Celebrating May as the Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s month, employees of the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office I (DA-RFO I) led by Regional Executive Director Lucrecio R. Alviar, Jr. joined today the nationwide celebration together with the 16-DA Regional Field Offices in a livestream activity mirroring the event being held at the DA Main Office.

Under the “new normal” condition where wearing of mask and social distancing was strictly observed, the celebration was held at the DA-RFO I 5th Floor Conference Room in San Fernando City, La Union with the theme: “Pagpupugay sa mga Magsasaka at Mangingisda natin, tungo sa Sapat na Pagkain.”

In a simple celebration ceremony, the event highlighted the recognition of Mr. Ferdinand Navarro, 2019 National Gawad Saka Winner as Most Outstanding High Value Crops Farmer who inspired the participants with his success as a farmer. Ferdinand admitted that joining and winning in the Gawad Saka search opened many opportunities for him like becoming a constant partner of DA in disseminating agricultural technologies and innovative high value crops farming practices which are showcased through his farm.

Recognizing all his efforts in furthering the growth and development of high value crops farming in the region, DA-RFO I through Director Alviar honored Mr. Navarro with a Certificate of Recognition plus one power sprayer, vegetable seeds and as pledged by DA-RFO I Operations Chief Dr. Annie Bares and approved by Director Alviar, a multi-cultivator and hand tractor to follow.

Meanwhile, in his message during the event, RED Lucrecio Alviar, Jr. encouraged everyone’s support in the food production goal of the government especially during this time of pandemic. He stressed the importance of partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs) and the private sector in refocusing programs and projects that will further intensify food production in the region.

Sharing this mission is the Known-You Seed Company which donated to DA-RFO I four large boxes of various vegetable seeds during the event for distribution to individuals in support to the Urban Agriculture campaign of DA.

Part of the program was also the turn-over of seeds and fertilizer to the province of La Union through Provincial Agriculturist Col. Ramon F. Laudencia and Ms. Myrna Picazzo, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist. The seeds and fertilizer are among the free interventions of DA to farmers under the Rice Resiliency Project and a component of the Plant, Plant, Plant Program of DA otherwise known as the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) kontra COVID-19 program.

Giving updates on the KADIWA ni Ani at Kita Operations in the Region and the Status of the Rice Resiliency Project, Ms. Wilhelmina Castañeda and Ms. Analiza Ramos, Chief of AMAD and the Rice Focal Person in the region respectively presented the status of both projects in the region.

Another highlight of the Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month celebration is the launching of the #HardinMoPasikatMo challenge which encourage interested individuals from Ilocos Region to create a 2-3 minute video blog of their established vegetable garden during the pandemic where free seeds are sourced out from DA.

Ms. Eva Agustin, RAFIS staff explained the mechanics of the challenge wherein the video blog or Vlog should emphasize the essence of supporting the Plant, Plant, Plant Program of DA particularly Urban Gardening and its impact on their food supply during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Winners of the challenge will be receiving from DA cash prize amounting to P5,000, P3,000 and P2,000 for the first, second, and third placers, respectively along with garden tools and vegetables seeds. There shall also be 7 consolation prizes who will also be receiving garden tools and seeds as prizes.
Deadline of submission of entries is on June 5, 2020.

Another part of the scheduled activity by DA-RFO I to celebrate Farmers’ and Fisherfolk Month in the region is the simultaneous ceremonial planting activities also held at the Pangasinan Research and Experiment Center (PREC) in Sta. Barbara and Sual, Pangasinan and at the Ilocos Norte Research and Experiment Center (INREC) in Batac City and Dingras, Ilocos Norte.#