By Niño Manaog
University Extension Associate
Capiz State University
To monitor and update its member Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) centers on its accomplishments, the Capiz State University (CapSU) Techno Gabay (TG) Team led by Mr. Eduardo Navarra, university extension specialist, hosted the Fourth Quarter Meeting on November 29, 2011 at the Asis Food Court in Banica, Roxas City.
Among other agenda, the meeting featured the success story of Dumalag FITS Center which was named Best FITS Center by WESVARRDEC during its first Regional Techno Gabay Summit and Technomart in May this year in Iloilo City.
Managers and representatives of FITS centers also reported and updated CapSU, the partner member agency, on their activities and accomplishments. In the past year, the six FITS Centers represented engaged in a big number of activities to benefit their target clientele.
Mr. Audie Belargo, manager of OPA Capiz FITS Center said that his office has compiled agriculture-related articles from national newspapers and publications which will soon be ready for access next year. Belargo reported that the OPA Capiz FITS Center has also helped high school students in the province in the plant identification for their Science Researches. Belargo likewise said that a library system in the FITS Center itself is in the works, which will feature an agri-fisheries database or directory, among others.
Ms. Remedios Llamelo, manager of Jamindan FITS Center, reported that Jamindan has also been busy the whole year with its regular activities for the farmers. Among others, Jamindan FITS Center conducted Palaycheck capability building trainings to barangays Pangabuan, Pasal-o, Lucero and Aglibacao. It also led Location-Specific Technology Development (LSTD) on lowland rice varieties.
Through the FITS Center facilities, they were also able to facilitate the assistance of farmers in the purchase of their abaca courms in coordination with FIDA. Llamelo’s office also helped distribute some 60,000 seeds of crops and vegetables for farmers representing 30 barangays.
According to Mr. Bernie Protacio, information services specialist of the Dumalag FITS Center, they have graduated some 50 farmers from the Farmers Field School (FFS) in partnership with the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). Also, activities to sustain the engineered bamboo initiatives for Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Randy Fancubila and his cooperative are also periodically held in linkage with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Capiz.
The program has also set in place government priorities leading to the promotion and enhancement of organic farming practices, starting with the use of indigenous microorganisms (IMOs) being produced by its technology services specialist and a number of farmers. Dao has also requested and was recently granted by the Department of Agriculture equipment and infrastructure needed to sustain the said program.
In the same meeting, CapSU Chief Accountant Oliva Bataan led the member FITS Centers in learning the nitty-gritty of making budget and financial reports. According to Bataan, budgeting is crucial especially when officials are spending the government funds.
Bataan taught the participants on how to best maximize and realize the budget given to them by Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) or any other funding institutions.
According to Navarra, advocating the technologies in their respective localities this way helps promote and advance not only the indigenous technologies of the municipalities but also the thrusts and purposes of WESVARRDEC and PCAARRD.