“Pagpalambo sa yuta; pagkaon sa katawhan; mao’y una sa tanan (Improve the soil and provide food for the people, above all else).”
This was the theme of the Science and Technology-based Farm (STBF) Field Day led by the Farmers Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center based in Escalante City on Oct. 4, 2011 in Escalante City, Negros Occidental.
Gathering some 80 participants composed of farmers groups, line agencies and other sectors, the farmers’ day showcased the results of the technologies involved in offseason cantaloupe melon farming.
Dr. Denesa Lamique, Techno Gabay Team leader from the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College (CHMSC), the FITS’ partner member agency, briefed the guests on the STBF project, which is funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) and channeled through the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC).
The event was backed by FITS Manager Ferdinand Alico and his staff and the local government of Escalante City.
As per the STBF project, some 15 Escalante City farmers were trained on off-season cantaloupe melon farming from June to September 2011. No less than Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Jose Vicente Alemany of Escalante City FITS Center provided the technical inputs for the farmers.
During the program, MS Alemany shared his best practices through what he calls the 3 Ps, namely—Practice, Productivity and Profit. For Alemany, good farming practices result in good productivity which rakes in high profit. Alemany also shared the advantages of off-season farming.
According to the farmer scientist, because the supply of cantaloupe during rainy season is low, farmers can demand a higher price. This way, cantaloupe farming can also serve an alternative faming product for the farmers of Escalante. Alemany urged the farmers that they closely monitor prices in the market so they could anticipate the competition involved in marketing their produce.