Farmers in Loreto, PDI commit to grow organic veggies for a healthier, safer and cheaper farming

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Farmers of Loreto, Province of Dinagat Islands listen intently during the lectures of the Training on Organic Vegetable Production (Batch III) at the Maximo Omandam Sports Complex, Brgy. Carmen, Loreto, Province of Dinagat Islands on March 6-8, 2019.

LORETO, Province of Dinagat Islands (PDI) – Thanks to the “Training on Organic Vegetable Production,” farmers here are iron-willed to grow their own vegetable garden the organic way. The training took place in Caraga’s newest island-province last March 6-8, 2019 through the funding support of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI).

A total of 32 farmers took part in the training. They come from barangays of Santiago, Esperanza, San Juan, Sta. Cruz and Carmen.

Allan Azares, Sr. Agriculturist of the Provincial Agriculture Office of PDI, was invited as resource speaker. He discussed various topics which included the following: (For Day 1) Definitions and Benefits of Vegetable Garden, Principles of Organic Agriculture, and Organic Fertilizer Production / Concoction Preparation / Soil Media Preparation. For Day 2 was Concoction Preparation which was basically a demonstration activity by the speaker and hands-on activity/return demonstration for the participants. On the last day, the Training Management Team (TMT) facilitated the conduct of Post Test, Action Planning, Over-all Assessment and Closing Program.

To experience optimum learning, the participants were required to submit daily reflections, underwent result demonstrations on the preparation of organic fertilizers and took the pre and post evaluation exams aside from listening to lecture-discussions and demonstrations given by the resource speaker.

During the closing remarks, one of the participants, expressed her positive impression regarding the activity. “If you believe in miracles, this training is one of the miracles that you don’t want to miss on a daily basis. I am very grateful that I was invited to take part in this kind of activity. It enhanced our skill in planting in order to not just survive, but also to be wealthy and healthy. Our thanks to the Department of Agriculture, our facilitators and speaker. Congratulations also to ourselves for having been chosen to be here in this rare occasion,” said Darlene Polistico, a retired teacher.

Moreover, Jocelyn A. Bayona, Training Specialist III/Chief of the Career Development and Management Section (CDMS), conveyed to the participants the need to share and utilized their learnings in the training. “Mapasalamaton kaayo mi sa inyong kinasingkasing nga pagdawat sa among training. Hinaot nga inyong masilsil sa inyong alimpatakan, ma-apply ug mapaambit sa inyong mga kaubanan ang inyong mga nahibal-an dinhi aron pud dili mausik ang nagasto sa gobyerno alang sa pagpatigayon niini nga training.” (We are very thankful to all of you for heartily accepting this training activity. We hope that you will instill in your minds as well as apply and share what you have learned here, so that the money spent by the government for the conduct of this training will not be wasted.)

Also present during the closing program were Thelma Berador, Municipal Agriculturist of Loreto and Paula Mae Creencia, DMO II of ATI-Caraga and Project Officer of the said training.

As a backgrounder, the Training on Organic Vegetable is along ATI’s mandate to adopt an integrated and holistic approach to mitigate hunger through the promotion of organic vegetable production. This was also in response to the request of the province to conduct measures to help increase food production providing sufficient supply for its poor farming household. Loreto, being a 4th class municipality with low agricultural productivity, indeed needs to have this kind of training especially on intensive production methods, using and reusing natural resources and urban wastes, contributing to the food security, health, livelihood and environment of an individual, household and community. The benefits of organic vegetable production include recreation and leisure; economic vitality and business entrepreneurship; individual health and well-being; landscape beautification; and environmental restoration and remediation.