“Mas gahi daruhon ang ulo kaysa sa yuta (It is more difficult to cultivate the mind than the soil)” was part of Dr. Romulo Davide’s speech at the recent Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP) Phase I Graduation and Phase II Launching at Barangay Tabla Covered Court in Liloan.
Davide emphasized that Phase I is not just a demo training but also a cultivation of the minds of the farmers. Davide admitted that it is a bold step to somehow convince the farmers to shift from their old ways to the new techniques of FSTP.
FSTP Founder Davide, Provincial Agriculturist’s Office (PAO) Head Roldan Saragena and Tabla Barangay Captain Henry Tanjay with the barangay councilors were present during the activity.
Out of 30-40 farmers from the area who registered in FSTP, only 20 farmer scientists continued the demo training program and all of them are willing to pursue Phase II.
“Farming can teach us patience and perseverance. In phase I, we can identify what fruits the flowers will turn into. In phase II, we can identify which fruits are already ripe,” Davide explained.
Conchita P. Gongob, 50, shared how thankful she wasto be introduced to the program. While doing the demo farm for four months under Phase I, Gongob was also trying the new system out in her own farm.
After the demo training period, Gongob gathered the knowledge needed for the new system and at the same time earned more than P20,000 when she harvested the corn and root crops in her own farm.
Barangay Captain Henry Tanjay thanked the Cebu Provincial Government for bringing FSTP in their barangay. Tanjay cited the efforts of the provincial and barangay FSTP coordinators for supporting the farmers in Barangay Tabla. He also thanked Davide and Saragena for finding time of gracing the activity.
Saragena recalled the results of the demo farming. Before, the farmers can only gather 800 kilos to one ton of harvested corn per hectare. But now, the result of the trial for FSTP produces three to five tons of harvested corn per hectare.
He said that FSTP is relevant to one of the six-point development agenda of Gov. Hilario Davide III, which is the food security. This program supports the government in making Cebu as a sufficient producer and provider of food, especially corn, rice and sweet potatoes.
PAO offers new programs such as Agri-Fishery Insurance Program, Co Organic Agriculture Program, Aquatic Development Center, and many more. It is also planning to set a Tilapia Hatchery and Nursery Establishment.