Monday, February 20, 2012

MS Peñalosa’s Field Day showcases improved swine production

By Jethro Dagunan
Representative, Regional Applied Communications Group
Carlos Hilado Memorial State College

MS Peñalosa briefs beneficiaries on his technologies
in his own farm in Victorias City.

 “I am not just a farmer; I am an agri-preneur,” quipped Ramon Peñalosa, Jr., Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) of the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC) during his Field Day on Improved Housing and Swine Fattening held on January 25, 2012 in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.

Peñalosa’s Field Day showcased his success on improved housing for swine fattening and the successful transfer of said technology to 22 farmer beneficiaries in his locality. Just a small area situated within the city, Peñalosa’s farm showcases improved organic farming practices, which are profitable and environment-friendly.

Featuring the graduation rites of the beneficiaries, the Field Day was witnessed by barangay and city officials including Councilor Melvin Ybañez of Victorias City, Escalante FITS Center Manager Ferdinand Alico and farmers’ groups from Manapla, Negros Occidental, among others. The showcase was also witnessed by interested non-government organizations and private individuals.

RTTP Coordinator
Reynaldo Dusaran of CPU
Representing WESVARRDEC Director Joseph Idemne, Dr. Reynaldo Dusaran, Regional Techno Transfer and Promotion (RTTP) Coordinator, echoed MS Peñalosa’s slogan, “There is no unproductive farm; only unproductive farmer,” which encourages farmers to practice and thereby benefit from the effectiveness of the farmer scientist’s agricultural practices.

In response, a farmer beneficiary said that they appreciate Peñalosa’s innovations because aside from the absence of antibiotics and growth hormones, Peñalosa’s swine also has unique meat quality and less fat. This is so because as part of Peñalosa’s improved housing for swine, the pig pens are designed particularly so that swine manure is systematically converted to vermicast. Considered an excellent organic fertilizer, vermi manure allows for improved swine production and additional profit.

And under the Science and Technology-Based Farm (STBF) granted by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), Peñalosa uses the probiotics, a series of technologies which promotes organic swine fattening. These practices are consistent with the Organic Negros campaign of the province.

According to another beneficiary, MS Peñalosa did not only inspire the farmers to replicate his technology; his detailed lectures on his technology also prove that they are doable and profitable.

MS Ramon Peñalosa's probiotic swine
Among others, MS Peñalosa stressed the sustainability of a farming venture can be brought about by the farmer’s entrepreneurial spirit. For Peñalosa, a farmer must possess agripreneurial spirit—he while is passionate in his farming, he must also have an enterprising attitude to maximize the opportunities in his farm. Put simply, Peñalosa said that he must make real money from his hard work, just like the farmer scientist himself.

Aside from the certificate of completion, the farmer beneficiaries were given piglets and were taken to sign the Marketing Agreement with MS Peñalosa. Under the arrangement, farmer beneficiaries will also be provided feeds, probiotics, Natural Food Supplement (NFS) and others input to help them start becoming agripreneurs. Farmers will pay back through selling their produce to MS Peñalosa. For their part, the barangay and other local officials were requested to help monitor the progress of the said beneficiaries.

Facilitators and participants during the Field Day of MS Ramon Peñalosa, Jr.

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