Thirty-three farmers in Barangay Antipolo, Tuburan and 44 farmers in Daanbantayan graduated from the Cebu Provincial Government’s Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP) after 18 weeks of demo training, lectures and experiments.
Vermilina P. Mahinay, an FSTP Phase I graduate, shared how she has always dreamed of going into farming. After 15 years of working in Denmark, she came home to settle down in Cebu. The perfect opportunity came when the FSTP provincial coordinators organized a training for the farmers in Tuburan. She decided to join the training to fulfill her dream.
“I have learned a lot and now and I can finally say, I am proud to be a farmer,” she said. Mahinay is now developing an organic farm in her own piece of land.
The ceremony in Tuburan was held at the Student Activity Center of the Cebu Technological University-Tuburan last week. Gov. Hilario Davide, Provincial Board Member Gigi Sanchez, Tuburan Mayor Aljun Diamante, FSTP Founder Dr. Romulo Davide and Provincial Agriculture Officer-in-Charge Roldan Saragena graced the ceremony.
The training in Tuburan started last week of May and ended on the last week of September. Their graduation ceremony was postponed due to weather. On the same occasion, the new farmer-scientists delivered their reports and impressions on the success of their experiments.
“Nanghinaot ko nga magpadayon kamo hangtod sa Phase III ug isabwag ninyo ang inyong nakat-onan sa uban pang mang-uuma (I hope that all of you will continue to Phase III and that you will share what you have learned to other farmers),” Davide said.
He also encouraged other farmers to be trained under FSTP and avail of the life insurance that the province offered to the farmers in Cebu.
In Daanbantayan, the FSTP Phase 1 graduation was held at the Lamberto R. Te, Sr. Cultural Center last December 10. Saragena and Dr. Davide were the special guests.
Saragena stressed that the goal of the Cebu Provincial Government is for the farmers to be self-reliant and self-sustaining through maximum production of their crops.
“We can now hope for empowered farmers who will step out and will ask and speak up their minds,” he said.
Under FSTP, farmers are highly motivated to embrace their line of work. They are discouraged to acquaint farming to hunger and poverty.
Jose Mondejar, 45, one of the graduates in Daanbantayan shared, “Lahi ra gyud kaayo karong nakat-on ko ani nga programa. Maka-assure ko nga 85 to 90 percent sa akong pananom, naa gyuy nindot nga resulta.
Excited na gani mi sa farm to market nga level puhon (It is very different now that I have learned this program. I am assured that 85-90 percent of my crops will have better results. We are actually very excited to reach the farm to market level in the future).”
Farmer-scientists are always be reminded of KKAA or KAKA that stands for kogi (hard work), antos (sacrifice), kusog (strength) and ampo (prayer).