Central Luzon Farmers: ‘There is money in agriculture’

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Square-foot gardening expert Honorio Cervantes shares tips on plant spacing during the 2nd AgriTalk.

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija—Farmers supported by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) underscored the lucrative side of agriculture as they shared their good practices during the 2nd AgriTalk.

Desiree Duran, president of the Bulacan-based ATI Learning Site (LS) Duran Farm Agribusiness and Training Center Association, Inc., showed how agriculture can be a viable source of income through farm tourism.

“Farm tourism is very simple. The important thing is that there is something to do, something to see, and something to buy in your farm,” Duran said as she shared some of the activities in her farm such as the ‘pick-and-pay’ scheme for vegetables and ‘catch-and-pay’ in their fish pond.

Other LS cooperators who were part of the lineup of experts that spoke at the event were Honorio Cervantes, the square-foot gardening expert from Cagayan de Oro, and 2016 Gawad Saka awardee Celestino Mananguit of Jocel Farm in Bulacan.

Meanwhile, agriculture experts from the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) III talked about different farming technologies such as the preparation of organic concoctions, mushroom production, and goat production.

“Goat-raising can be a small initial investment as it can be integrated with crop-based farming system. Goats are also a source of meat, milk, and other high value products and you can get your return of investment in a short period of time,” DA-RFO III science research specialist Robinel Ocampo said.

DA RFO III Regional Technical Director for Research Regulations Jennilyn Dawayan and ATI Regional Training Center III Director Ma. Veronica Concepcion Esguerra also spoke to the estimated 400 attendees, challenging them to be part of the national thrust for food production.

The 2nd AgriTalk is part of the regional free seminar series spearheaded by the ATI and Agriculture Magazine of the Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, in collaboration with the Bureau of Agricultural Research and DA RFO III.

Held on June 9 at SM Cabanatuan, the activity also provided an avenue for farming enthusiasts to get free information, education, and communication materials from the ATI and Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation. Meanwhile, the 3rd AgriTalk will be held in Davao in September this year.