Over 400 farmers and fisherfolk were convened today, May 15, at the La Union Convention Center in Sevilla, San Fernando City for the first R&D Information Caravan cum Bagong Pilipinas Town Hall meeting, organized by the Department of Agriculture through the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS).

Held in celebration of farmers and fisherfolk month, this activity aimed to disseminate the results and outputs of DA-RFO 1’s completed research and development projects, showcasing their package of technology (POT). It also aimed to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among researchers, extension services, agribusinesses, and farming communities.

The event also highlighted the current administration’s agenda of achieving a “Masaganang Bagong Pilipinas”. It also covered various topics including the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program, and the implementation of various banner programs. This aims to provide farmers with the knowledge and tools necessary to enhance their productivity and contribute to the overall growth of the agricultural sector in the Ilocos Region.

Dignitaries in attendance included Engr. Jose Zalde Samson, Jr. Executive Technical Assistant of the Office of DA Assistant Secretary for Logistics, representing the Undersecretary for Operations Engr. Roger Navarro; Dr. Andrew Villacorta from the Masagana Rice Industry Development Program (MRIDP); Hon. Mario Eduardo Ortega, Vice-Governor of La Union; RED Annie Bares, and Dr. Eleazar Belgica representing La Union Governor Raphael Veronica Ortega-David.

DA-RFO I key officials also graced the event headed by Regional Executive Director Dr. Annie Q. Bares and Month of May Farmer-Director Benjamin Campanaño who extended appreciation to DA for recognizing the important role of farmers and fisherfolk in agricultural development.

Apart from the presentations of relevant agricultural information, participants were also able to get free knowedge materials from the knowledge booths set up within the program venue showcasing IEC materials of DA’s partner agencies such as BFAR, PhilRice, ATI, and ACPC. Other booths that served additional information to the farmer-participants and AEWs include booths of the DA Banner Programs on Rice, Corn, High Value Crops, Livestock and Organic Agriculture, along with the booths of Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) and Regional Crop Protection Center (RCPC).

Providing support as well during the activity is the KADIWA ng Pangulo set by the Provincial Government of La Union through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist. Young scientists from the Union Christian College (UCC) also showcased their winning project featuring a smart irrigation process for crops.

Information Caravan has been proven as an effective strategy of DA in intensifying advocacy support for the successful implementation of DA’s programs, projects and services
and in fostering agricultural productivity in the regions.