Davao Oriental hailed region’s Gawad Saka Champ

Governor Malanyaon and DA-RFU XI Regional Director Engr. Remelyn Recoter with the Davao Oriental Gawad Saka Agri Achievers.

Governor Malanyaon and DA-RFU XI Regional Director Engr. Remelyn Recoter with the Davao Oriental Gawad Saka Agri Achievers.

Davao City (May 30)— For successfully exhibiting excellence in agriculture, Davao Oriental was hailed this year’s champion in the prestigious Regional Gawad Saka Award from the Department of Agriculture.

During the awarding ceremony held last Friday, May 30 at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon, who was guest speaker of the event, lauded the efforts of farmers and fisherfolks for playing a major part in improving the region’s agricultural productivity.

“These achievements are all because of the efforts of our exemplary farmers, fisherfolks and community organizations who have dedicated their lives in improving agriculture production not just for food security, but also to increase the prospects of growth and competitiveness in the agricultural market,” she said.

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“This agricultural growth would certainly contribute to the alleviation of poverty considering that agriculture employs the greatest portion of local population,” she added.

Paying tribute to the farmers, fisherfolks, and organizations, who are the stewards for agricultural productivity, the DA also honored Davao Region’s best farmers, fisherfolks and farmers’ organization during the event. Among the 18 awardees, who emerged as regional winners, eight were from Davao Oriental.

These  winners from the province include Danilo P. Diwata from  Banaybanay-Outstanding Small Animal Raiser, George Cunanan from Caraga-Outstanding Large Animal Raiser, Artemio C. Cabanog from Cateel-Outstanding Rice Farmer, Larry L. Aquilinoof Boston-Outstanding Fisherfolk(Fish Culture Category), Lupon MFARMC-Outstanding MunicipalFisheries and Aquatic Resources Council, City of Mati CAFC-Outstanding City Agricultural and Fishery Council, Davao Oriental PAFC-Outstanding Provincial Agricultural and Fishery Council, and NAGMASID Cooperative of Belicos, San Isidro Outstanding Small Farmers Organization.

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Governor Malanyaon (fourth from left, front row) together with DA-RFU XI Regional Executive Director Engr. Remelyn Recoter, Mayors Adalia Tambuang of Banaybanay, Alicia Mori of Caraga and Justina Yu of San Isidro and other dignitaries. At the back row are the Davao Oriental awardees and officers from the Provincial Agriculture Office.

Out of the eighteen regional achievers, the DA announced that five of them will be vying to the national level. These include Outstanding FARMC from Davao Oriental, Outstanding HVCC Farmer from Compostela Valley, and Outstanding Young Farmer and Fisherfolk Organization, Outstanding Coconut Farmer, and Outstanding Sugarcane Farmer from Davao del Sur.

Meanwhile, already on its fourth year as a consistent Gawad Saka achiever and third as regional champion, Davao Oriental’s journey in increasing its agricultural productivity started when Gov. Malanyaon crafted her first flagship program—the Pagkain at Kita and Agri-Business Development Program in 2007, which was inspired by the province’s lush potentials particularly in agriculture.

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Davao Oriental is already on its fourth year as a consistent Gawad Saka achiever and third as regional champion.

Consistent to its tagline, the program, among other the province’s complementary agriculture projects, not only addresses food security but also increases productivity and income of small farmers and fisherfolks.

Meanwhile, after the brunt of typhoon Pablo in 2007 that created a huge blow in the province’s agriculture sector, Gov. Malanyaon mentioned some programs that emerged, as the province explored more opportunities that helped encourage the pouring of support for the total recovery and rehabilitation of the province, particularly the three hard-hit towns of Boston, Cateel, and Baganga.

One of these is the Oil Palm Industry, which was identified in several studies as potential mainstay industry for the province and is being poised to provide long-term livelihood to farmers.

She also noted the lucrative hot chili production. Supported by the DA and the DTI, the industry has already been helping in creating jobs and generating revenues.

In her message, Governor Malanyaon thanked the support of the DA in helping her province achieve its goals towards improving agriculture productivity. She further conveyed her thanks to the department for institutionalizing the Gawad Saka Awards. “You have made them [our farmers] proud of their works and inspired them to surpass their previous achievements,” she said, stressing that she will continue to reinforce the province’s agricultural sector in order to contribute to the ultimate goal of ending poverty and promote economic progress.  PIO

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