Through the initiative of the Project Development Officer under Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 1 (DSWD- FO1), support from the Local Government Unit of Mabini, Pangasinan (LGU-Mabini) and in collaboration with PhilRice, eighty (80) Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries and eight (8) Indigenous People (IPs) went to Lakbay Palay 2016 in Philippine Rice Research Institute, Science City of Munos, Nueva Ecija.
Together with the hardworking Mayor Alimar R. Briana, Vice Mayor Colin A. Reyes, Municipal Social Welfare Development Officer (MSWDO) team headed by Madam Teresa Aurea, 88 4Ps and IP beneficiaries, explored the 108 hectares compound of PhilRice.
The tour guide from PhilRice elaborated the studies, experiments and developments of PhilRice in terms of breeding and farming. On the tour, it was clearly discuss how PhilRice work to make the country’s farming industry better. They have different programs such as palayamanin and future farm that aims progress in farming. Palayamanan is a diversified integrated rice-based farming system focusing on small-scale rice farming households directed towards farm diversification to increase farm productivity and address food security.
On the tour, the beneficiaries enjoyed the scenic view of the different varietiesy of rice. They were amazed by the technologies being used, and the farming machines. They also appreciated being in a place where farming is an industry.
There a lecture after the tour that was attended by different towns of Central Luzon. After roll call, Mabinians were determined to be the largest in number. Mayor Ali and Vice Mayor Colin were recognized in the event.
Lakbay Palay guest speaker Director Dr. Sailila Estilong Abdula, gave thanks to the presence of farmers from different places such as Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Cordillera and Region II. He said, the farmers are the real hero in the event. He said, their basis of planning is in accordance with the aim of President Duterte, that the food must be available and affordable for all.
He further said that in order to attain the goal of our president, the Department of Agriculture established ten (10) strategies to be attained in six (6) years.
1. Philippine agriculture and fisheries map. This strategy targets knowing what to plan in certain locality to avoid frustration and losses because of wrong strategy in planting.
2. Consumers map. To avoid waste because of oversupply.
3. There is a communication between Department of Social and Welfare Development (DSWD) and Department of Agriculture (DA) on how to partner together for the betterment of farming in the Philippines.
4. Information dissemination of technology in farming and continues discovering of new technology.
5. Loan programs with low interest. Widening coverage of the Philippine Crop Insurance. And systems can easily be reached and paid by farmers and fishermen.
6. Establishment of processing facilities to further reduce production loses.
7. Aggressively supporting the government on the sale of high valued crops.
8. Construction of facilities for post-harvest facilities to minimize losses after harvest before reaching the market.
9. Selling of high valued crops in all corners of the Philippines.
10. Promote programs to eliminate illegal fishing.
Currently, the Department of Agriculture encourages the Department of Education in restoration of the garden vegetable within elementary and secondary schools to give the students an appreciateion for farming.
Director Abdula, also encourages students to take up agriculture in college so that they can continue helping the farmers of future generations.
Ethnic dancers from Central Luzon State University (CLSU) entertained the delegates by their ethnic dance presentation.
Right after the seminar, the group went to Central Luzon State University (CLSU) and visited the University’s buffalo and goat production. The group saw different kinds of goats and big black buffaloes.
The next stop was in the University’s production facilities on organic farming. The tour guide patiently explains the process of organic farming. He started on the health benefits of human being; secondly, on how to prepare the soil; up to how to create organic fertilizers; thirdly, on how to planting organic rice and vegetables; and finally, on caring and harvesting.
Hydroponics was the last destination of the group. The farmers entered the plastic tunnel to see the real production of hydroponics farming. Dwarf papaya, dragon fruit plant, lettuce, and calamansi were found growing in this area.
The Town of Mabini is the only LGU who brought its 4Ps beneficiaries in Lakbay Palay.
Source and more photos at: LGU-Mabini's FB page.