Food security. Food security. Food security.
This repeated phrase would sound redundant. But those two little words are just fitting reminders of the grim reality that the absence of farmers will make people hungry.
Hailed for their valuable role in putting food on the table, Gov. Hilario P. Davide III wanted to ease their burden on the thankless daily work they are in.
Yesterday, the governor distributed at least P1.434 million worth of agriculture machineries and equipment to 46 farmer’s associations in towns and cities during the 4th Farmer’s Day at the Capitol.
The machineries included 35 units of mechanical weighing scale (P454, 685), seven units cassava grater (P136,000), 121 manual corn shellers (P133, 100), four hand tractors with implements (P196,000), two floating tillers (P84,000), 85 manual weeders (P127,500), two rice threshers (P103,000), and two biodegradable shredders (P200,000).
In addition, Davide also handed over a total of P7.8 million worth of checks to 13 towns for the expansion projects of the Farmer’s Scientist Training Program (FSTP).
“Kami sa Provincial Government nahibaw gayud sa inyong kalisdanan sa pag-uma. Hangtod ani-a pa kita dinhi, dili kita mohunong sa pagtabang kaninyo ug paghatag sa inyong panginahanglanon,” Davide said.
Each recipient town received P600,000, including Santander, Daanbantayan, Dalaguete, Tuburan, Alcoy, Sibonga, Dumanjug, Badian, Samboan, Ronda, Asturias, Aloguinsan and Sta. Fe.
Earlier, the towns of San Francisco, Balamban, Madridejos and the City of Danao got funding for the FSTP expansion program.
During a ceremony at the social hall, a resolution from the newly elected officers of the umbrella organization of the farmer’s associations of the province requested Davide for a place in the city where they could display their products.
In response, Davide promised to build a farmer’s trading center near SM City at the newly acquired lot, which is part of the land swap deal between Cebu City and the Province.
All three speakers, Dr. Roldan Saragena, provincial agriculturist; Dr. Romulo Davide, Capitol consultant for agriculture; and Lorelie Acha, provincial coordination officer for the Department of Agriculture 7, underlined the crucial role of farmers in ensuring the food security needs, not only for themselves, but also for others.
“Unsaon nalang pagkaon sa uban kung wala nay mag-uuma. Dako gyud kaayo ang inyong papel ug tampo sa atong food security, maong daghang salamat sa inyong sakripisyo,” Saragena said.
Aside from extending his gratitude, Saragena was ringing the alarm bells with reports that the younger generations are no longer interested in farming.
In a message sent by Dr. Davide, the father of FSTP, he hoped that the National Government would have a holiday for the farmers to pay tribute to their efforts.
He said the day should be in May, the starting month for the planting season.
“It is time to honor them with dignity as food providers for us who are not farmers. Without them no one will feed us,” Dr. Davide said.
Acha echoed Dr. Davide’s call, saying people couldn’t live without food and without someone, toiling the land.
“Time and again, our farmers are the unsung heroes,” she said.
The event was also graced by Santander Mayor Marilyn Wenceslao and some partners of the agriculture office, including officials of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation and Land Bank of the Philippines.
The Farmer’s Day started in 2015, following the signing of a resolution by Davide, declaring the farmers all over the province as heroes of the land.
The event is part of the Provincial Government’s celebration of the 449th founding anniversary of the Cebu Province.