A total of 520 farmers and other stakeholders from various municipalities and cities of Region XI graduated from the School On-the-Air (SOA) on Hybrid Rice Production. The mass graduation ceremony was held on August 9, 2019 at Felis Resort Complex, Davao City.
The course, which was launched on June 14, 2019, was aired over DXGM Super Radyo 1125 Khz from 4:00am-4:30am Monday to Saturday, and 4:45am-5:15am every Sunday.
Before the graduation ceremony started, an orientation on credit assistance programs of the Department of Agriculture (DA) took place. Ms. Mary Grace Prado of DA RFO XI-Planning Division discussed about the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) and Mr. Christian Harvey N. Wong, account officer of Landbank of the Philippines, explained the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) to all the SOA farmers.
In his keynote speech, DA Undersecretary for Finance Atty. Francisco M. Villano Jr. mentioned the importance of availing credit and loans in increasing their farm productivity. DA and Lanbank will collaborate closely to improve agriculture sector thus achieving food security.
During the ceremony, each SOA farmer received one (1) kilo of hybrid rice (SL-19H), certificate of training completion and giveaways such as t-shirts, fruit tree seedlings and assorted vegetable seed packs courtesy of DA XI.
Of the 520 graduates, the municipality of Banaybanay accounted the biggest number of farmer graduates recorded at 102.
Among the VIPs who graced the event were the Municipal Agriculturist of Matanao, Davao del Sur Ms. Evelyn C. Nisas, GMA Network reporter Mr. Rodel B. Natad, and Farmcaster Mr. Francisco M. Endaya.