Women in Oas, Polangui, Ligao City take on community farm for food, add’l income of family
LIGAO CITY---In the middle part of 2016, Congressman Fernando V. Gonzalez visited the remote areas of Oas and Polangui in Albay and noticed the women doing unproductive activities either gambling (tong-its and bingo), gossiping, or simply idling while their husbands are busy farming or working in other places.
He also noticed idle and vacant areas in the barangays.
In his visit to the coastal barangays of Catburawan, Cabarian and Maonon in Oas, he learned that during habagat (southwest monsoon) which is characterized by hot and humid weather, frequent heavy rainfall, and a prevailing wind from the west, the fishermen have no economic activity. Thus, farming provided an alternative livelihood.
In partnership with the Department of Agriculture in Bicol, his office and the city agriculture office, Gonzalez organized these women, trained them into farming and food processing, and provided them with vegetable seeds and farm tools.
Through the assistance of the High Value Crop Development Program (HVCDP) of the DA, the more than 100 women-farmers were able to establish communal gardens in some barangays of Oas, Polangui and Ligao City.
However, their farms were ravaged by Typhoon Nina last December 2016 when they are about to harvest. But they never waned in their enthusiasm to farm for food and additional income of family.
In January this year, Gonzalez sought the DA for rehabilitation by requesting vegetable seeds and other farming tools for the affected families.
After three months, they began harvesting their produce and their harvest were showcased during the Farmer’s Forum which coincides with the 6th Cityhood anniversary of Ligao City on March 24, 2017 with Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol as guest.
Piñol handed over 100 sets of garden tools and 100 packs of assorted vegetable seeds worth Php170,000.00 to these women groups.
According to Gonzalez, this project is in support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to the agricultural sector especially the women.
Gonzalez is promoting farming in the Third District of Albay because he believed that his congressional district is agricultural. (jaysonmgonzales)