CAGAYAN DE ORO – The Department of Agrarian Reform in Northern Mindanao (DAR-10) and the Xavier Science Foundation (XSF) recently celebrated the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) with two forums meant to enhance people’s awareness in Ozamis City.
A forum on Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS) was held at Naomi’s Botanical Garden where some 200 agrarian reform beneficiaries from Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental were inspired about the practices of successful organizations that have availed themselves of ARCCESS projects.
Asst. Regional Director Eliasem Castillo presented the DAR-10 support service projects and accomplishments while XSF Exec. Dir. Roel Ravanera gave an input on ASEAN economic integration.
In the afternoon, another forum was conducted at Misamis University where the farmers were joined by some 400 students from 11 agricultural schools that make up the Federation of Agricultural Schools in Mindanao (FASMIN) namely, Xavier University, Central Mindanao University and Misamis Oriental State College of Agriculture and Technology, among others.
Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Anthony Parungao cited data that pointed to the significant contribution of the small farmers worldwide to global food production.
He discussed problems confronting small farmers and gave recommendations on what the government should do to address the concerns of the agricultural sector.
“The Philippine’s high GDP will be for naught if it would not result to agricultural development in the countryside,” Parungao stressed.
Guests Gomer Tumbali of the Food and Agriculture Organization, Erlinda Dolatre of the German International Cooperation, and Ana Sibayan, a young farmer leader of the Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) also gave relevant messages for the farmers and students.
DAR-10 Regional Director Felix Aguhob delivered thanked the guests as well as the officials of the agricultural schools, students and the farmers for their active participation during the day’s activities.
RD Aguhob also acknowledged the efforts of Xavier Science Foundation for facilitating the fora that ensured the meaningful celebration of IYFF in Region 10. Key DAR-10 regional and provincial officials came in full force for the event. (Editha R. Salvador)