Farmers often get nothing from their crops whenever a calamity, like a typhoon, happens in an area.
With that, the Cebu Provincial Government focused on the importance of resiliency and climate-smart agriculture in this year’s 11th Farmer-Scientists Congress.
Over P8 million worth of equipment, fertilizer, seeds and other materials were given to the farmers during the congress held at IEC3 Convention Center in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
At least 2,000 farmers from the different towns and cities of Cebu learned how to be prepared and resilient at all times through the different lectures given by the resource speakers.
The Farmer-Scientists Training Program (FSTP), a banner program of the Capitol through the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), gives farmers technical assistance through experts/lecturers from the academe and government agencies who provide them with new and scientific farming methods right in the farmer’s own farm or backyard to increase production.
The FSTP program was conceptualized by Ramon Magsaysay awardee, Dr. Romulo G. Davide, who is the FSTP national program leader and Capitol consultant on agriculture.
During the 11th Farmer-Scientists Congress, the activity started with a thanksgiving mass and followed by the cutting of ribbon for the opening and viewing of exhibits of farm products and machineries.
The cutting of ribbon was led by Gov. Hilario P. Davide III, Vice Gov. Agnes A. Magpale and Dr. Davide.
The governor said that the sudden change of climate and weather affected the farming industry that is why the Provincial Government prioritizes on providing knowledge and skills on how to minimize the effects of weather conditions in their farm.
“Tungod niini, ang kabililhon sa atong FSTP Program alang sa dugang kahibalo alang sa atong mga mag-uuma importante gyud kaayo. We continue to honor our commitment to help improve the lives of our farmers by continuously providing you with new knowledge, skills and technical know-how to become better farmers aron mamahimo kamong andam kanunay sa peligro sa climate change,” he said.
Countryside development, which includes agriculture and fisheries, is second in the Six-Key Development Agenda of the administration of Gov. Davide and Magpale.
The governor assured the farmers that the Provincial Government has been doing its best to address their needs.
“Uban kami kaninyo sa pangandoy ug paningkamot sa atong gitinguha nga maluntarong kalambuan alang kaninyong mag-uuma,” said the governor.
The governor, together with Dr. Davide, Magpale, and Provincial Agriculturist Roldan Saragena, distributed 150 knapsack sprayers, 10 multi-function cultivator tillers, five hand tractors, 21 mechanical corn shellers, six moisture meters and six weighing scales to the farmers.
On top of these, Saragena said that corn seeds, vegetable seeds, organic and inorganic fertilizers, camote cuttings and other materials were also provided to them.
In her speech, Magpale thanked the FSTP program initiated by Dr. Davide for farmers are now armed with ideas on how to face the problem of climate change.
“Ang kahibalo nga gi-impart nato ni Dr. Davide dili ni kabayran og salapi. Ang Sugbo karon never known to be an agricultural Province pero ang produkto nato karon dako kaayong pagsaka tungod niining programa sa Farmer-Scientists Training Program,” she said.
The vice governor guaranteed to the farmers that the Capitol’s support to the agriculture sector will always be there.
Capitol officials also awarded eight outstanding municipal and city agriculture offices, 10 outstanding FSTP technicians, 10 outstanding farmer-scientists and nine outstanding farmer-scientists’ associations with plaques and certificates of recognition.
In the afternoon session of the same event, different topics on disaster resilience were taken up to give farmers ideas on what to do whenever there is a disaster.
The topics presented were “Resiliency in Agriculture” by Dr. Catalino Higida, FSTP coordinator of Cebu Technological University-Argao; “Entrepreneurial Development” by Claire Clarez Esparcia, a senior business counsellor; and “Access to Credit” by Victoriano Villaganas, representative in the Lending Center of LandBank of the Philippines in Cebu City.
In his speech, Dr. Davide named the farmers as the “Heroes of the Land” for they have been working hard to provide food to everyone.
“Ipadayon ni. Unsa inyong kinahanglan itanom, pahibaw-a ko ninyo,” he said.
Among of the guests during the event were Department of Agriculture 7 officer-in-charge Marina Hermoso, Catmon Mayor Dan Jusay, Santander Mayor Marilyn Wenceslao and Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado.