The Farmer Scientist Training Program (FSTP), the banner program of the Cebu Provincial Agriculture office to promote agriculture and food security in the province, will go full blast in the next three years.
The FSTP program,conceptualized by Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Dr. Romulo Davide,is designed to help alleviate the plight of farmers and increase their yield and production of crops and livestock in Cebu.
FSTP is not an organization. It is a systematized program wherein farmers are given technical assistance by experts/lecturers from the academe and government agencies with the goal of introducing new and scientific farming methods right in the farmer’s own farm or backyard to increase production.
FSTP is the avenue wherein the common farmer meets the scientists. Operating in the principle of “from lab to land”, revolutionary farming techniques which are accessible only in academic institutions are cascaded to the rural and upland farmers of Cebu province. Innovations and new methodologies in agriculture will then be adopted by ordinary and often unschooled farmers.
In FSTP, the learned experts in the field of agriculture interact with the farmers. They go where the farmers are, contrary to traditional programs of bringing the farmers downtown and conduct lectures.In FSTP, ordinary farmers are taught scientific approach in their farms starting from land preparation to post harvest, thus making them not only “farmers” but “farmer scientist”.
Dr. Romulo G. Davide, program director of FSTP anda 1-peso a year Capitol consultant on Agriculture, said that there is an increase in corn production in Cebu from one ton per hectare to three to seven tons per hectare, attributed mainly to FSTP. This year, Davide hopes to hit additional 1.2 tonsincrease per hectare. Dr. Davide stressed that with the support of the Governor, FSTP is expected to go full blast this year, an all out abante, he said.
Roldan Saragena, OIC-Provincial Agriculturist said that the support of the current administration in the advancement of FSTP, includes an increased budget, designation of FSTP barangay coordinators per municipality, additional supply of farming inputs and allocation for post harvest facilities.
Currently there are 41 municipalities who have embraced the FSTP program of the provincial government.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III has dentified agriculture as one of his priority agenda and recognizes FSTP as “a proven formula to increase yields per unit area of farm”. Diane Higida