Oton Holds First VF
by James Earl E. Ogatis
Intensifying the agricultural growth among farmer leaders and members of farmers associations, the municipality of Oton held its first Very Friendly (VF) agriculture summit with the theme, “Maghugpong kita tanan, programa sa agrikultura suportahan” last month at Buray, Oton, Ilolo.
Mayor Vincent Flores said that significant contribution of the agriculture sector propels the steady growth of the municipal economy as of last year.
Flores stressed that the enthusiasm of the Progressive and United Federation of Farmers Association of Oton (PUFFAO) encouraged him to organize the first agriculture summit in order to strengthen and update members of the various programs of the national agencies.
“Very Friendly (VF) was incorporated in our activity because it is our municipal slogan depicting the attitude, environment and practices of the Ogtonganons.” Mayor Flores added.
Engr. Jose Pajarillo, Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer (APCO) for Iloilo discussed the five banner programs of the Department of Agriculture 6 emphasizing that the agency has given postharvest equipment, farm machineries, production inputs and technology support to the Oton farmers.
Pajarillo said that this 2015, the Agri-Pinoy Rice program has allocated a total of P11,085,800.00 for the municipality intended for high yield technology adoption program, irrigation development services, deployment of local farmer technicians, development of farm service provider and improvement of palayamanan training center.
The high value crops development program allots intervention for production support for lowland vegetable seeds and for production equipment while the livestock program will strengthen support for the artificial insemination program for cattle, carabao, goat and sheep.
A total of P4.0 million was allocated for the concreting of Brgy. Buray barangay road, Pajarillo added.
DA attached agencies such as Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), National Food Authority (NFA) also presented their respective thrusts and priorities for the farmers.
Mr. Elias Sandig, provincial organic focal person talked on the potential of adopting the organic agriculture program and producing organically-grown products to meet the existing high demand in the market.
He emphasized the importance of the organization of farmers in their respective barangays for them to avail of the national and local government interventions. This will also maximize the utilization of postharvest and farm mechanization equipment given to them.
The farmer-participants then crafted their five-year agricultural development plan which will be the basis for succeeding interventions coming from various national government agencies in the future. /MP