pests and diseases and to have better yield.)
The training is among the components of the banana production project from SAAD Phase 2 to be awarded to the FAs this year (FY 2023). The livelihood package includes 6,250 planting materials, fertilizers, fungicides, and farm tools amounting to Php 1.4 million. ###
Writer: Mark Angelo, DA-SAAD Caraga Regional Information Officer