Sunday, December 20, 2009

Caraganons Life…at ease with InFRES

by: Aurell P. Arais

The struggle of farmers to have a better life is full of hardships and tedious process but not until the Infrastructure for Rural Productivity Enhancement Sector (InfRES) of the Department of Agriculture reaches its arm to Caraga Region.

In Carrascal, Surigao del Sur, InFRES brings milestone for development. The town now enjoyed two subprojects: livelihood engaging in livestock and cassava projects and farm to market road with a total project cost of more than 19 million pesos serving the barangays of Bacolod, Taganito, Panikian, Babuyan and Gamuton.

Marilyn Suguian, a recipient of working carabao said that she saves a lot on her farm since she no longer hire farm workers and the money she had save helps a lot to send her daughter to school and just recently her daughter taking up social work emerged top 7 among all examinees nationwide in the recent board examination.

Upon seeing the impact of the projects to the recipient community, Mayor Alfred Arreza is so grateful and vows that LGU of Carrascal is so willing to enroll again if there’s another round.

Another completed InFRES project is located in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur. 13.2 kilometers of farm to market road was put in place traversing the barangays of Osmeña, Panaytay, Charito and Marcelina.

According to Engr. Primitivo Alimpoos, the city planning and development officer of Bayugan the Infres FMR helps a lot in delivering farm produce and other products to the market.

He also said that InFRES FMR not just serves the residents of Bayugan, but also serve as the alternate access road going to and from Bayugan to its neighboring town of San Luis and some barangays of Esperanza, Agusan del Sur.

Just recently, November 17, 2009, another InFRES projects was formally turned-over to the local government unit of Sta. Monica, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte. Three road segment of farm to market road were completed, the Garcia-Alegria Road segment, Garcia-Campayato Road Segment and Magsaysay Tamdumon-Libertad Road with a total length of 5.86 kilometers and with a total project cost of 14,154,443 pesos.

The completion of the said farm to market road renews the hope of farmers to strive and produce more as well as open up new livelihood opportunities for barangay residents.

Rosalinda Arlan-Penera the local chief executive of Sta. Monica, express her gratefulness to all officers and staff of DA-InFRES for giving their municipality the chance to enroll the program and urged her constituents to help in maintaining the projects for sustainability.

November 25, 2009, another project of InFRES was formally turned-over to the local government unit of Jabonga, Agusan del Norte.

The municipality of Jabonga grabbed two sub-projects, the rehabilitation and improvement of San Vicente-San Jose-Magdagooc Farm to Market road stretching 8 kilometers with total project costs of P24, 236, 677.92 and rehabilitation and improvement of Celopan and Mayuga Level 11 Water Systems with a total project cost of P 6,135,120.71.

Engr. Ramon Lagura, the Municipal Planning and Development Officer of Jabonga narrated that before the InFRES FMR were put in place, farmers mostly coconut growers and fishermen, experienced difficulty in delivering their produce to the town proper but with the completion of the InFRES FMR brings ease to their problem.

InFRES, ultimately help in increasing farm household income, reduced rural poverty incidence and improved rural accessibility…. inFRES truly makes the life of Caraganons easier. (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID DA CARAGA)


DA RFU 13 Conducts Briefing on RaSSFiP Implementing Guidelines

by: Aurell P. Arais

Butuan City – In a bid to further boost the production of palay in the next cropping season, a new scheme on rice seeds procurement and distribution will be adopted to be jointly undertaken by the National Food Authority (NFA) and Department of Agriculture with the respective local government units (LGUs).

The new scheme was based on the memorandum of agreement (MOA) earlier signed by DA Secretary Arthur C. Yap and NFA Administrator Jessup P. Navarro as an offshoot of the Rapid Seed Supply Financing Project (RaSSFiP) financed through the International Fund for Agricultural Development-European Commission (IFAD-EC) loan and grant.

Last September 11, 2009, a briefing about the implementing guidelines of the scheme was conducted at Conference Hall of DA RFU 13 attended by DA personnel involved in rice program, NFA staff headed by NFA Caraga Regional Director Gil Pepito Paqueo and other rice program stakeholders from different provinces in Caraga including some rice seed producers.

Based on the Implementing guidelines, DA will download to the NFA the RaSSFiP fund in the amount of P668,819,742.00, a loan from IFAD and the IFAD-EC grant of P430,665.420.00.

The said amount will be used by NFA for the procurement of Certified Inbred Seeds based on the volume and variety as determined by DA from certified seed growers and with certification from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).

On distribution aspect, DA shall determine the target distribution areas, the seed requirements per area in terms of variety and the volume and the farmer beneficiaries in consonance with the local government units.

Farmers could still avail the seeds on 50% discounted price through the DA authorized representative upon payment of the farmer’s equity to NFA.

In his speech during the program, Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Operations Eliseo T. Tila expressed optimism that the new scheme on seeds procurement and distribution would yield positively which may translate to higher production of rice in the region.

Before the RaSSFiP, procurement and distribution of seeds was handled solely by DA but nowadays a joint effort of DA, NFA as well as with the LGUs concerned. (Aurell P. Arais/DA-RAFID Caraga)


DA RFU 13 Hosts GMA-National Livestock Program 3rd Quarter Performance Review and Workshop

Surigao City- Despite heavy downpour and gusty winds on the onslaught of tropical storm Urduja, the Livestock Division of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 successfully hosted the GMA-Livestock Program 3rd Quarter Performance Review and Workshop held at Lipata, Surigao City last November 23-25, 2009.

Participants of the three day activity were livestock coordinators from various regions in the country except from region 2 and 7 who failed to arrive due to unfavorable weather condition.

Gracing the occasion were Mayor Alfonso Casurra of Surigao City, Provincial Governor Robert Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte, Director Felix Valenzuela of GMA Livestock Program and Regional Technical Director for Admin, Finance and Research Edgardo Dahino.

On his speech, Mayor Casurra was so grateful for choosing his city as the venue of the national gathering and reiterated his commitment for agricultural development under his administration.

Meanwhile Governor Barbers posed challenge to all the livestock coordinators to implement a sustainable livestock program.

“Farmers need not only ruminants but to include other basic inputs. What we need is total package of approach to sustain the program”, he said.

A lively exchange of views and ideas were encouraged on the entire duration of the workshop to clarify some issues and concerns especially on the program implementation aspect.

The next Performance Review is slated to be held in Zamboanga City early part of 2010. (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID DA CARAGA)


Thursday, November 26, 2009

DA RFU 13 Conducts Hands-on Training on PhilRice-B&S Combine Rice Harvester

by: Aurell P. Arais

Butuan City – To maximize farm mechanization in Caraga Region, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 (DA RFU13) through the Regional Agriculture Engineering Division (RAED) spearheaded a Hands-on Training on PhilRice Combine Harvester last November 4-5, 2009.

Participants of the said two day activity were Agricultural Engineers and Technicians from provincial agriculture offices of Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte, and City Agriculture Office of Butuan.

Gracing the occasion were Engr. Rene Morales, RAED OIC; Regional Rice Coordinator June Anthony Ouano; Regional Technical Director for Operations Eliseo Tila; and Regional Executive Director Ricardo Regis.

First day of the training was briefing about the Combine Rice Harvester specifically about its design and parts familiarization held at DA 13 Conference Room and the subsequent day was the actual demonstration and operation of the farm machine held at the rice field of Barangay Captain Desiderio Tabelon of Tiniwisan, Butuan City.

During the briefing Engr. Alfredo Penafiel Jr. said that the machine has outstanding features such as Combines harvesting, threshing, cleaning, and bagging; can harvest 1hectare a day; with grain losses from 1-3%; lower harvesting cost compared to traditional; lightweight and small; easy to operate and designed for local condition and locally manufactured.

Based on an earlier model from China, the said farm implement is manufactured by Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) Central Experiment Station based in Science City of Monuz, Nueva Ecija in collaboration with the Briggs & Stratton Corporation.

Each region in the country was provided of such farm implement for demonstration purposes for the farmers to appreciate the usefulness and advantages of the machine and eventually adopt it on their respective farms.

After giving the participants the opportunity to operate the unit, comments or suggestions were gathered about the performance of the machine and was taken by representatives of PhilRice Agusan Experiment Stations as basis for possible further innovations or improvements.

Farm mechanization is a step to address problem of losses incurred both in the production and post production operations affecting the agriculture industry and forms part of the implementation of agricultural mechanization program under Republic Act 8435 otherwise known as the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA). (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID DA CARAGA)


DA RFU 13 Hosts BPI-RCPC-KASAKALIKASAN National Workshop

by: Aurell P. Arais

Carmen, Agusan del Norte – The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 successfully hosted the four day National Workshop to Strengthen BPI-RCPC-KASAKALIKASAN Linkage in Support of Village Crop Protection Strategies held at Veranda 2, Carmen, Agusan del Norte.

A total of 65 crop program stakeholders coming from all regions in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon who are serving under the department of agriculture regional field unit offices and few from provincial level flocked and join the pool of participants.

Gracing the occasion were Dr. Jesus Binamira, National Program Officer of KASAKALIKASAN; Ms. Wilma Cuaterno, Chief of Crop Protection Division of Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and the host Regional Executive Director Ricardo Regis of DA RFU 13.

During the opening program, RED Regis emphasized the importance of strengthening the linkages of Bureau of Plant Industry, Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC) and KASAKALIKASAN to bolster the effort in increasing food production in the country.

Meanwhile, Dr. Binamira challenges all the participants to look for ways to enhance crop protection through pest management and be alert on the eventualities brought about by climate change.

He said that there is urgency for the participants to make the farmers be adaptive on the realities brought about by climate change through providing “a responsive, accurate surveillance, management and system”.

Highlight of the workshop was the sharing of programs and projects undertaken each region in crop protection as well as its experiences and its plans to strengthen pest management program.

A special program was also conducted as tribute to two colleagues who are bound to retire from government service soon; namely Pepito Leysa and Sammy Simbajon.

During the entire duration of the national gathering, RED Regis made every effort to ensure the event more fruitful and memorable that actually really paid off as the participants show eagerness in all their activity. (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID DA CARAGA)


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Programang Gulayan ng Masa (PGMA) Addresses Rights of a Child to Grow Healthy

by: Aurell P. Arais

Brgy. Magsaysay, Veruela, Agusan del Sur - Principle 4 of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly resolution 1386 (XIV) of November 1959 states that “The child shall enjoy the benefits of social security. He shall be entitled to grow and develop in health…The child has the right to adequate nutrition, housing, recreation and medical services.

Part and parcel to comply the said provision, the Municipal Agriculture Office of Veruela, Agusan del Sur through its Agricultural Extension Workers strengthen its advocacy to the community to have their own communal garden and to the household to have its backyard gardens. One of the barangay that responded the advocacy fervently is Barangay Magsaysay of Agusan del Sur.

In Purok 1 of the said barangay, residents help each other to take care and maintain their communal garden aside from their gardens on their respective houses.

The said purok availed of the assistance from the Department of Agriculture through Programang Gulayan ng Masa (PGMA) such as free vegetable seeds and other inputs as well as trainings.

According to Elesio Nonog, 62 years old, a barangay treasurer that since the implementation of the PGMA project in their area, residents were encourage to plant vegetables thus minimizing wastage of time.

The produce..? Well, pupils from day care center enjoyed the good and nutritious meal during feeding activities.

Nonog said that they see to it that foods to be served during feeding program is nutritious and will surely nourish their kids, thus veggie menu is on the top of the list.

Moreover unconsumed produce will be divided by the residents in the community who renders their time on the communal garden.

Nonog shared that he himself feels good and rejuvenated every time he eats vegetables. “Siyempre makadugang gyud na sa kusog ug enerhiya” (Of course it can adds strength and energy), he said in vernacular.

Meanwhile Maria Nona Ramillano, Agricultural Technician on the area said that she feels happy and fulfilled since her hard labor finally takes off on persuading the residents to engage in gardening.

“Pinaagi sa mga meeting sa Farmers Association (FA) ug Rural Improvement Club (RIC) ako gyud silang ginadasig nga mananum ug gulay ug gipahibalo nako sa ila ang advantage niini aron mapakunhod ang malnourished nga mga kabataan sa barangay (Through meetings of Farmers Associations and Rural Improvement Club I really advocated them to plant vegetables by presenting the advantages of doing as such which would greatly help to eliminate malnourished children in the barangay), she said.

Programang Gulayan ng Masa (PGMA) is a project of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap with the help of Local Government Units (LGU’s) and other private sector which aims to reduce rural hunger and malnutrition through the promotion of home, communal, barangay and school gardening in the country. (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID-DA CARAGA)


Barangay LGU Policy:Plant Vegetable First Before Obtaining Barangay Clearance…

by: Aurell P. Arais

Brgy. Karaos, San Francisco, ADS – The rule is clear! If you want to obtain a certification or clearance from the barangay, show first your vegetable garden, thus said Barangay Captain Delailah Bacera of Barangay Karaos, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur.

Barangay Captain Delailah Bacera said that to attain food sufficiency and to eradicate malnutrition in the barangay, political will of a local chief executive is very much crucial that is why they imposed such policy.

According to her, before a barangay resident can obtain a barangay certification or clearce, he or she shall get an approval from the purok chairman which in turn the purok chairman rules that only those purok residents who have their own backyard garden or at least render time on the communal garden during pahina (bayanihan) will be given an approval.

As a result it is seldom to see a house without a garden and a purok waiting shed without a garden on its background.

Communal garden or backyard garden in Barangay Karaos bears various veggies such as eggplant (talong), bitter gourd (ampalaya), alugbati, string beans, patola, lemon grass (tanglad), kangkong, camote and some herbal plants.

To sustain the program, a yearly search will be conducted by the barangay for outstanding puroks who sustain and maintain their respective gardens with prizes at stake.

“Mao ni ang among paagi sa pagsuporta sa Programang Gulayan ng Masa (PGMA) sa atong pinanggang presidente” (This is our way of supporting the Programang Gulayan ng Masa, a program of our beloved president), Bacera said in vernacular.

Meanwhile, Purok 5 Chairman Efren Armodia expressed his gratitude to the Department of Agriculture for providing free seeds and other inputs which deeply encourages his constituents to plant vegetables. And indeed empower him to exercise his authority as purok chairman since a resident who want to transact in the barangay office should bear his approval first.

“Kaniadto mamalit mi ug gulay sa merkado karon dili na gyud kay naa naman sa among nataran mismo ug presko pa gyud” (Before we bought vegetables from the market but now no more since we can get it from our own backyard and so fresh”, he said with a smile.

Programang Gulayan ng Masa (PGMA) is a project of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap with the help of Local Government Units (LGU’s) and other private sector which aims to reduce rural hunger and malnutrition through the promotion of home, communal, barangay and school gardening in the country. (Aurell P. Arais/RAFID-DA CARAGA)


Barangay LGU Policy:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

NAFC Validates Hard Infra in Agusan del Sur and Dinagat Islands

by: Aurell P. Arais

Butuan City – A team from National Agricultural and Fisheries Council (NAFC) successfully conducted the second round of validation of hard infrastructure projects implemented here in Caraga Region under the Department of Agriculture (DA) and its attached agencies.

The validation took place last September 14-19, 2009 wherein the four NAFC validators were divided into two groups to validate projects sites in Agusan del Sur and Province of Dinagat Islands.

The Agusan del Sur group were composed of Marilu Peralta and Eduardo Cunan while the Dinagat Island group were Engr. Jahensi Supanga and Troadio Montemayor.

The team visited various projects sites accompanied by some DA Regional Field Unit 13staff and its counterparts from provincial and municipal level together with provincial and municipal agricultural and fishery council (PAFC/MAFC) both in Dinagat and Agusan del Sur, representative from Department of Public Works and Highways and National Irrigation Administration (NIA).

In the Province of Dinagat Islands, the group validated hard infrastructure projects in the municipalities of Cagdianao, Dinagat, San Jose, Basilisa, Libjo and Tubajon with 11 irrigation projects and five farm to market roads (FMR) which also include two municipalities in Agusan del Sur particularly Bayugan and Esperanza with one irrigation project and ten farm to market roads.

Meanwhile the Agusan del Sur group able to validate 12 irrigation projects and 22 farm to market roads situated in different towns such as Veruela, Sta. Josefa, Trento, Bunawan, Rosario, San Francisco, Prosperidad, Talacogon and La Paz.

Projects were implemented through the DA funding downloaded to various implementing agencies such as NIA, DPWH as well as local government units of the province and municipal government.

Some projects were also funded through the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP).

Based on general findings of the validating team, most of the projects were in place however some were delayed particularly in Dinagat Islands and recommended to the concerned implementing agencies to strengthen coordination and monitoring for smooth project implementation.

DA RFU 13 Regional Technical Director Edgardo Dahino gladly accepted the recommendations from the validation team and vowed to work hard for its improvement.

The first round of NAFC validation was conducted April 13-18, 2009 covering the provinces of Agusan del Norte, portion of Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and Surigao del Norte including Siargao Islands. (Aurell P. Arais/DA RAFID-Caraga)


Sunday, June 28, 2009

SUCCESS STORY: Infrastructure for Rural Productivity Enhancement Sector Project (InfRES)

DA’s InfRES Makes Life Easier

by: Aurell P. Arais

Caraga Region - “Tungod sa InfRES misayon gyud ang among kinabuhi”. (InfRES makes our life easier).

A word of relief uttered by Marilyn Sugian, a resident of Purok 6, Brgy. Panikian, Carrascal, Surigao del Norte after being freed from daily hardships on their place going to and from Poblacion to their barangay due to almost inaccessible road.

According to her before the construction of the farm to market road through the Infrastructure for Rural Productivity Enhancement Sector Project (InfRES) in their place farmers experienced the pain of agony on how to bring their produce to the market and even buyers refrain to fetch their product due to the difficulty of the road.

In effect, farmers will carry their farm produce manually or with the help of carabao resulting to delay of time and eventually affecting the quality of their product.

“Luoy gyud kaayo mi kaniadto kay ang among abot sa uma mabaligya na lang ug barato kaysa sa malata lang”, (We’re so pity before because we are compelled to sell our farm produce at lower price than completely spoiled”, she said in vernacular.

She also said that in times of bad weather they will not be able to travel especially when the river they need to cross will overflow.

Marilyn also said that education in their place was greatly hampered. “Kaniadto daghan gyud ang miundang ug eskwela kay dili na kaantos sa kalisod sa agianan labi na ug mu-ulan” (Before several students were forced to stop from going to school due to hardships on the way to school more so if its raining), she narrated.

And even on emergency cases, they’re having difficulty in rushing ill person to the hospital for an immediate health care.

However, she said since the completion of the farm to market road on their barangay their agony before were gone and completely change the community life and hasten development in their area.

The town of Carrascal, Surigao del Sur is a recipient of Construction and Rehabilitation of Farm to Market Road (FMR) with appurtenant structures last 2008 through the Infrastructure for Rural Productivity Enhancement Sector Project (INFRES) with local government unit counterpart worth 19,436,193.85 traversing the barangays of Tag-anito, Panikian, Bacolod, Babuyan and Gamuton.

Marilyn happily said that due to the InfRES Project traders would now come to their barangay to purchase farm produce at reasonable price while reviving the eagerness of their children to study hard and even boasted that several of the students from their place got honored in the class.

A regular public vehicle now served their place and people who need medical attention can now easily go the hospital even at night time.

More government services have now reached their area such as agricultural technicians, health personnel, police officers and investors that resulted to the development of the area.

Same situation was also experienced by the residents of Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur also a recipient of Farm to Market Road through the InfRES serving the barangays of Osmeña, Panaytay, Marcelina and Charito.

Former Panaytay Barangay Captain Dominga Lumanglas said that before the project of InfRES their barangay was considered a sleeping area since only few houses were seen and some residents even decided to leave the area due to the isolation from livelihood opportunity.

However due to the InFRES project their barangay were awaken, more houses were constructed; more opportunities came in and helped alleviate the plight of the farmers. Barangay Kagawad Angelito Diamos of Charito also shared the same testimony.

Truly, the InfRES Project provided support to Government initiatives for removing infrastructure constraints in rural areas in Caraga Region and thereby helped rural production and productivity.

InfRES indeed makes life easier. (Aurell P. Arais/ da rafid caraga)


DA- RFU 13 Joins Kalayaan 2009

by: Aurell P.Arais

Butuan City – The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 (DA RFU 13) had actively participated in the celebration of 111th Independence Day last June 12, 2009dubbed as Kalayaan 2009.

A contingent of DA personnel participated during the motorcade and attended the program held at Inland Resort Convention Center led by Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Research, Administration and Finance Edgardo Dahino.

Guest of honor during the celebration was Tourism Secretary Ace Durano who at the same time designated for Caraga as Cabinet Officer for Regional Development (CORD).

The Kalayaan 2009 offered various services to the public such as jobs far, livelihood fair, processing of various clearances and documents, awarding of employment contracts, health and wellness, medical services and livelihood grants to workers-beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) participated by various government offices and private entities.

On the part of DA, the Human Resources Management Office headed by Josefa Gidacan conducted screening of qualified applicants for 10 available positions, priority were those relatives of displaced workers.

During the affair two farmers groups in Agusan del Norte who benefited mechanical drying facilities from Department of Agriculture namely Sto. Niño Multipurpose Cooperative (Butuan City) represented by Plenio Atega and Abad Irrigators Association (RTR) represented by Jun Paiste received the certificate of turn-over handed through Secretary Durano.

In Caraga Region, the implementing agencies for CLEEP are the following: Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and Local Government Units (LGUs) and Department of Agriculture (DA).

Data presented during the program showed that CLEEP in Caraga generated 11,554 jobs with 11,554 individually employed and a total of 6,512,576.58 pesos funding assistance. (Aurell P. Arais/rafid da caraga)


DA-AMAD, LGU San Franz, Launch 3rd Bagsakan Center in Caraga

by: Aurell P. Arais

San Francisco, Agusan del Sur – The Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 (DA RFU 13) and the local government unit of San Francisco, Agusan del Sur jointly launched the 3rd Bagsakan Center (BC) in Caraga Region located at Brgy. 1 of the said town last June 20, 2009.

Gracing the occasion were local officials of San Francisco led by Mayor Carl Elias Lademora, vendors association officers and members, farmers and staff from DA-RFU 13 led by AMAD OIC Servilla Balaan.

In order for the public to fully understand the project, Balaan shared the overview of the project while municipal vice mayor Bernardino Ursos warmly welcomed all the guests and visitors.

On his speech Mayor Carl Lademora expressed optimism that the project would greatly contribute to the economic plight of farmers as well as the residents of the area.

He urged farmers to deliver their produce directly to the Bagsakan Center to eliminate the unscrupulous middle men resulting to the soaring of farm prices sold to the end buyers.

Sangguniang Panlalawigan member Jennny de Asis representing Governor Valentina Plaza on the other hand reiterated their commitment to fully support the agricultural sector of the province through the necessary legislation and funding.

To signal the formal start of the operation, Balaan awarded the Certificate to Operate to the LGU San Francisco as operator received by Mayor Lademora.

Two guests from Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) of DA Central Office visited the site after the launching to see for themselves on an actual operation of the project. The two AMAS staff was Jenny Torred, Barangay Bagsakan and Bagsakan Center (BB/BC) coordinator for Caraga and Jose Manta, AMAS Marketing Division Chief.

The Bagsakan Center (BC) in San Francisco is the 3rd in the entire region of Caraga. First was in Aras-asan, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur and followed by Cancohoy, del Carmen, Siargao Islands, Surigao del Norte.

BC is a component of the Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program (AHMP) aimed to suppress hunger and malnutrition in the countryside through access of affordable and nutritious food supply. (Aurell P. Arais/ rafid da caraga)


Monday, June 8, 2009

PVET AgNor Conducts Heat Synchronization and AI Program in Santiago

by: Aurell P. Arais

Santiago, ADN – Aiming to further boost the livestock industry in the province of Agusan del Norte, a team from the Provincial Veterinary Office conducted a massive Heat Synchronization and Artificial Insemination (AI) Program in the town of Santiago last May 26, 2009.

The team was composed of the following: Nestor Andoy, AI Technician of Santiago; Rizalino Abrogar, provincial AI technician; Pedro Concon, AI technician of Las Nieves; Adriano Balan, AI technician of Jabonga, Pierlito Aruelo, AI Technician of Kitcharao, Jaime Monte, coordinator of Forage and Pasture; and Raul Cornites, provincial coordinator of Ginintuang Masaganang Ani (GMA) Livestock.

Also present were Zaida Badajos, agricultural technician (AT) of Santiago and Josephine Ramos, a staff of Santiago Municial Agriculture office, both were in-charge of recording the recipients of the program.

Before the sun goes down on May 26, the team rendered its services on four barangays within the municipality of Santiago, namely San Isidro; Poblacion 1; La Paz; and Tagbuyacan.

Around 30 farm animals benefited the program which includes carabao, cow, horse and even goat through de-worming, artificial insemination, pregnancy diagnosis, heat synchronization and vitamins.

Some were also taken with fecal sample collection to determine internal parasite on animals. The samples will be endorsed to the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL) situated in Taguibo, Butuan City for laboratory analysis.

A follow-up activity was also undertaken on the following day on the same area on those animals that needs further veterinarian services.

The activity was also supported by the Regional Agriculture and Fishery Information Division (RAFID) of Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 (DA-RFU 13) through agrivan services and documentation.

Giving care to the farm animals in Agusan del Norte is an utmost priority of the Provincial Veterinarian Office under the leadership of Dr. Belen Aruelo. (Aurell P. Arais/rafid da caraga)


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

San Francisco SDN Holds Joint 22ND MAFC Day as Farmers/Fishermen’s Month Celebration Culminates

by: Aurell P. Arais

San Francisco, Surigao del Norte – Farmers and fisher folks alike converged in Poblacion to celebrate the culmination of Farmers and Fishermen’s Month celebration last May 27, 2009.

What makes it more significant is the simultaneous holding of the Joint 22nd Municipal Agricultural and Fishery Council (MAFC) Day which drew huge crowd.

The joint celebration kicked-off with the thanksgiving mass at the municipal gym celebrated by Reverend Father Almario Ramada Jr.

Outside the gym, fresh produce from farms and aqua products were displayed by the participating barangay joining the Tabo Contest.

After the evaluation of the board of judges, the Tabo was opened to the public which buyers rushed to grab the produce which was sold lower than the prevailing market price.

On the height of the adrenaline rush on Tabo area, a formal program was conducted inside the gymnasium to highlight the Joint 22nd MAFC Day and Farmers/Fishermen’s Month celebration duly attended by the municipal officials and members and officers of MAFC.

San Francisco MAFC chairman Ramon Logronio expressed his gratefulness to all stakeholders who one way or the other supported the activity as he welcomes all the guests and participants.

Officer in Charge Mayor Florefiel Bañacia was overwhelmed by what he saw on the Tabo area wherein bountiful farm harvest were displayed and vowed to look for more ways to support the agricultural sector of San Francisco.

Similar commitments of support were also expressed by Crops Division Chief Cecil Sol of Provincial Agriculture Office representing PA Trujelio Pepito and Dr. Julio Domiquel, provincial veterinarian of Surigao Del Norte.

Followed shortly was the awarding of prizes to the Tabo contest winners with Barangay Oslao emerged as first, followed by Banbanon, and third was Macopa. Other participants were Linongganan, Diaz, Magtangale, Poblacion and Jubgan placing fourth to eight respectively.

Also during the program, certificate of recognition to Outstanding Livestock Raisers were distributed to the following: Edilberto Laurejas, large ruminant catergory; Ptolomeo Canoy, small ruminant category; Bebina Sabio, Swine category; Gilberto Cabusao, kabir category and Brgy. Poblacion Livestock and Poultry Raisers Association (LAPRA) for BLAPRA category.

Prior to his closing remarks, Municipal Agriculturist Marieto Clerigo distributed Rice Hull carbonizer to farmer recipients.
Staff of Regional Agriculture and Fishery Information Division (RAFID) of Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 (DA RFU13) boosted the program with showing of agricultural technologies though the agrivan services.

This year’s celebration of Farmers and Fishermen’s Month Celebration has a theme “Sapat at Abot Kayang Pagkain para sa Lahat.” (Aurell P. Arais/rafid da caraga)


BPRE Conducts Training on the Operation of Pneumatic Corn Planter in Caraga Region

by: Aurell P. Arais

Butuan City – The Bureau of Post Harvest Research and Extension (BHRE), an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture is aggressively pushing its campaign for farm mechanization here in Caraga Region.

To materialize its mandate, BPHRE conducted a two day Training on the Operation and Maintenance of BPHRE Pneumatic Corn Planter held at DA RFU 13 Conference Hall, Butuan City last May 5 to 6, 2009.

The said training was participated by farmers’ cooperative such as St. Gabriel Multipurpose Cooperative and Self Reliance Team (SRT) in Butuan City, as well as representative from Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte.

Also present were staffs from different division of DA Regional Field Unit 13 such as Crops Division headed by Ms. Lynn Pareñas, Regional Agriculture Engineering Division (RAED) headed by Engr. Rene Morales and Regional Agriculture and Fishery Information Division (RAFID).

St. Gabriel Multipurpose Cooperative is the first recipient of the BPHRE Pneumatic Corn Planter throughout the country through soft loan scheme.

Regional Executive Director Ricardo C. Regis warmly welcomes the resource persons from BPHRE Central Office headed by Director Hugo Tolentino.

During the training proper, Supervising Science Research Specialist Helen Martinez discussed about the Corn Mechanization as well as the Economics of using the BPHRE Corn Planter.

On mechanical aspect, Engr. Aldrin Hipolito BPHRE Research Specialist talked about the Component Parts and Functions as well as the principles on the operation of Corn Planter and its maintenance.

In order for the participants to keep abreast on the corn program, Regional Corn Coordinator Abel Wagas also tackled about the Protocols on Corn Production.

After all of the discussions, an actual operation using the BHRE Pneumatic Corn Planter was conducted at the corn field owned by National GAWAD SAKA Awardee Demetrio Tabelon at Brgy. Tiniwisan, Butuan City.

As of now, BPHRE is currently looking for manufacturers based here in Mindanao to produce BPHRE Farm Technologies for an easy accessibility of the farmers.

Part of the training was the conduct of BPHRE Technologies Licensing Protocol for Manufacturers spearheaded by Division Chief Dr. Eduardo Cayabyab.

It was attended by five Mindanao-based manufactures such as RJR Agro-Industrial Enterprises of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon; MDV Machine Shop and Engineering Works of Surigao City; Marbel Corn Sheller of Maramag, Bukidnon; Allied Shop of Surigao City and Green Valley Agro Industries of Kononadal City, South Cotabato. (Aurell P. Arais/rafid da caraga)


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NAFC Team Validates Hard Infra Projects in Caraga Region

by: Aurell P. Arais

Butuan City- To ensure transparency of government projects implemented under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture, an eight (8) member team from National Agricultural and Fishery Council (NAFC) conducted a one week validation and monitoring here in Caraga Region last April 13-18, 2009.

Focus of the validation was the hard infrastructure projects such as Farm to Market Roads (FMR) and Irrigations with funding source from DA and either implemented by the said office or downloaded to other agency such as National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) or the provincial and municipal local government units.

The eight member team was divided into four sub-teams with two members each to cover four identified cluster areas within the region.

The first team validated mainland Surigao del Norte and some parts of Surigao del Sur areas covering the towns of Alegria, Tubod, Sison, Placer, Bacuag, Gigaquit, Claver, Carrascal, Lanuza and the cities of Tandag and Surigao.

The second team validated Agusan del Norte areas covering the towns of Kitcharao, Jabonga, Santiago, Las Nieves, Carmen, Nasipit, Buenavista and the cities of Butuan and Cabadbaran while the third team validated Siargao Island and some parts of mainland Surigao del Norte covering the areas of General Luna, Pilar, San Isidro, San Benito, Burgos, Sta. Monica, San Francisco and Malimono.

The fourth team validated Surigao del Sur areas covering the towns of Hinatuan, Lingig, Tagbina, Barobo, San Agustin, Marihatag, and Tago.

Each team was accompanied in the area by its local counterparts from DA RFU 13, DPWH, NIA, representative from respective LGUs and Agricultural Fishery Councils (AFCs) while the new Caraga Coordinator of Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) Claire Bacation accompanied the team 3.

During the exit conference, all data gathered were consolidated and showed that generally all projects were put in place.

Regional Executive Director Ricardo C. Regis welcomes the validation team and viewed it positively not as fault finder but to look into some rooms for improvements.

The national validation team expressed an appreciation to the coordination effort extended by DA RFU 13 through Regional Agriculture Engineering Division (RAED) head by its division chief Engr. Rene Morales.

The said activity is part of the leg of project validation in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

It is sad to note that while the team conducted its mandate here in Caraga Region, the Regional Executive Director of Region 2 and at the same time Undersecretary for Monitoring Gumersindo Lasam, was killed in an ambush by still unidentiied men in Solana, Cagayan Valley Tuesday morning. (Aurell P. Arais/rafid da caraga)


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Mechanic Turned to a Farmer

Success Story of

by: Aurell P. Arais

Farming is a golden business enterprise…

This motivates Jerry Raganas Moreno of Brgy. Dugsangon, Bacuag, Surigao del Norte to forget his job abroad and instead focus his attention on farming.

Jerry, 41 years old, happily married to Lolita Tan gifted with three (3) children is a graduate of Automotive Mechanic and Electronics. Due to the demand of his skills abroad, Jerry was able to land a job in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) where he worked for five years and a half (5½).

But on 1997, he received sad news about the death of his father that prompted him to go home. His father leaves his family with a piece of land but nobody wanted to till it, thus Jerry volunteered himself.

At first Jerry find difficulty in cultivating the land. He explored almost all possibilities to increase his production with his 1.8 hectares agricultural land that was due to him but to no avail due to high cost of farm inputs.

Until 2003, Jerry was invited by the Municipal Agriculture Office of Bacuag to attend a seminar on Integrated Bio-System Farming in Butuan City. Upon return, he practiced what he was learned on the seminar especially on formulating and application of Organic Fertilizer to his own rice farm land.

The use of organic fertilizer greatly helps to reduce the cost of farm inputs since he is not going to purchase synthetic chemicals anymore and was identified by MAO as the first person to adopt organic rice farming in the locality.

To share his expertise, he demonstrated to his co-farmers the proper way of producing organic fertilizers utilizing the farm wastes such as rice hull, rice straw, carabao and goat manure and paved the way for an additional source of income-the organic fertilizer.

Jerry said that since he applied organic fertilizer on his farm, his yield has greatly increased that other farmers in the neighborhood were convinced and purchased his produced organic fertilizer. He was able to achieve an average yield ranging from 6.7 to 7.6 tons per hectare.

Jerry said that there are three (3) factors to consider in rice farming for better yield. First is nutrient management through using organic fertilizer, second is water management through maintaining the correct level of water and lastly is pest management.

Aside from rice farming and producing organic fertilizer Jerry devoted his time in planting and caring other crops such as corn, coconut and falcatta utilizing the land of his other brothers and sister.

With his income and expertise on mechanic, Jerry able to purchase an additional 1.0 hectare of land planted with corn and established a rice mill where his wife Lolita manages it.

“For me farming is business, you have to invest your time, effort and system and put your love on it. My secret in success is hardwork, technology and prayers” he smilingly uttered.

Inspired by his three children and very supportive wife, Jerry is willing to devote his entire life on his business…FARMING. (Aurell P. Arais/rafid da caraga)


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MRDP-RPCO M&E Unit Caraga Conducts Series of CBMEG Training in ADS

by: Aurell P. Arais

Butuan City – To ensure sustainability of sub-projects of the Mindanao Rural Development Program Adaptable Program Loan 2 (MRDP-APL2) implemented on various local government units, the Regional Program Coordinating Office Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 conducted a series of Community Based Monitoring and Evaluation (CBMEG) training in several municipalities in Agusan del Sur.

The series of CBMEG trainings started in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur last March 4 and 5, 2009 held at Municipal Agricultural Training Center

The occasion was graced by the chief executive of the said municipality Honorable Leonida P. Manpatilan.

After Esperanza, the same training was conducted at Trento last last March 10 to 11 held at Hills View Inn Conference Room and followed by Bunawan last March 17 to 18, 2009 held at Kalahi Training Center.

Each CBMEG training were consist of two days and were jointly spearheaded by RPCO M&E Unit Head Rebecca R. Atega, Provincial Program Management and Implementing Unit (PPMIU) of Agusan del Sur headed by Engr. Cynthia Lumanta with PPMIU M&E Unit Head Edna Tongson and staff and the respective Municipal Program Management and Implementing Unit (MPMIU) with MPMIU M&E Unit.

Through CBMEG, the communities were empowered to participate on monitoring and evaluating the implementation of MRDP sub-projects on their locality and report their findings directly to the municipal level.

MRPDP has four sub-projects namely Investments for Governance Reform (IGR), Community Fund for Agricultural Development (CFAD), Natural Resources Management (NRM) and Rural Infrastructure (RI).

IGR aims to make more effective the devolution to complement the Local Government Code and further improve competitiveness of agricultural sector, RI focus on rehabilitation and construction of communal irrigation systems, farm to market roads, single lane bridges, potable water supplies an other agricultural infrastructure critical in enhancing farm productivity and access to markets, CFAD serves the disadvantaged sectors through livelihood projects to increase rural incomes and NRM mainstreams the protection and conservation of the environment.

Of the four components, majority of the LGU in Agusan del Sur who availed the program through a particular counter parting scheme embraced two subprojects such as CFAD and RI.

The series of CBMEG trainings serves as the output of the Training of Trainors (TOT) conducted through the Program Support Office based in Davao City last February 24 to 25 held at the Provincial Training Center, Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

Similar CBMEG Trainings will be conducted in other municipalities and provinces in Caraga Region soon. (Aurell P. Arais/ rafid da caraga/Info Ace)



Brief Story of
A Cooperative as a Tool for Reform

Bislig City is not only the seat of the formerly largest wood and paper industry in Southeast Asia but also one of the fishing grounds in the province of Surigao del Sur hence majority of its inhabitants make a living out of fishing.

However, when the fishing regulations and local ordinances were strictly imposed by the LGU of Bislig, disallowing to fish within the 14 km. radius from the coastal area, majority of the small fishermen were dislocated and deprived of a living to sustain the daily needs of their families.

At this instance, a brilliant idea was born. Seventeen individual consisted of small fishermen, fish traders, marine products traders and ice distributors agreed to form a multi-purpose cooperative that on August 8, 1994, the group comes up with an initial paid-up capital of only P16,150.00.

Due to financial constraint, the group faced a subsequent difficulty in pursuing their first project in marketing of fish and marine products, thus they focused their attention in looking for somebody or entity for financial assistance.

Unfortunately the request for financial assistance to the Office of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan last November 17, 1994 had been denied due to the election ban imposed at that time. The first disappointment of the group did not stop them from pursuing its determination to exist and instead proceeded on acquiring the official recognition of the government by registering their group in its official name Mangagoy Fishermen Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MAFISCO) from the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

From then on, the group aggressively continues their quest to ask financial and technical assistance from different government offices and entities which includes the Department of Agriculture for bigger capital and for proper management of the cooperative. Their efforts were being paid off after raising a start off capital amounting to P200,000.00 that was invested for retail lending and marketing of fish and marine products.

In a matter of seven (7) months since its birth their initial capital has rose to P201,086.34 from P16,150.00 and P2,770,888.81 in 1999.

In 2002 with enough capitalization, MAFISCO has proudly launched a prototype mini banking operation under a project called Member Savings Operations which includes micro-lending with only 2% interest rate and eventually frees the borrowers from the hook of persons engaging in lending with higher interest rate ranging from 5-10%. Same year, a P10 million worth of Ice Plant Facility was established to stabilize the supply and price of ice in the locality.
October 3, 2006 a fire broke out in Mangagoy, Bislig City burning almost 5,000 houses wherein most of the coop members were affected including some important papers of the cooperative was turn into ashes. But the tragedy, never weaken the eagerness of the group to pursue its dreams, it still manages to stand and continue its business venture despite of its losses and the affected member-borrowers.

No matter what the crisis that beset the local economy; MAFISCO has consistently manifested a serious meaning to its area of business with added venture- rice trading particularly wholesale and retail, which in turn the whole operation helps to generate employment with 15 personnel who are mostly displaced workers from PICOP who ceased its operation.

Based on record the collection rate has never go beyond the minimum passing grade of 70% and instead made an average of 96% spread out in five years or an overall collection grade of 102%.

From year 2000 up to 2008, the capitalization from P2,983,959.80 now rose to P 6,316,137.47. Capital share from P 1,686,244.90 to P6,216,302.53 in the year 2008. Coop assets from P2,983,959.80 in 2000 steadfastly increased to P25,450,070.89 in the year 2008.

Due to good performance and success of the coop, from its 17 original members now rose to 747 including the associate members, garnering numerous honors, awards and recognition which include Outstanding Surigaonon Entrepinoy Award and Outstanding This is a great indication of the Power of COOPERATIVISM.

MAFISCO is also socially involved in the community. They are part of the Bundle of Joy, a gift-giving activity for the poor children of Bislig, also a benefactor of Adopt-a-Street Children program, actively participated in the Tree Planting and activities during celebration of the Cooperative Month every October.

This year 2009, MAFISCO is currently pushing for an expansion of its business venture such as Ice Plant and Cold Storage Facility, Purified Drinking Water Station and Rice Trading Wholesale and Retail.

With the Coop’s thrust toward self-reliance coupled with competent officers, nothing is impossible for MAFISCO to excel on its field of endeavor now and for the years to come.

MAFISCO is indeed a Cooperative, a tool for Reform.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

DA-RFU 13 Supports PNRC Blood Donation Drive

by: Aurell P. Arais

Butuan City – Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 (DA-RFU 13) strongly supports the drive of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) for blood donation campaign.

The support was manifested by allowing personnel from PNRC Butuan City/Agusan del Norte Chapter to utilize the DA lobby as venue for blood donation drive last February 9, 2009.

A dozen of DA personnel responded on the campaign by donating their blood for about 450 cc each.

Other personnel also availed the services of PNRC such as free taking of blood pressure (BP) and blood type.

Seven (7) staff from PNRC Butuan City/Agusan del Norte Chapter composed the team headed by Soljin M. Robles, Registered Medical Technologist (RMT).

In an interview, Robles explained that a person who donates blood will received a card and may use it anytime to avail free blood from their office on an emergency situation.

Donating blood is a healthy practice to keep healthy blood cells in the body produced by bone marrow. (Aurell P. Arais/rafid da caraga)


Seed Producers Training/Seminar Conducted at Trento

By: Aurell P. Arais

Trento, Agusan del Sur – A seminar/training for seed producers in the province of Agusan del Sur was successfully conducted last week..

The said activity was held last July 28 to August 1, 2008 at Sasepco Warehouse., Trento, Agusan del Sur.

It was learned from Rose Marzo, municipal agriculture officer of Trento that the said seminar were participated by old and new applicant for seed producer.

Participants were coming from Veruela, Sta. Josefa, Bunawan, Loreto, San Francisco and Trento, all of Agusan del Sur.

Marzo emphasized that the seminar served as retooling for old producers while the new applicant will acquire knowledge on proper way of seed production and the law related to this kind of undertaking.

Resource persons during the training were Abner Montecalvo, GMA Rice Program Coordinator for Mindanao who talked about status of the rice seed industry in Mindanao/ Region and Varietal Selection and Characteristics; Henry Carpiso, chief of National Seed Quality Control Services (NSQCS) Central Office in Quezon City, who delievered about the policies and guidelines on seed certification for inbred rice seed production; Jane Rasco- Wagas, officer in charge of RSQCS Caraga; Johnny Ramos of Provincial Agriculture Office, Agusan del Sur; Jojo Dagum, delivered the overview of the training course and other speakers from Philrice namely Frenciso Varquez, Jisell Rendon and Richard Tabudlong.

For the past few years, the province of Agusan del Sur rice seed growers had difficulties in providing sufficient supply to the farmers which would affect the government efforts geared towards rice sufficiency, thus the seminar was conducted to train more seed growers.

It is not only the province of Agusan del Sur who suffered such shortage of seed supply but on the entire province of Caraga thus the same training will be conducted on other parts of the region soon.(Aurell P. Arais/rafid da caraga)


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

DA-LGU Holds Plan Integration Workshop for CY 2009

Butuan City – To ensure a unified program implementation approach for the year 2009 between the agriculture department and the local government units (LGUs) in Caraga Region on FIELDS program, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit 13 (DA RFU 13) conducted a two day DA-LGU Plan Integration Workshop.

The activity was held at Goat2Geder Hotel and Restaurant, this city last January 29-30, 2009 and was participated by City and Provincial Agriculturists and Veterinarians in the region.

Regional Technical Director (RTD) Edgardo E. Dahino warmly welcomes all the participants during his opening remarks and lauded the planning division headed by Josephine Alban for spearheading the workshop.

Meanwhile, Regional Executive Director Ricardo C. Regis extends his appreciation to all the LGU-DA participants and urged to work closely for a common direction towards agricultural development.

Each veterinary and agriculture officers presented their LGU Plans and Programs for calendar year CY 2009.

Regional Agriculture Statistics Officer Melchor Bautista of BAS also presented the agricultural trends in the region that may serve as basis for effective program planning.

Highlight of the gathering was the workshop by sector or component such as Ginintuang Masagang Ani (GMA) Rice, Corn, High Value Commercial Crops (HVCC), and Livestock.

Regional Technical Director Eliseo T. Tila answered one by one all the issues and concerns surfaced during the open forum such as on DA-LGU project counterparting schemes, incentives and other matters.

Financial matters were also ably addressed by Finance Division Chief Jessica Daan. (Aurell P. Arais/rafid da caraga)


DA-AMAS Director Francisco Ramos III Spearheads BB Launching in SDS

Surigao del Sur – To personally oversee the start of the operation, Director Francisco “Bong” Ramos III of the Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness, Marketing and Assistance Services (DA-AMAS) spearheaded the launching of its flagship project Barangay Bagsakan in Surigao del Sur.

For the whole month of November 2008, the Agribusiness, Marketing and Assistance Division (AMAD) headed by OIC Servilla Balaan, a regional counterpart of AMAS in central office conducted a series of Barangay Bagsakan launching in several location within the province.

Last November 18, Barangay Bagsakan in Diatagon, Lianga was successfully launched and on November 20 another BB was launched in Poblacion Barobo, Surigao del Sur.

It was followed on November 26 at Gamut, Tago; November 27 at Bungtod, Tandag City and a day after in Agsam, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur.

Prior to the formal launching, an information caravan was conducted with the staff of Regional Agriculture and Fishery Information Division (RAFID) on the neighboring areas of the BB sites to let the public know about the big event.

Director Ramos was the keynote speaker in Bungtod, Tandag City and in Agsam, Lanuza wherein he emphasized the value of cooperation among operators for smooth implementation of the project.

He also said before the agriculture department bombarded the farmers through its interventions to have more produced but without offering an option where to market the harvest, but nowadays marketing aspects is given priority through the Barangay Bagsakan and Bagsakan Center projects.

Barangay Bagsakan in Surigao del Sur was strongly supported by Governor Vicente Pimentel through Provincial Agriculturist Mark Quico and the whole officialdom on respective local government units where the BB site is located.

Notably in Lanuza, Mayor Algerico Irizari even vowed to replicate the project in another barangay within his town if the BB project in Agsam will succeed.

BB/BC is a barangay-based food depot and distribution system offering affordable, safe and quality food products like meat, poultry, fish, vegetables and fruits, directly links farmers and fisherfolk producers to the consumers and community participated retail food distribution system.

This project is jointly undertaken by the local government unit (LGU) who will provide the space/land, building and operating capital and designate a recipient to operate the BB/BC and DA who will provide the technical assistance during the pre-operation and actual operation, links suppliers and provides Cold Storage Facility, Plastic Crates and other facilities needed for the project.

Barangay Bagsakan and Bagsakan Center formerly known as Barangay Food Terminal (BFT) started its implementation since 2006 in Metro Manila but in 2007 it has expanded its scope of operation on the provinces to support the hunger mitigation program of the president Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

As of press time, a total of 13 BB sites had been launched all over Caraga Region but Balaan revealed that they are targeting around 14 BB and three (3) Bagsakan Centers before the year ends.

Due to be launched this month is the BB site in Mainit, Surigao del Norte and Barangay Centers in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur; Cancohoy, Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte and Aras-asan, Cagwait, Surigao del Sur.

According to Director Ramos the DA-AMAS is targeting around 160 BB/BC sites all over the country but as of now they have already launched close to 200 sites.(Aurell P. Arais/rafid da caraga)