Masaganang Agrikultura, Maunlad na Ekonomiya!

Gov’t hails agri-fishery champions

Author: DA-AFID | 13 December 2016

Twenty-two outstanding individuals and organizations are added to the rosters of agricultural champions who have partnered with the government in the attainment of its vision of sufficient and affordable food for all.

Through the annual Gawad Search of the Department of Agriculture, these agri-achievers will be accorded Presidential recognition for their hard work and perseverance that resulted to increased income and productivity in the countryside and enabled a steady rural economy.

Leading this year’s pack of outstanding individuals are rice and corn farmers Genevieve Madelo and Leon Bonilla, Jr. of Davao Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, respectively.

Single-mom Madelo, strived hard to succeed and decently earn for her four children. When she had enough saving from working overseas, Gen bought a rice farm in 2001 where she planted rice using innovative technologies she learned from attending DA-sponsored Farmer Field School programs and other learning avenues.

On her own, she acquires additional knowledge in farm management and puts it to test. As such, she has reduced the use of synthetic fertilizer and uses organic fertilizers and other concoction to drive away pests and diseases.

With her passion, she was able to reach an average yield of 7.7 metric tons for three consecutive cropping seasons earning her the admiration and respect of other rice farmers in her hometown.

On the other hand, long-time farmer Bonilla learned the ropes of corn farming at an early age. During his younger years, this year’s Outstanding Corn Farmer would be seen in the fields helping his father manually plant and harvest the golden cobs in their farm.

When he had a family of his own, Bonilla continued the family’s livelihood and sought the help of experts from the local government of Sablayan thru its Municipal Agriculturist. He learned new technologies and production management systems and was able to expand his area of production from four hectares (has) to 25 has, now planted to rice and various vegetables.

For farmers like Madelo and Bonilla, success is bittersweet. Their stories prove that one needs to work hard, be patient and seek help from others to accomplish something.

Hence, the DA continues to be the farmers’ and fishers staunch partners in achieving their life goals by providing the necessary interventions and assistance to ultimately improve the quality and quantity of their production.

In turn, farmers, fishers and other agricultural stakeholders remain the implementers of technologies and policies designed and developed by the government and partner institutions aimed at developing the countryside. They are also the able bodies, laboring from sun up to sun down, to deliver safe and abundant food on every table.

In the spirit of government helping people and people helping government, the Agriculture department, has steadily improved the lives of the Filipino people thru a strengthened collaboration with its stakeholders.

The men and women of the agriculture sector have proven their worth to the national economy and food sustainability portfolio of the country time and time again.

Thru the leadership of Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, DA leads the recognition of these outstanding agricultural laborers. Alongside trophies and a Presidential citation, more than seven million in cash prizes and project grants will be awarded to the Gawad Saka winners.

The Gawad Saka awarding ceremonies was held on December 12, 2016 at the Philippine International Convention Center. (oda rodriguez/DA-AFID)

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