OPAg eyes another Gawad Saka award
During the flag-raising ceremony on March 13, Governor Carlos M. Padilla invited all the employees of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAg) at the People’s Stage to be acknowledged for their contributions in putting the province in the agricultural map of the country. For, this year’s Search for Gawad Saka, the province is already included in the 12 provincial entries and, hopefully the province will again be declared one of the 7 winners this coming April.
In the regional level, the province has 7 entries for the Gawad Saka evaluation, namely; the RIC of Bone North, Aritao; Life Giving Center for Integral Evangelization; Outstanding Corn Farmer, represented by Noli Saludares of Villaverde; Outstanding 4H Young Farmer from Kayapa; Outstanding MAFC from Santa Fe; Outstanding PAFC and; Outstanding HVCDP.
The OPAg is responsible for the promotion of sustainable agricultural development and growth through increase productivity and provides agricultural extension and support to farmers, fisher folk, rural people necessary to make agriculture and agri-based enterprise profitable.
Brigido M. Lopez, Senior Agriculturist and OIC Provincial Agriculturist, said in his report during the flag-raising that, “about 80% of the household population is dependent on agriculture. Most of the successful farmers are professionals who have the capital. Even if some of you are farmers, the majority are just average farmers, which is our major concern to make them increase their income and profitability.”
OPAg had accomplished activities which contributed mostly on food sufficiency and upliftment of the living status of the farmers and increase productivity. OPAg conducted trainings on fish cage module and trainings on Good Agricultural Practices in preparation to ASEAN integration.
OPAg conducted 2 rice varietal trial of latest variety at Dupax del Norte, Bambang and Quezon. Sweet corn demonstration trials were also conducted to showcase alternative early maturing crop. The “Gulayan sa Maisan” in Bagabag will introduce production of cash crop in the corn farming while waiting for the corn plant to be harvested, vegetables for the kitchen and the rest to be sold to augment other family needs.
Two Sustainable Corn Production and Sloping Areas (SCOPSA) were established to minimize soil erosion in sloping corn areas. OPAg also conducted some techno demo using the double row planting and use of micro elements fertilizer in addition to the macro elements in coordination with DA and the MLGU.
One of the prime considerations to be successful in any crop production is the quality of seed planted. The OPAg has distributed 50 bags of registered seed for seed growers and 1447 bags of certified seed from the Rice Achiever’s Award prize and 1383 more bags of hybrid rice will still be delivered.
OPAg also distributed 265 bags of hybrid corn seed from typhoon “Harurot” calamity fund. Other than the 200 pieces jabber planter and 4 units of rain bird for irrigation distributed from the National Quality Corn Achiever’s Award prize, 567 bags of hybrid corn seed and 1.000 bags of fertilizer will still be delivered.
The office is also distributing vegetable and fruit tree seeds and seedlings to walk-in clients, schools, associations and municipalities. Rehabilitated and enchanced some small water impounding projects with 650,000 tilapia fingerlings and requested 10,000 more tilapia breeders.
Some 35 communal irrigation systems, 32 farm-to-market-roads, and some palay and corn sheds were completed through the efforts of the OPAg. The OPAg also provided livelihood assistance for rural development in line for the “Prayers N Faith” agenda, Building Resilience for Rural Development Program, and to the Casecnan Livelihood Project.
The Provincial Nursery and the Breeding Station at Magsaysay will be the venue for organic farm school with 4 competencies – organic vegetable, organic chicken, production of organic fertilizer and production of concoctions, with 2 electives in organic swine and small ruminants. “We are hoping for the first NC2 graduate for organic practitioner,” Lopez said. #bg