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Medellin farmers get FSTP intervention

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

Crop growers in the municipality of Medellin received intervention from Governor Hilario P. Davide III and the Cebu Provincial Capitol through the Farmer-Scientist Training Program (FSTP).

The corn-based production system for sustainable agricultural development, founded by Dr. Romulo G. Davide, recently gained support from the municipal government.

Dr. Davide is an uncle of Governor Hilario P. Davide III and is serving the province as Agriculture Consultant for P1 a year.

_MG_7136Last February 15, Medellin held the first graduation rites for 34 newly trained farmer-scientists at the Poblacion Basketball Court. Mayor Ricardo Ramirez was not available to attend the graduation rites but sent Sanggunian Bayan Secretary Randy Perez to announce the municipality’s full support to the program.

With the support of the municipal government, Dr. Davide, said they expect to produce a hundred farmer-scientists in Medellin next year.

In behalf of the University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Agriculture, Dr. Davide awarded certificates to the FSTP graduates. They came from six (6) barangays in Medellin.

Since 2009, this is the first time that the FSTP was launched in the barangay level, according to Capitol FSTP Team Leader Joseph dela Cerna.

_MG_7170Dela Cerna added that it is logical to get the support of the local government units to obtain the highest number of farmer-participants in the training.

FSTP was already introduced in Medellin in the 2000s. However, the program was never cascaded to the barangay level as its implementation was stopped.

According to Dr. Davide, in 2006, the town was one of the experimental fields of the then new variety IPB var 6.

IPB var 6 is a new variety of corn developed by the University of the Philippines Los Baños. The Cebu Provincial government is now distributing IBP var 6 to the farmers.

_MG_7175Dr. Davide said IBP var 6 is high yielding and can be used again for planting unlike most of the commercial hybrid corn.

In the experimental field in Medellin, the IBP var 6 gave the highest yield of 5.07 metric tons per hectare.

The Province of Cebu, through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), aims to get a corn harvest of 1.5 tons to 2 tons per hectare.

In 2010, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported that Central Visayas produced less than a thousand ton of corn a hectare. Quoting the latest report of DA, Officer-in-Charge Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Roldan Saragena Cebu Province only produced around 800 kilos to 1 ton of corn per hectare.

Gov. Davide recognizes that development in the farming sector will contribute in the over-all growth of the province of Cebu.