“Through AMIA, our living conditions as farmers definitely improved. With the trainings and learnings that the coordinator of the project imparted to us, we learned how we can make use of the available resources we have in the community. The way we do things now, especially in farming is indeed different from what we used to do. Matago-tago koma ti taga DA-Region I (Mabuhay ang DA-Region I).”

Mr. Vergara Guinatang, 59, President of the Kalumsing Rangtay ti Panagrang-ay AMIA Association, speaking in behalf of his members gave his testimonies on how the AMIA project changed their living conditions after receiving the many interventions provided by the Department of Agriculture under the AMIA or Adaptation, Mitigation, and Initiative in Agriculture project.

It was sometime in March 2017 when the group of DA personnel led by Ms. Mary Jane Alcedo consulted barangays Kalumsing, Sibsibbu and Langcuas of San Emilio, Ilocos Sur.

Being a part of the most vulnerable areas due to climate change where limited water supply is being experienced by the community especially in the months of January to May, several climate resilient interventions were provided as a result of the vulnerability assessment and gap analysis conducted by the project leaders during the early part of consultation dialogue in the area. As a result of the assessment and gap analysis, several interventions were identified.

In Brgy. Kalumsing alone, among the major interventions identified and was provided by the DA through AMIA are the water catching basin technologies to include the provision of drums (20 units), hose (20 rolls where 1 role for each member), black plastic (20 units) as well as water tanks (2 units). These interventions helped the community adapt and mitigate the recurring problems on water shortage in the community especially in growing their plants.

Sprayers as well as farm inputs and livelihood were likewise provided such as rice and vegetable seeds including new farming technologies which helped the farmers increase their yields and incomes.
To provide livelihood projects for the members, 10 heads of goats including one buck was given by the DA to upgrade the existing goat breed in the area.

Giving members the opportunity to have an additional livelihood, they were also given ducks and chickens at 15 heads per member and 40 heads of native pigs at 2 heads per member.

“Laking pasasalamat namin sa DA sa mga ganitong tulong na ibinigay nila dahil tunay na nakapagpabago sa kabuhayan naming mga miyembro dito sa Kalumsing. Mas natuto kaming gumamit ng mga makabagong teknolohiya gaya ng pagtatanim ng mga ibat ibang gulay pagkatapos ang aming pag-aani ng palay at paggamit ng mga organikong pataba na kami mismo ang gumawa.”

Referring to his vermiculture project, Mr. Guinatang and the other members has established their own vermiculture where the vermicast derived from the project is used as fertilizer for their crops such as ampalaya, squash, intercropped with kadyos, sweet potato, among others.
As a mountainous area, away from bodies of water, fishery production seems unlikely posssible. But with the initiative of the members, like Mr. Guinatang, and by the help of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Candon City, raising tilapia is now a part of the livelihood project in the community. In fact, he was able to turn his 0.25 sq. meter area into a small pond together with Mr. Samuel Balite where they raise tilapia for family’s consumption and for sale in the neighborhood.

More than anything, Mr. Guinatang and his members are truly thankful for all the projects they received from the DA. However, while enjoying all these interventions, he and his members have requested for the provision of farm machineries and equipment such as tractor and harvester that would make their farming a lot easier. He and his members also wanted to have an additional water impounding project that will be used to catch excess water during rainy season that would make available for irrigation to their crops especially when water is limited during dry season.
Indeed, brighter days ahead for the Kalumsing farmers in this interior town, thanks to DA’s AMIA project.#

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