Miagao Holds Info
Caravan After Techno Demo
by Sheila Toreno
The Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office 6 conducted the Agricultural Information Caravan and Technology Forum with emphasis on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) integration during the opening of the 3rd Farmers and Fisherfolk Week of the Municipality of Miagao held at JRBB Hall, recently.
Municipal Mayor Macario Napulan cited that Miagao is one of the most progressive towns and is considered as the center of quality bulb onion production in the region. “Ang kauswagan sang Miagao nagasandig sa sektor sang agrikultura,” he added.
The celebration theme is “Paghugpong sang Mangunguma kag Mangingisda Sabat sa Kalibutanon nga Pag-hangkat sa Industriya.”
Dr. Jonic S. Natividad of the DA Regulatory Division encouraged around 500 farmer-participants to give importance on food safety and organic farming as means to compete with the upcoming AEC integration. He discussed salient points of Good Agricultural Practices and Good Animal Husbandry Practices as well as the major commodities of the town which can be certified with the said practices.
Technical persons from the banner and other major programs of DA, as well as representatives from Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), and Philippine Coconut Authority highlighted the various services and programs available to individual farmers/fisherfolks and associations.
On the other hand, Iloilo Asst. Provincial Agriculturist Elias Sandig reiterated to the participants the need to form themselves into farmers/fisherfolks group in order to have better access to various government programs on agriculture.
Engr. Bernard Castillano of NIA reported the list of irrigation projects approved under 2015 budget. Meanwhile, ATI Center Director Eden DLR Bautista shared to the farmers their different education and extension services available in support to the DA’s production and marketing assistance.
Joel Solis of PCA encouraged the coconut farmers of Miagao to focus not only on copra as means to augment their income. According to him, given that the municipality of Miagao has high production in coconut, farmers could go into processing of virgin coconut oil, coco sugar and coconut fiber and twine. Furthermore, Solis enumerated the three major programs of PCA including the Coconut Fertilization, Participatory Coconut Planting Project and the Coconut Seedlings Dispersal Project.
With the onset of drought period, most farmers bear with production losses. Thus, Clarence Jereza of PCIC stressed among the participants to enlist themselves in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture in order to insure their crops, livestock, facilities and farm equipment without premium.
PCC Center Director Arn Granada said that there is a need to upgrade the breeding stocks of dairy animals in order to meet the high demand of the region. Dir. Granada said that Western Visayas has been producing national champions in the dairy production for the past two years.
Robert Espinosa of BFAR discussed the two scholarship programs of the bureau being offered to children of fisherfolk members.
To provide farmers with extra livelihood, Ma. Elena Javier conducted a techno demonstration on bangus deboning, Ma. Teresa Celiz of PCC on cheese making, and Alex Nares of OPA-Iloilo on piglet castration. /MP