“Kada Merkules absent gyud na siya sa klase kay nay lecture sa FSTP (Every Wednesday, she would always miss her class so she can join the scheduled FSTP lecture),” added Domenciana. FSTP phase one (1) runs for 18 weeks.
Domenciana said her youngest is the only child in the family who likes farming. Joan said she joined the FSTP because she is interested in farming. She said when she grows up she wanted to become a teacher.
Joan, along with her first cousin Angel Mae Adolfo who also a sixth grader, and Charls Tundag, an 8th grader, were among the new FSTP graduates in Barangay Tabla last March 29.
Like the Adolfo cousins, Tundag also skipped classes once a week to join FSTP. He said joining the program does not only make him a farmer-scientist. Moreover, he said it taught him values of hard work and respect of elders.
Capitol Agriculture Consultant Dr. Romulo Davide, FSTP program leader, welcomed the new generation of farmers. He said it is important that not all in the family leaves farming for a different job elsewhere.
In Barangay Tabla, 36 farmers graduated from the program; 23 farmers graduated in phase 1 and 13 in phase 2.
In the municipality of Consolacion, 80 farmers successfully completed their training in respective phases; 52 in phase 1 and 28 in phase 2.
The 52 farmers came from Barangays Panoypoy and Tilhaong. The 28 came from Barangay Lanipga. Lanipga is the last mountain barangay of Consolacion. Its next barangay is Tabla, which is already part of Liloan town.
Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado was also pleased that new FSTP graduates included 12 young farmers. She said their presence insures that farming is not a dying vocation in Cebu.
Niño Jay Gonzaga, 17, said being in the mountain area, farming is the only livelihood they have. Instead of wasting his time going out with his friends, he said he helps his parents in the farm if there are no classes and during summer break.
FSTP aims to give small farmers direct training contact with agricultural experts and scientists to develop their technical and scientific capabilities to grow corn and other crops utilizing appropriate farming methods.
Phase 1 is an experimental stage where farmers plant corn and crops using different trials while phase 2 is where the trainees applied the best trial they have learned from phase 1.