By Niño Saavedra Manaog
University Extension Associate
Capiz State University
In an afternoon assembly attended by some 200 farmers representing 20 barangays, the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development (WESVARRDEC) launched its 47th Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center on November 23, 2010 in Poblacion, Dao, Capiz.
The farmers’ center launch was led by representatives of the partners and major stakeholders, all of whom expressed felicitations, commitment and support for the consortium’s new member.
For his part, Mayor Joselito Escutin looked forward to having a “helpful, useful and functional” farmers’ center which will cater to their farmers’ needs and provide more realistic livelihood for them.
Vice-Mayor Loreto Eslaban also expressed optimism on the farmers’ center, saying “Gamiton ang programa hindi para sa inyo lang kundi para sa aton nga buasdamlag.” Eslaban also cited how bulahan (lucky) the town of Dao is for having taken the step to realize their efforts for “sustainable agriculture.”
In behalf of Dr. Editha Magallanes, Capiz State University (CapSU) president, Dr Raul Ticar, director of CapSU Extension Institute, explained to the farmers that their job is to assist the Dao farmers in terms of livelihood trainings. Ticar expressed commitment and willingness to help the farmers to further on their agricultural practices.
Representing WESVARRDEC Director Joseph Edward Idemne, Regional Applied Communications Group Coordinator Cora Navarra briefed the new audience on the consortium’s goals and particular targets for the newly launched FITS Center.
According to Navarra, WESVARRDEC can help enhance the capabilities of LGU staff. Navarra cited the farmers' benefits from the consortium and urged the LGU to direct their activities for farmers' profits and products.
Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Elizabeth Betito congratulated the new partners and urged the farmers and local stakeholders to avail themselves of their publications and technology primers for farmers and agriculture practitioners.
Representing PCARRD, Regional Techno Gabay (TG) Coordinator Anna Mae Relingo encouraged all farmers to benefit from the partnership, even as the consortium tries to bridge the Council’s initiative to the local agriculture units.
After these expressions of commitment and support formalized through the signing of the memorandum of agreement, , all leaders and farmers beneficiaries witnessed the unveiling and opening of the new center strategically located in Dao’s Farmer Training Center right at the town plaza.
Earlier in the assembly, TG Team Leader Eduardo Navarra of the CapSU Extension Institute led a lecture demonstration to the farmers on the benefits of organic farming.
According to FITS Manager Susan Dordas who hosted the entire ceremonies, FITS Dao is now pursuing effective indigenous microorganisms as their prospective focus commodity, an initiative largely supported by a big number of Dao farmers.
Aklan State University Dean of College and Agriculture Marilyn Romaquin (left, top photo) confers with Technology Services Specialist Genes Estialbo on the indigenous microorganisms (IMO) she locally produced as foliar fertilizer now being used by their local farmers.