Thursday, 10 February 2011 14:16
A lady dairy farmer coveted the most prestigious National Search for Outstanding Farmers in the Philippines representing Zamboanga Peninsula Region.
Leonora Jukni, whose farm is situated in Barangay Datagan, Pagadian venturing on dairy cows was recently declared winner to the National Gawad Saka Award 2010 for Large Animal Raiser category.
“I was very happy to know it especially it was relayed to me on my birthday. It’s my special gift,” Jukni was overjoyed as she was greeted “congratulations” over her 58th birthday celebration by Regional Executive Director Oscar O. Parawan who led the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s entourage of well-wishers along with City Veterinarian Leonora Sulay and staff last Jan. 4.
According to Vivian Paule, regional Gawad Saka Award coordinator, Mrs. Jukni shall receive P150,000 cash, trophy and citation very soon at Malacanang hopefully to be awarded by President Noynoy Aquino.
In grateful mood, Mrs. Jukni promised to continue her milk-feeding program to grade school pupils in Datagan so as to achieve her goal to help the government solve the malnutrition.
It may be recalled that Gawad Saka national evaluators headed by National Dairy Authority director Grace Acenas visited Jukni’s dairy farm sometime in November 2010.
There were three finalists from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and fortunately, Mrs. Jukni prevailed as the national winner, said Paule.
Jukni’s love for raising farm animals was complimented by her 5 hectare estate. Inside her P200-T barn were 10 dairy cows from New Zealand which she acquired through loan under the national government’s GMA Cares Program implemented by NDA. She also raised native cows, goats, sheeps and chickens that gave her not only meat and eggs but income as well. Last 2009, she netted some P176,975 from beef cattle, goat and poultry alone.
According to Parawan the Presidential Gawad Saka awards is an annual search for outstanding farmers nationwide to give honor and recognition for their contribution to the attainment of national food security goal of the national government.
Each year, Region 9 has at least two finalists. For 2010, Jukni was joined by Mr. & Mrs. Rogelio Maata and Family for the Outstanding Farm Family category. However, the latter, was not able to make it. Nevertheless, the Maata Family shall receive citation as Finalist from Mindanao.
Meanwhile, Parawan recalled that for 2009, Zampen’s two entries both from Labangan town emerged as national winners, namely: Bonifacio Corpuz of Brgy. Dalapang for Outstanding Rice category and Mr. & Mrs. Reynaldo Montañez & family of Barangay Lower Pulacan for the Outstanding Farm Family category, respectively.
RED Parawan said that since 1999, Region IX has been producing Outstanding Farmers, fisherfolk who won the national award. In 2008, a nurse by profession turned farmer Annie Sitjar of Lantian, Labangan brought pride and honor to Region 9 as the National Gawad Saka awardee in Small Hog Raiser category while Edilberto Betacura from Guitran, Dumingag town for the Corn Farmer category.
In 2005, Ryan Montañez of Pulacan, Labangan was Outstanding Young Farmer winner with Midsalip Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative as Outstanding Small Farmer Organization. For 2004, Vivencio Ceniza of Ramon Magsaysay emerged as the Outstanding Coconut Farmer in the country while Mr. and Mrs. Julius Jamero & Family were adjudged as Outstanding Farm Family.
The 2000 Outstanding Young Farmer was Caritino Andrew Espina of Kaangayan, Mahayag while his uncle and current Board Member Rogelio Saniel received Presidential Citation as Outstanding Large Animal Raiser. Nevertheless, Aning Llagono of Molave was first cited as the country’s Outstanding Large Animal Raiser in 1999.
By Remai S. Alejado/da9
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