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Four Batches of Appreciation Forum Conducted for Municipal Agriculturists and Sangguniang Bayan Committee on Agriculture Chairmen in Region 02

SAN MATEO, ISABELA. The goal of Philippine Agriculture is food sufficiency and poverty reduction. To attain these goals, food producers – the farmers, must be encouraged to be productive and to increase their production to support the growing population of the country.

Moreover, strategies to increase production and income of the farmers as a result of series of researches are being implemented in support to this endeavor.

The RCM is a product of research and development – an evolution in agriculture. It is a very good tool in rice farming. In this present globalization, we have to develop our quality production in order to compete with the global market.

The challenge is how the farmers can access the RCM recommendations in order to improve their farming practices.
There are many challenges that beset the agricultural extension services since the devolution. Agricultural Technologists are ageing and retire able. Most Municipal LGUs do not replace retired ATs leaving the office of the Municipal Agriculturist with few manpower to assist the farmers. Mr. Danilo Tumamao, Provincial Agriculturist of Isabela said, “We cannot compromise the food. The SBs are involved because they have the power to influence the Local Chief Executive. The Municipal Agriculturists and the ATs have the capability because they are equipped with the technology. But these capabilities cannot be put into practice without the policy being enforced by the LGU.”

The conduct of 1-day Appreciation Forum in the different provinces was therefore an urgent activity before the conduct of the rollout trainings on RCM for the AEWs so that the Municipal Agriculturists and the LCEs will have prior knowledge on what is expected of the AEWs in the implementation of the RCM Program.

The briefing aimed to orient the LGU Officials and Municipal Agriculturists on the concept, importance and benefits and the concerns on the large dissemination of the Rice Crop Manager (RCM) as an innovative tool to increase rice production.

Four (4) briefings were conducted, namely, February 15 in Nueva Vizcaya, March 2 in Isabela, March 3 in Cagayan, March 14, in Quirino. The Sangguniang Bayan Members appreciated their involvement in the forum and expressed their support by crafting a policy for the large scale dissemination of the RCM Program in their municipality.

The topics during the forum include, RCM as an Innovative Tool to increase Production: Its importance, benefits and status, Roles of Stakeholders in Large Scale RCM Dissemination and Plans and Targets for 2017 RCM Deployment.

The activity is a collaborative undertaking of the Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center Region 02 (ATI-RTC II) and the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No. 02 (DARFO 02).