In CdeO, nearly a thousand delegates convened for the conduct of an InfoCar, a platform where farmers and fisherfolk, and other agri-stakeholders are empowered by providing them with helpful and reliable information on how to access DA’s programs and services to bring development to their respective farming and fishing ventures.

Cagayan de Oro City – About 1,000 participants, comprising of farmers and fisherfolk, agriculturists and extension workers from Northern Mindanao (NorMin) converged during the National Information Caravan (Info Car) spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture (DA) on March 16, 2018, in this city.

Bearing the theme: “Agrikultura Para sa Pagbabago”, the activity served as a venue for agricultural stakeholders to be informed and updated on the thrusts and priorities of the department, including its support programs and services.

Kami ay tumutulong kay Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol para ihatid sa inyo ang mga programa, technologies and innovations na dini-develop ng DA,” remarked Cheryl C. Suarez, chief of the Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division (AFID).

During his welcome remarks, DA-Regional Field Office 10 (DA-RFO 10) OIC-Regional Director Carlene C. Collado, CPA likewise said that the staged info sortie reinforces the DA chief’s Biyaheng Bukid, where he visits remote agricultural areas with the goal of identifying its real needs while emphasizing technology, mechanization, credit and marketing as the key to develop the agri-fishery sector nationwide.

Accordingly, lectures were centered on hybrid rice technology, rice mechanization, agri-fishery credit programs, crop insurance, marketing, and coastal resource management, where these were discussed by experts from the department, including its attached bureaus and agencies.

Philippine Rice Research Institute Senior Science Research Specialist Richard D. Romanillos tackled on hybrid rice technology, its different varieties and characteristics. He emphasized that using such technology would generate increased and quality palay production and higher economic returns.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rodolfo P. Estigoy, chief science research specialist of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization underscored that farmers’ adoption to mechanization will aide them to increase their productivity and product quality, and reduce postharvest losses, at the same time.

In particular, Dir. Collado further boosted the participants’ interest for the availment of interventions under DA’s mechanization program through its machineries, equipment and facilities.

This year, it’s [provision of mechanization assistance] free. Full grant, no counterparting needed,” the director relayed, adding that starting this year, the region will be consolidating all requests of a town/city into one Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), to better facilitate and address the mechanization needs of farmers.

Likewise, he reported that the region will soon establish its provincial warehouses, wherein suppliers will be delivering the requested machineries and equipment to the respective five provinces in NorMin, closer to the agri-clienteles.

As to credit, Project Evaluation Officer III Renato Barreiro of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council talked on the credit facilities that farmers and fisherfolk could avail to finance the production of their crops, livestock, poultry and fishing activities, and to extend grant and loan assistance to calamity-affected farmer- and fisherfolk-producers.

Similarly, Philippine Crop Insurance, Corp. Regional Manager II Luther Romeo Salting, CESO V bared its different insurance programs for farmers and fisherfolk to recover from their losses due to damage of their agricultural crops and fisheries, generally brought about by typhoons, plant and pest diseases.

To warrant the market of farmers’ harvest and fisherfolks’ catch and other products, Cleofe B. Ampatin, senior agriculturist of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division of DA-RFO 10, detailed its line-up of interventions which includes the conduct of local and international trade fairs, market matching, research and information, investment fora and scanning, agribusiness opportunity seminars, among others.

On the other hand, Vianney Anthony A. Gapuz, officer-in-charge of the Fisheries Resource Management Section of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – 10 focused his discussions on the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan and Balik Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa programs, where it will recognize the efforts of coastal towns in protecting and conserving their marine environments, and rejuvenate bodies of water by repopulating fish species, respectively.

The Info Car in CdeO is the second to the last leg of the six caravans initiated by DA-AFID with the support of their regional counterparts through the agriculture and fisheries information sections. Prior to being held in the city, the activity was also held in Pangasinan, Batangas, Dumaguete and Dipolog City, and the final one, in Bulacan. #

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