282 Farmers Conclude Organic Farming Course

Created on Monday, 04 February 2013 Published Date

“Now that you [farmer-graduates] have been equipped with the principles on organic farming, we believe that you can be our strong partners in weaving a viable organic production system,” says Regional Executive Director Antonio G. Gerundio of the Department of Agriculture-VIII (DA-8) during the Culminating Exercises of the University-on-the-Air (UOA) on Organic Farming held on 26 November 2012 at the Leyte Provincial Gym, Tacloban City.

Two hundred eighty-two (282) farmers coming from Leyte, Samar and Eastern Samar provinces completed the season-long course thus receiving their diploma conferred by DA-8 and the Leyte Provincial Agriculture Office.

Said farmers spent almost five months to finish the course by listening to the radio for 30 minutes from Monday to Saturday. By doing so, they kept themselves abreast of the series of topics discussed by experts on organic agriculture from national, regional and provincial offices.

Similar to the classroom teaching method, the students, after listening and taking note of the lectures, answered short quizzes and major examinations administered by the radio program hosts. “We are doing so to determine their level of reception on the concepts and principles gained from the discussions,” says DA-8 Information Division Chief Francisco C. Rosaroso.

The municipal/city agriculturists and agricultural technologists served as supervisors of the farmer-students. To complement the discussions, the students were required to join the educational tour to identified progressive farms in the region.

All done, a panel of evaluators selected the top 10 students that were given special awards and prizes sponsored by DA-8 and the Provincial Local Government Unit of Leyte through Governor Ma. Mimietta S. Bagulaya.

Mr. Ariel R. Rupa, a 44-year old farmer from Palo, Leyte was awarded as 1st honor, among others.

The said occasion gathered not only farmers but also officials and technical persons from various agencies supporting the organic agriculture program such as Ms Joie Faustino from DA-OSEC, Dr. Rodolfo Estigoy from PhilMech, Dir. Paulino T. Cabahit from ATI-8, Mr. Ronelo Pisquera from PCIC-8 and several others.

Meantime, Ms Emalyn Legal, a member of the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) and the Mindanao Small Farmers’ Representative revealed that the present administration targets to convert at least 50% of the country’s total agricultural area into organic farms.

Coinciding the event was the awarding of this year’s Regional Gawad Saka farmer-achievers.(by:JFE Macapanas, Asst. Info. Officer)

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