Davao Oriental is Region’s Champion in Agriculture

CHAMPION PROVINCE: Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang and the agri-fishery achievers from the province receive accolades during the prestigious Gawad Saka awarding ceremony. 

DAVAO CITY – Endowed with a large swathe of highly productive agricultural lands – the biggest in Davao Region, the province of Davao Oriental has emerged as the overall champion for this year’s Regional Gawad Saka Search for Agri-Fishery Achievers and Rice Achievers.

Proudly clad in Filipiniana and barong Tagalog, farmers from the province of Davao Oriental along with the Provincial Agriculture and Veterinary chiefs and some local chief executives led by Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang joined other awardees from other provinces during the Department of Agriculture’s Gawad Saka awarding ceremonies on May 31 at the Grand Regal Hotel in Davao City.

DA Regional Director Engr. Ricardo Oñate awards Gawad Saka 2018 Plaque to Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang.

Having the most number of agri-fishery achievers for this year with a total of ten regional awardees out of 23 categories, the province of Davao Oriental is said to have taken the lead in terms of agriculture.

Governor Dayanghirang, who delivered his speech on Thursday’s ceremony, congratulated all the awardees. “Daghang mag-uuma, daghan ang mga mananagat, daghan usab ang mga nag-atiman og mga hayop, apan kamo ang nagpakita ug ehemplo sa eksepsyonal nga kakugi. Kamo tong nagtrabaho nga adunay garbo ug panlantaw sa unahan aron makaserbisyo dili lang sa inyong kaugalingon apan aron matabangan usab ang uban. (There are many farmers, fishermen, and livestock-raisers but you have shown excellence through your exceptional hard work. You are among those who work with pride and vision to provide service not only for yourselves but also to help others,” the Governor told the awardees.

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang

He emphasized the huge role of farmers and fisherfolk not only in feeding the country’s ever-growing population but also in propelling economies. Being blessed with highly-productive lands suitable for agriculture, the country’s agricultural productivity, he said, lies entirely in the hands of farmers and fisherfolk who grow the bulk of the food.

Despite farmers’ and fisherfolk’s big role in feeding an entire population, some of them can barely feed themselves, said the Governor, stressing that the farmers and fisherfolk hold the key in agricultural sustainability.

“They (the farmers) do not rest on simply tilling the land and scouring the waters to produce food, but do it above par and, thus, inspire other stakeholders in the agriculture sector. Malaki ang pasasalamat at paghanga namin sa inyo dahil sa inyong pagpupursige na maiangat ang kalidad ng pagsasaka, paghahayupan at pangingisda sa ating bansa lalo na dito sa ating rehiyon. (We are thankful and in awe of your perseverance to improve the quality of farming, livestock-raising, and fishery in the country especially here in our region),” he said.

Meanwhile, Governor Dayanghirang underlined the need for the government to strategize systems, interventions and innovations to further usher this sector towards the future of farming through “mechanization” which will increase the production and efficiency while lowering the cost of labor.

“Today, our direction is towards mechanization of our farming system, putting a premium on post-harvest and value-adding, and upscaling the science in our methodologies so that we can sustain production and even make it at par with if not better than our ASEAN neighbors,” he said.

“In Davao Oriental, we are rethinking our approaches in governance concerning agriculture. Before, our priority target is to reach out to as many farmers and fishermen as possible to achieve the greatest volume; now we want to not only reach out to more but to be able to raise the best crops by making them work effectively in commune with other members of their respective community and with nature through our Sustainable Agriculture Village Enterprise or “SAVE” program,” adds the Governor.

Under Governor Dayanghirang’s leadership, the Province of Davao Oriental has sustained its support and has prioritized small farmers and fishermen in its development agenda. Moreover, Governor Dayanghirang who pushes inclusive governance in the province’s governance framework has given premium on the farmers in the upland where the ancestral domains are located and in the coastal areas where most of the Jama’ah communities are located.

The Governor also took the time to thank the Department of Agriculture and its attached agencies for pouring out support for the farmers and fishermen of his province, which he says is behind the province’s many successes in terms of agriculture.

Marking the culmination of Farmers and Fisherfolk’s Month celebration, the Gawad Saka Awards is an annual activity of the DA to recognize achievers in the field of agriculture and fisheries who have excelled and made significant contributions in the development of agriculture and the fishery sector in the regions and in the country. The awards also hope to entice Local Government Units and Agriculture and Fishery offices to continue to push the agriculture sector forward.     

Among the local farmers including farmers’ organizations and technicians from Davao Oriental who stood out as big winners in the Davao Region’s agriculture awards are:

  1. Edna Deypalubos, outstanding rice farmer
  2. Conde Mascardo, outstanding fish culture (aquaculture fisheries)
  3. Betty More, outstanding coconut farmer
  4. Tandang Sora BFT, outstanding Barangay Food Terminal Non-LGU
  5. MAFC Lupon, outstanding MAFC
  6. PAFC Davao Oriental, outstanding PAFC

Outstanding Agri Extension Workers:
7. Emma Montejo
8. Eugene Dujali
9.Visitacion Kuan
10. Vincent Jun Caminero
By Karen Lou Deloso/Photos by Eden Jhan Licayan


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