DA8 Chief graces Southern Leyte’s Agri-Fair & Garden Show

Created on Monday, 15 July 2019 Published Date

The Province of Southern Leyte recently celebrated its 59th Founding Anniversary on July 1, 2019 with the theme, “Inisyatibo alang sa Padayon nga Kalambuan.”  Part of the celebration was the holding of the Agri-Fair & Garden Show 2019 at the Tree Park, Capitol Grounds in Asuncion, Maasin City.  Spearheaded by the Provincial Agricultural Services Office, the agri-fair held from June 27-July 1, 2019 showcased various farm and fishery products of participating municipalities in the province.

During the Opening Program, Guest of Honor Dir. Milo D. Delos Reyes, CESE, OIC Regional Executive Director of the DA–Regional Field Office 8 cut the ceremonial ribbon signifying the start of the occasion, along with So. Leyte Representative Roger G. Mercado, Provincial Governor Damian G. Mercado, OIC Provincial Agriculturist Myrna Q. Bacala, and Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members.  Representatives from the different MLGUs, PAGSO staff, DA–RFO 8 personnel, and exhibitors were also on hand to witness the event’s opening salvo.

In his Welcome Remarks, Hon. Governor Mercado acknowledged and thanked everyone for their participation, which made the garden show a roaring success.  Briefly, he mentioned the accomplishments of his administration, to include the network of paved roads connecting the remotest barangays to towns, thereby facilitating the transport of agricultural goods and services to markets.

Hon. Roger G. Mercado, in his Inspirational Message, exhorted the DA to help Southern Leyte fully develop its fertile soil and rich agri-fishery potentials by tapping the services of its agricultural technologists, veterinarians, extension workers, etc.  That way, the province can maximize the development of the land through modern machineries and equipment, and improved technologies.  Likewise, he spoke about the Provincial Convergence Team for TEA (Tourism & Environment Agriculture), organized by the good governor, which aims to attract tourists to visit various organic farms in Southern Leyte.

Meanwhile, the Guest Speaker, RED Milo D. Delos Reyes, initially congratulated the constituents of Southern Leyte for the commemoration of its 59th Founding Anniversary.  In relation to this, he acknowledged the province’s victory as Most Outstanding Province at the recently concluded DA–RFO 8 Farmers’ and Fisherfolk Month Celebration, where the joint Regional Gawad Saka Search and Regional Rice Achievers Award was conducted.  There were eight (8) Agricultural Extension Worker awardees coming from PAGSO and Bontoc.  In the 2017 National Rice Achievers Award, the MagKaSa Irrigators’ Association of San Juan also won the coveted Outstanding Irrigators Association, he added.

Dir. Delos Reyes pushed for the production of abaca, coffee, cacao, and other high value crops.  He also promoted white corn consumption as this has low glycemic index, or sugar.  He aims to boost the manufacture of products from coconut husk, such as coco nets and coco mats.  Lastly, he plans to increase the implementation of irrigation projects and keep pace with other regions by providing high-end farm machinery, equipment, and facilities.

Citing statistics, RED Delos Reyes informed the audience that So. Leyte grew by 17% in rice production in 2018, which in turn contributed to the 5.25% positive growth posted by Eastern Visayas last year.  Finally, according to him, among the six (6) provinces in Region 8, Southern Leyte has the most number of ongoing I-BUILD and I-REAP subprojects that were approved by the Regional to National Project Advisory Board, the policy and advisory bodies that oversee the implementation of the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).  He attributed this achievement to the good leadership and governance, full support and cooperation by local government officials.

To cap the event, prizes were given to award-winning booths.  Adjudged Most Innovative was the Pintuyan LGU booth; Novelty and People’s Choice Awards went to the Macrohon LGU booth; Most Eco–friendly was the Hinundayan LGU booth; and Most Ship-Shape was the St. Bernard LGU booth (photo below).  (MICHAEL F. DABUET, SAAD Staff, FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO, Chief, RAFIS)

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