The Cebu Provincial Government recognized 10 outstanding farmers in its seventh Farmer Scientist Training Program (FSTP) Congress last October 23 held at the City of Naga.
Named awardees of the certificates of appreciation were Cesar Ramil of Barangay Taba-ao, Tabogon; Danilo Cambang-ong of Barangay Monte Alegre, Tuburan; Estelito Ruiz of Barangay Managase, Borbon; Lolito Almadin of Baliang, Danao City; Roberto Patrimonio of Liptung, Santander; Jose Ruben of Barangay Cansuje Argao; Anecita Alquizar of Barangay Tubod, Sibonga; Feliza Magallanes of Barangay Nangka, Balamban; Marcus Barricuatro of Argao; and Rolando Delima of Barangay Patag, City of Naga.
The awardees also received various farm inputs from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA).
Dr. Romulo Davide, Ramon Magsaysay awardee and FSTP founder and leader, fondly called them as those napugos og kadato (forced to get rich).
Dr. Roldan Saragena, officer-in-charge of OPA, said they are the model FSTP farmers in their respective localities.
“We hope that their life-changing experiences in farming will inspire others to embrace FSTP,” he said.
The recipients are among those who adhered to principles and practices of FSTP, which were observed through the ocular inspection made by the OPA staff. The farmers also practiced record keeping.
The awardees’ FSTP testimonials were showed to the 2,000 farmer-attendees in the Congress in an audio-visual presentation.
Joe Ruben said what he had before is only a carabao. After learning the farming methods brought by FSTP, he now has two four-wheeled vehicles.
An Agriculture graduate of Cebu Technological University-Argao, Ruben shared about his tomato plantation as his most profitable product.
“Kasagaran ang kamatis mo harvest lang ka ug kapito o kawalo, sa akong farm, mo harvest ko ug ka 13(Usually, you can harvest tomatoes for only seven or eight times, but in my farm, I can harvest for up to 13 times),” he said.
A former construction worker, Rolando Delima also showed how to start from nothing and eventually become an entrepreneur.
He said when he started farming in 2006, he was just toiling soil owned by another person. In 2010, he started acquiring a half-hectare land. Currently, Delima already owned two hectares of farm land near his home.
Delima employed six persons to attend to his vegetables, crops, and livestock. He also rented two stalls in Minglanilla Public Market to sell his own products.
He now served as a barangay kagawad in his barangay and at the same time, an FSTP coordinator.
In his message, Gov. Hilario P. Davide III recognized FSTP as one of his successful programs in his young administration. He announced that they have allotted more funding for the program in 2015.
The Congress was attended by Dr. Davide, who planned for a more illustrious award to be given to outstanding farmers in the future. He currently served as Capitol consultant on agriculture.
The event also showcased farm products from the FSTP participating 43 local government units in Cebu. There were discussions on the issues and concerns facing the farmers in the afternoon.
The province distributed six corn mills, 30 handheld corn shellers, 52 hand jabbers, 65 portable soil test kits, and three grain moisture meters.
At least 100,000 sweet gold-yellow Chinese variety of camote cuttings from San Fernando town were also dispersed.
Also present during the activity were Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Bimbo Fernandez, Department of Agriculture, Provincial Board Members Thadeo Ouano and Grecilda Sanchez, Department of Agriculture 7 Director Angel Enriquez, and Naga Mayor Valdemar Chiong.