More than 8000 farmers and fisher folks from different municipalities from Southern Palawan came to attend the first ever Department of Agriculture Secretary’s Working Visit held in a jampack Narra Covered Court and Gymnasium recently.
The participants came from the different farmers and fisher folk organizations in the municipalities of Aborlan, Narra, Quezon, Rizal, Sofronio Española, Brookespoint, Bataraza, and Puerto Princesa City.
The goal of this dialogue with Stakeholders, according to Secretary Proceso J. Alcala particularly Farmers, Livestock Raisers, and Fisher folks in the province is to know if the life of the farmers and fisher folks improved.
The program was divided into two parts: the first one happened in Purok Pag-asa, barangay Antipuluhan, Narra, Palawan wherein the Ribbon Cutting, unveiling, and Turnover of Community Fish Landing Center (CFLC) led by DA Secretary Proceso Alcala, BFAR 4B Director Ruben Jardin, and Regional Executive Director Cipriano G. Santiago. The Turnover and Test run of Rice Processing Complex also happened in the same day.
In the middle of the program, there are three chosen successful farmers namely: Mr. Fitero Camot, Mr. Victor Adriatico, and Mr. Alexander Marcelo who are able to share their successful stories to the crowd and how the department helped them in producing more crops in a shorter period of time.
Following to that was the introduction to the secretary presented by Regional Executive Director Cipriano G. Santiago. But before he proceeds to his introduction to the secretary, RED Santiago gave emphasis about people behind following farmers request on Farm to Market Road Projects (FMR). He mentioned that the department does not have any personnel who are in charge of processing the request to the Regional Office.
He also reiterated to the participants about the correct process of any request to the department for better understanding of the farmers and once and for all, he told the farmers not to entertain anyone will tell them that they are representatives of DA because there is no such specific department who is in charge of that.
Then, Secretary Proceso J. Alcala gave his meaningful speech to the participants of Southern Palawan that made them inspired more in farming.
The secretary started his speech by making the crown alive by cracking jokes and giving thanks to the choir who sung the prayer and hymn of the department. He announced to the participants about the newly blessed community fish landing in Brgy. Antipuluhan, and its benefits for the farmers. CFLC will also the venue for skills development trainings and stocks assessment and venues of fishery, disaster, and other information.
Also, the secretary knows that tamban fish is common in Narra. So he told the fisher folks that the department will give them additional training on how to make sardines out of the fish. They will provide two (2) chest freezers. The BFAR will conduct trainings with value-adding purposes.
Sec. Alcala stated about the newly blessed Rice Processing Center the benefit of it to the farmers especially during calamities. The site will help the farmers to have a high quality of milling recovery of rice while dryer can be used during rainy season and decrease farmers loss. The RPC was turned over to the Palawan ARC cooperative Cooperation (PARCOFED) in Narra. This RPC is a grant with equivalent value of 6 million.
He mentioned that they are in Palawan to hear and evaluate if the department’s programs are effective to improve the farmer’s quality of living. And if there are other questions, Alcala opened a forum to the farmers to hear what needs to be improved in their province.
Secretary Alcala, together with the Department of Agriculture gave the farmers’ and fisher folks association 10 units of pump and engine.
Likewise, BFAR gave two units of 18 feet motorized Fiberglass boats cost, and 20 units of 5HP Marine Engines.
For individual farmers, the agency raffled 5 heads of Draft Animal with Plow and Harrow, 5 units of Knapsack Sprayer, 50 units of Cashew Decorticator, 15 Cattle, 700 bags of certified seeds, 450 bags of registered seeds, 400 bags of urea, 10 units of knapsack power sprayer, and 100 kilos of Corn Grits, Assorted seedlings, and 10 additional decorticator for the whole cashew nut.
The turnover of agricultural goods, and raffle reached P27, 868,010.38.
After the raffle draw, the Secretary, together with Director Santiago, his staff and the 100 farmer leaders across Southern Palawan proceed to Puerto Princesa to conduct Farmers’ Summit to have deeper discussion about the things that the department needs to know and improve.