Wednesday, May 05, 2010

FITS Oton field day features processed darag, MS Gumana

By Niño S. Manaog
Regional Applied Communications
With Reports from Dina Palma and Emma Haro

Estofadong darag and darag embutido—these were the original, delectable dishes featured as winners in the Field Day by the Farmers Information & Technology Services (FITS) Center Oton held recently in Poblacion, Oton, Iloilo.

Retired bank employee Rene Singson of barangay Cagbang showcased to the audience embutidong darag, which ranked first place (with 85.6%); while the second-place winner was awarded to housewife Tita Turija of barangay Lambuyao who presented her estofadong darag recipe (with 74%).

The first place winner received 3,000 pesos while the second place winner was awarded 2,000. Both contestants participated in the darag native chicken production trainings in 2008 and 2009 led by the West Visayas State University (WVSU), partner member agency in charge of FITS Oton.

(Clockwise from top left) The award-winning embutidong darag on showcase; Lambuyao housewife Tita Turija answers questions of the judges; former bank employee Rene Singson promotes the recipe to the judges; and Ms Herminigilda Tupas exchanges information with a contestant at the darag native chicken cookfest.

Contest judges were darag and cooking experts, all from the West Visayas State University (WVSU), namely: Dr. Greta Gabinete, director of the University Extension and Development Center (UEDC); Mr. Ray Arenga, science aide; and Ms. Herminigilda Tupas, coordinator of the Lifelong Learning for Self-Sufficiency Training Program.

Mr. Ray Arenga said that the darag dishes were original, because for one, ducks, and not darag are usually the material for estofado. While both processes were considered unique by the judges and have potential for marketability, Arenga added that any processing ideas that can be done in darag native chickens are most welcome.

Meanwhile, Ms. Tupas expressed concern on the specifics of the winning innovations, citing the improvements needed in the processing of darag native chickens. Tupas suggested that they be carefully studied for official processing, and further recommended a more formal training on darag native chicken processing.

According to Dr. Gabinete, the darag contest served as a follow-through intervention to measure their appreciation of the trainings they were given in the previous years. Gabinete also said there is also the need to train further the participants on processing darag so [we] could expect for more innovations and ideas that can be done with darag native chicken.

Oton Field Day was held as part of the Katagman Festival, an annual festival in Oton— this year held on April 28 to May 3, 2010. Supported by the local government of Oton represented by Municipal Councilor Pablo Guevarra, vice-chair on committee on agriculture; WVSU; and the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC) and FITS Batad Manager Eva Montero, the Field Day also hosted a lecture on horticulture featuring Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Baltazar Gumana of FITS Pavia.

MS Gumana shared his expertise on horticulture and cut foliage to some 15 members of Oton Cutflower Association, Inc. (OCAI). Gumana also served as judge in the booth contest in the Garden Show joined by OCAI members.

(Clockwise from bottom left) Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Baltazar Gumana of FITS Pavia generously shares his knowledge on horticulture; FITS Oton Field Day participants and stakeholders; sample cut foliage on exhibit; a Katagman fest streamer lists activities for plants and cutflower raisers.


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