The Department of Agriculture (DA) and Cebu Provincial Government launched an Agri-Pinoy Trading Center (APTC) in Mantalongon, Dalaguete on May 28.
Agri-Pinoy is the government’s framework program, which provides principles and practices for the country’s agricultural and fishery development.
One of its biggest undertakings is building a center as a venue for the farmers and livestock raisers for trading. It also provides an electronic pricing board for the monitoring of the prices of the produce in the city.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala who personally graced the occasion hoped that the newly-built P16-million trading center in Dalaguete will improve the lives of the farmers.
“We, in the Department of Agriculture, will try our very best to provide the needs of our farmers”, said Alcala.
The visit of Alcala and Governor Hildario Davide III provides the farmers a chance to bring up their concerns regarding water shortage, roads, irrigations, and dairy processing equipment.
Alcala said that the Department of Agriculture (DA) could provide a series of small water impounding projects and solar panels. They might also provide hoses for the utilization of available springs around the place.
The secretary added that the farmers could write a letter containing their requests to the DA so that they could conduct further study with their concerns.
“Usa kini ka makasaysayanon nga panghitabo alang kanato. Daku gyud kaayo kini ug ikatabang alang sa atong mga mag-uuma ilabi na sa pagsubay sa presyo didto sa Sugbo ug sa nagkalain-laing lugar sa kabisay-an. Hinaut nga kini magtamod og kalamboan alang kaninyong tanan (This is a historic event for us. This is a great help for our farmers, especially in monitoring the prices in the city and other places in the Visayas. I hope this will contribute to your success),” Davide said, referring to the APC.
During the event, the DA gave away seeds, knapsack fertilizer sprayers, water sprayers, and sacks of organic fertilizers. They also gave chickens, piglets, cows, carabaos, and goats.
Filomena Olosco, 72, a farmer from Sitio Private, Mantalongon said that the extended dry spell has affected the amount of their produce.
“Gagmay na gane kaayo among mga carrots, unya ang uban dagko tuod apan deformed. Mapugos mi pag-ubos sa presyo kay mahulog man kini og reject (Our carrots are very small and deformed. We are forced to lower their prices because they can be considered rejects),” Olosco added.
Another farmer, Catalina Vasquez, 60, said that they are praying for rain to come in June or July or else the planting time will be delayed.
“Mao ra gyud ni among gisaligan nga panginabuhi-an. Maayo unta og itugot sa kahitas-an nga mo-ulan (Farming is our only source of living. May God shower us with rain),” Vasquez shared her plea.
Despite the situation, the farmers are hopeful that this action from DA will improve their lives.
Congressman Wilfredo Caminero, Undersecretary Emerson Palad, Assistant Secretary Leandro Gazmin, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, Provincial Board Members Peter John Calderon and Christopher Baricuatro, Mayor Ronald Allan Cesante and Provincial Agriculture Office-OIC Roland Saragena were also present during the launching.