By Vishia Mae Tolcidas
Regional Applied Communications Group (RACG) Representative
FITS OPA Negros Occidental
This week, the Gawad Saka National Technical Committee will come to Negros Occidental to validate the projects of a young farmer-leader vying to be the country’s Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year.
Twenty-five year old Vito Binondo of barangay Guiljungan, Cauayan, Negros Occidental will be evaluated by the six-member committee headed by Dir. Alberto Maningding when they come to visit his three-hectare integrated farm at the Negros State College of Agriculture (NSCA), Provincial 4-H Club Coordinator Ma. Elena Gumban said.
Binondo is among the nine national finalists of the 2011 Gawad Saka, an annual search that recognizes the hard work and laudable effort of farmers all over the country.
According to Director Larry Nacionales of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 6, Binondo’s trainings both here and abroad could help him much in applying his know-how in agriculture to expand his projects into a more productive and renowned project site for the province.
During the Pasidungog sa Mangunguma kag Mangingisda sa Panaad in April this year, Gov. Alfredo Marañon awarded Binondo as outstanding young farmer of Negros Occidental (see photo). He also won first place in the organic fertilizer making contest in the same event.
Early this year, Binondo won second in the same contest in the Regional Achievement and Recognition Day of the Western Visayas 4-H Club Youth Development Program.
Binondo comes from a less-privileged farming family and is the eldest of seven children. He grows palay, corn, vegetables and flowers while he raises goat, swine and poultry. He also has a mini-forest, nursery of forest and fruit trees, forage grassland, fish pond and vermicomposting.
NSCA Cauayan Chair for Instruction Germa Borres said Binondo was a student volunteer farm worker active in numerous agriculture-related activities. After earning a Diploma in Agricultural Technology, Binondo ventured into income-generating projects to help provide for his family. In April 2011, he completed his degree of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture major in Animal Science.
For Binondo, his greatest achievement is being a participant of the Japan Agricultural Exchange Council’s Young Filipino Farmers Training Program in 2007–2008 where he acquired skills in swine breeding and fattening.
Currently, he is the director of the 4-H Club Regional Federation.