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)