By Niño Manaog
University Extension Associate
Capiz State University
On September 16, 2011, all roads lead to the municipality of Dao, Capiz for its first ever Farmers’ Day Celebration and Agri-Trade Fair.
The celebration of the farmers’ bountiful harvest was led by Dao’s government particularly its Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center in partnership with the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Under the proactive leadership of Dao Mayor Joselito Escutin, and through the dynamic efforts of the Dao FITS Center led by Manager Ma. Susan Dordas in coordination with WESVARRDEC, the farmers’ event showcased the best agricultural practices of the municipality.
Anchored on the theme “Likasaka para sa Aning Masagana,” the first farmer day celebration showcased the best agricultural yields of the town of Dao, and featured no less than Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Ramon Peñalosa, Jr. of Negros Occidental for its resource person. Peñalosa graced the occasion by sharing with the Dao farmers and constituents his expertise and experiences in organic rice farming and livestock-raising.
And to showcase the best yield of the province, Dao FITS Center led the selection of best gardens under the Food Always in the Home (FAITH) program across the municipality. Promoting food sustainability in the households, FAITH program encourages barangay households to plant and sustain a wide array of vegetables and crops that will make them self-reliant.
For the community gardens category, barangay Centro placed first, followed by Lacaron and Poblacion Ilawod. For the schools category, Malonoy Elementary School won first place; Quinayuya Elementary, second and Dao Central Elementary, third. For the barangay health station (BHS) category, Matagnop won first; Malonoy, second; and Agtambi, third. For the day care centers category, Lacaron Day Care Center won first; followed by Bita Day Care Center and Matagnop Day Care Center.
Farmer Tomas Estorninos of Matagnop topped the household category, followed by Arnel Faraon of Bita and Rosa Clorion of Ilas Norte. Estorninos maintained 33 types of vegetables crops and medicinal plants. Estornino also raised goats and native chickens in his 400-sq.m.area.
According to Dordas, FAITH gardens have been in existence since the Green Revolution in the 1980s. The town of Dao likewise chose the best harvest crops from the farmers—longest beans, eggplant and white squash and biggest kalabasa and Saba and Cavendish bananas. Winners in these contests were awarded trophies, cash price and garden tools.
According to Deogracias Tianchon, Jr., Dao’s top municipal councilor, the town has recently passed Municipal Ordinance 011-005, series of 2011, or the “Ordinance Providing for the Adoption of the R.A. 10068 otherwise known as the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 in the Municipality of Dao, Capiz.” The first among the towns of the province to adopt R.A. 10068 launched by DA, Dao is optimistic for its production of crops and vegetables by fortifying its organic practices campaign.
Ms. Joyce Wendam, regional technical director of the Department of Agriculture (DA), expressed support for Dao’s initiative citing the challenge and importance of sustainable agriculture in the countryside. For his part, Mayor Escutin said that the bottom line of these and other projects is food sustainability in the community. The festival was also attended by local officials of Dao and the province of Capiz.