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631 farmers complete UOA course on rice postharvest and consumption

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Postharvest losses and consumption are among the issues  critical to rice production in the country. To address these issues, the Department of Agriculture conducted a massive campaign through radio.

A total of 631 graduates made it to University On-the-Air (UOA) on Postharvest Production and Consumption graduation out of the 751 who were officially enrolled. It was recently held at the Provincial Capitol Atrium.

The UOA aims create awareness on how to reduce postharvest loses including responsible rice consumption.  Conducted in the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay, the UOA was spearheaded by the DA’s Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division  (RAFID) headed by Maria Melba B. Wee  in coordination with the Office of  Provincial Agriculturist with farmcaster Rex Lagasca, Chief, Support Service Division.

Eleven students were declared outstanding and received a medallion, trophy and radio transistors from the DA; and  cash awards and certificate from the Provincial Agriculturist Office of Zamboanga Sibugay. First honor was Mary Paul P. Soberano; 2nd Bamafe D. Sioting; 3rd William D. Dionio; 4th Joey H. Fernandez; 5th Evelia B. Bernaldez; 6th laura L. Acuesta; 7th junelyn S. Matrinito; 8th Marycel S. Pao; 9th Mary Ann D. Milmao; 10th Ireneo A. Abajar, Jr and 11th honor Vicente D. Bedonia. 

DA Assistant Regional Director Dennis H. Palabrica recognized that most of the graduates were females and he was very happy that women are getting involved in farming. “Our farm machineries now  are user-friendly and very easy to operate, it was designed this way so that women can also use it.  The government observed that loses in postharvest production are very high that is why the adoption of farm mechanization is the solution. With the use of farm machineries it is expected that there will be a decrease from 37% wastage to 10-15%.”

Provincial Governor  Wilter Y. Palma expressed his gratitude to the DA for the aid given to his province  and to his  people who participated the program and showed their willingness to learn. “We will always support our farmers. Whatever you need, my office is always open to anyone who needs our services. May your  thirst for farming technology continue and spillover to othes.”

Committee Chair on Agriculture, SB Joel Ebol encouraged the farmers to create a group, an organization or an association and have it registered to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Department Of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) so they can avail of the  farm mechanization program of the DA. “Always remember that one way of measuring success is through achieving food security in our province.”

The UOA class started on  July, 2013 and ended  on January, 2014. Lectures were aired through Radio Station 94.3 DXIR FM from 5:00 to 5:30 in the morning, Mondays-Fridays.

During the graduation rite 3rd honor William D. Dionio in his impression said “we are very fortunate to be given this kind of education. Through radio we were taught the proper way of farming especially the right preservation of our harvest straight to consumption. The opportunity given to us is priceless.” This was affirmed by the rest of the graduates.

One of the graduates, Rosita Artising, 67 and a resident of Solitan, Sta. Clara, Naga said “together with my husband, we have been joining this program many times because we learned a lot. We are very thankful to DA for creating this kind of program. The education reaches far- flung areas and is open to all , young and old. As long as UOA continues, we will never stop enrolling.”

In line with the said event 81 farmers who successfully completed the Farmers Field School in Rice and Corn Production joined the 631 farmer-students in receiving their certificate of completion.

Before the ceremony ends, three farm machineries were raffled. Linda Yanga of Mirangan Farmers Association, Mirangan, Siay luckily received 1 unit Thresher; Alodia Dongguines of Mirangan Farmers Association received 1 unit  hand Tractor with Trailer and Edgardo Sioting of Upper Pangi Farmers Association, Upper Pangi, Ipil received 1 unit  Collapsible Dryer.

By MD/DA9




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