CAGAYAN de Oro City – The School-on-the-Air (SOA) program of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 10 (DA-10) in close coordination with the provincial and municipal local government units of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental concluded its two-month long course on Food Processing using Indigenous Materials with a graduation ceremony held on August 11, 2011 at De Luxe Hotel of this city.

Enrollees who have regularly submitted their quizzes since June 2011 and took the final assessment exam convened for the graduation to receive their hard-earned certificates of completion, wherein a total of 135 participants graduated from the said program, coming from nine municipalities and one city, including Manolo Fortich, Sumilao, Libona, Talakag (Bukidnon), Lagonglong, Opol, Manticao, Claveria, Balingasag and Cagayan de Oro (Misamis Oriental).

Recognizing the graduates, particularly the farmers, as the department’s partners in propelling development within the agricultural sector, DA-10 Regional Technical Director for Operations Constancio C. Maghanoy, Jr. stressed the importance of increasing farmers’ income to realize a better standard of living.

“It’s high time for us (department), especially the LGUs, the municipal agriculturists and the agricultural technicians in leading our farmers and mothers to live comfortable lives by providing them with livelihoods.”

Likewise, the SOA program intended to promote the production of tasty, saleable and often long shelf-life food products using slightly used crops for consumption as they’re also accessible and affordable to buy, and nutritious to eat.

Moreso, it aimed to reach out more agricultural stakeholders to be part of DA’s unyielding aspiration to easen dependence and reduce imports on rice, which would altogether be contributory to DA’s attainment of rice self-sufficiency by 2013.

Topping the graduating class is Erlinda C. Salise (1st honor) of Puntian, Sumilao, who shared that it’s not her first time joining the SOA program of the department. Nonetheless, she expressed her preference on food processing over the past discussions, as mothers like her can greatly use them in their respective homes.

Citing that learning thru the radio as a challenging task, Salise uttered her relief in emerging as the valedictorian. She added that she wasn’t expecting for such award as she needed to overcome hurdles, such as tending to her children, taking down notes and among others.

Still, from the same municipality, 2nd honor Mercy Ann C. Dayog, conveyed that thru the SOA program, she was able to maximize some resources, which she initially thought of having no value. She added that with her learnings, it crafted possibilities in having additional income for her family.

Other honourees include Joy Corazon A. Bautista (3rd) – CDO; Guia B. Casiño (4th) – CDO; Adoracion Tongson (5th) – Puntian, Sumilao; Edelyn S. Dayadaya (6th) – Claveria; Juliana D. Patulombon (7th) – Claveria; Gracel R. Sumablay (8th) – Claveria; Elvira L. Segovia (9th) – CDO; Graciel B. Ventic (10th) – Manolo Fortich; and Maricris D. Cagadas (10th) – Talakag.

Apart from the plaques of recognition conferred to the top 10, DA-10 has also handed out a blender, mixer and steamer to the 1st to 3rd honours, respectively. In addition, honour students will be given the opportunity to join an experiential learning trip within the region, which will be shouldered by the department.

The tri-weekly lectures ran for 30 minutes over DxCC – RMN from 5:30 – 6:00 p.m. every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

With the advent of technologically advanced media these days, the radio remains as a potent medium in disseminating information in the fastest way to a wide scope of audience, especially to far-flung areas.

Prior to the graduation, an information caravan was also held to heighten awareness as well as the adoption on developed technologies under the four banner programs (rice, corn, high value crops and livestock) of the department. (Joanne L. Olson, DA-10)

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