A total of 120 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) recently graduated from the farmer field school (FFS) in the Municipalities of Maasim and Malungon in Sarangani Province.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer I Maristela O. Olegario said the FFS is a convergence approach of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) to train the farmers on various farm production methods. With this, the farmers received Certificates of Course Completion on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which enables the farmers to become IPM advocates in their own areas.
Olegario said FFS taught the farmers on the relationship of crop with soil nutrients and its interaction with pest and natural enemies. The farmers underwent training on IPM - Vegetable Production, and IPM - Corn Production. Both courses provided substantial lecture-discussion and practicum packed with subsidized inputs.
Among the successful ARBs who completed the course were members of Agrarian Reform Organizations (ARBOs) of the Municipality of Maasim namely Kablacan Upland Farmers Association (KUFA) of Sitio Lebe, Kablacan and Blat Farmers Association (BFA) of Sitio Blat, Amsipit; and Datal Bila People’s Organization (DABIPO) of the Municipality of Malungon.
Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD) Chief John H. Gamad said the acquired skills and knowledge of the farmers would help improve their capacity for better farm productivity and profitability, thus, increasing their income.
“With their knowledge, the farmers would be able to manage pests and diseases in their farms without the usual application of expensive chemicals, thus reducing farm inputs and increasing profitability”, Gamad added.
Provincial Integrated Pest Management Coordinator Camilo Montefalcon encouraged the graduates to maximize their new knowledge in order to improve their lives.
He stressed that by applying the knowledge and skills, they will be able to protect their lives, their produce and their environment.
Sara Dianon Nonggod, a recent FFS graduate and awarded as Best in the Examination shared her experience saying that before the FFS was conducted in their barangay, they encountered several cropping failures due to lack of knowledge on farming.
But with the systematic techniques and procedures on farming acquired under FFS, they will now have a better chance to boost their crops’ productivity and increase their income. (Sara Jane Sinsuat with Agnes R. Torino/DAR Sarangani)