Farmers, fisherfolks honored

Governor Malanyaon presents an award to PAGRI Special Concerns Consultant Dashiel P. Indelible, Sr. (far right). Assisting the governor in handing over the award are Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Eric Dagmang (1st from left) and PAGRI Head Rotchie Ravelo (2nd from left).

Governor Malanyaon presents an award to PAGRI Special Concerns Consultant Dashiel P. Indelible, Sr. (far right). Assisting the governor in handing over the award are Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Eric Dagmang (1st from left) and PAGRI Head Rotchie Ravelo (2nd from left).

DAVAO ORIENTAL – Honoring the contribution of farmers and fisherfolks to the province’s agricultural productivity, the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental has recently commemorated the Farmers and Fisherfolks Day at the Provincial Capitol.

Already on its fifth year, the Farmers and Fisherfolks Day is an annual celebration initiated by the Provincial Government to pay tribute to all farmers and fisherfolks, especially here in the province, whose untiring efforts not only help feed the people and provide raw materials to many industries, but also contribute to the province’s socio-economic development.

Rotchie Ravelo, Head of the Provincial Agriculture Office, largely attributed to the farmers and fisherfolks the 6.5% drop on the poverty incidence rate of the province – the largest reduction among all provinces in the region. He said that their hard work that led to the increase in the agricultural production has significantly contributed to this huge dent in poverty.

For the past eight years, the Provincial Government, under the leadership of Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon, has achieved major feats in agriculture that has transformed the province and created lasting difference in the lives of its farmers.

First is the substantial increase in rice sufficiency level from 44 percent in 2007 to 67% in 2011 through the Food Intensification Program. With the World Bank-MRDP-Provincial Government- funded Cateel Irrigation Project, Davao Oriental is sure to soon hit a 100% rice sufficiency level as it will irrigate additional 1,600 hectares to 2,000 hectares of rice fields in Cateel town.   

Furthermore, Davao Oriental earned the highest regional award in agriculture as the Gawad Saka Regional Champion in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015 and landed among the top 10 provinces with outstanding performance in rice production and became an Agri Pinoy Rice Achiever Awardee (APRAA) in 2015.

Ravelo emphasized that achieving these feats in agriculture would not have been possible if not for the concrete programs and support of the Provincial Government that helped transform Davao Oriental’s agriculture from non-productive to a prolific and bountiful industry. He listed several Provincial Government-initiated programs that largely helped in improving the agriculture sector of the province. These include the provincial flagship program Pagkain at Kita, Barangay Goat Enterprise Program, and Rural Entrepreneurship Advocacy for Change, and other various fisheries programs. “Being in an agriculture province, we highly depend on agriculture to ensure our food sufficiency.  That is why we have implemented projects that can tap our rich agricultural resources to our advantage,” she said.

Governor Malanyaon, during the celebration, presented awards to outstanding farmer and fisherfolk cooperators, employees and technicians who excel in their respective field. She said this recognition hopes to motivate farmers and fisherfolks as well as government officials and employees to continue their endeavors in helping improve the province’s agriculture sector.

She also lauded the support of the Local Government Units and policy-makers for backing and adopting the Pagkain at Kita Program to their respective municipalities and pouring out funds to help support small farmers and fisherfolks. “In order for our farmers to succeed, there’s got to be a support coming from the government,” she said.

Bannered with this year’s theme ‘Pagkain at Kita Pakusgon, Kalambuan sa Probinsya Magpadayon’ (Strengthen ‘Pagkain at Kita’, Continue the development of the province), series of activities were also held, which include the conduct of the Integrated Management Congress, Provincial Rural-Based Organization Achievement Day, and the Native Chicken Lechon Challenge that saw the participation of farmers from different parts of the province. By Karen Lou Deloso/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan

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