LEGAZPI CITY—“Gusto niyo bang yumaman?” asked Agriculture Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs Ernesto S. Gonzales during the Project Launching and Training on Free-Range Chicken which is part of the Disaster Resiliency Through Diversified Farming Program of the Legazpi City Veterinary Office on January 22, 2020 at the Legazpi City Convention Center here.

“Gusto!” shouted the more than 1200 farmers from 70 barangays.

He added, “magdiversified farming kayo dahil yumaman ako bilang magsasaka bago ako pumasok sa Department of Agriculture.”

Gonzales is a veterinarian and a farmer in Davao City. He engaged into organic farming and has trained small farmers in the city. OIC-City Veterinarian Dr. Emmanuel V. Estipona once visited his farm and was inspired to adopt the diversified farming technology in Legazpi City.

He said that Philippine Agriculture at present is more focused and synchronized.

“Ang agrikultura natin ngayon ay may direksyon, may batas at may budget,” he said.

He added that last year’s budget was Php60B. This year is Php70B pesos. For next year, Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar is proposing P120B for the realization of the Eight Paradigms to level up agriculture.

In his discussion “Diversified Farming plus Sustainable Agriculture equals Food Security”, he said that a farmer can raise native chickens while engaging in vegetable, rice, corn production and fish culture. Moreover, farm waste can be utilized as fertilizer and feeds. Thus generating more income.

He presented various Diversified Farming Modules on Rice; Coconut; Corn and Rice; Inland Fishery; and Marine Fishery.

The Diversified Farming Modules on Rice include Mushroom + Ducks + Compost; Vegetables + Goats + Compost; Dairy Goats + Fish pond + Compost; Dairy Cow + Vegetables + Compost; Free ranged Chicken + Vegetables + Compost; or Tilapia/Bangus + Vegetables + Compost.

The Diversified Farming Modules on Coconut include Cacao + Dairy Goats + Compost; Vegetables + Free Ranged Chicken + Compost; or Dairy Cow + Forage crops + Compost.

The Diversified Farming Modules on Corn and Rice include Vegetables + free range pigs + Compost; Free Range Chicken + Vegetables + Compost; Dairy Cow + Veggies/Forage Crops + Compost; or Goats + veggies + Compost; and Free Range Chicken + Veggies + Compost.
The Diversified Farming Modules on Inland Fishery include Vegetables + Free Range Pigs + Compost; Free Range Chicken + Vegetables + Compost; or Goats + Veggies + Compost.

The Diversified Farming Modules on Marine Fishery include Vegetables + Free Range Pigs + Compost; Free Range Chicken + Vegetables + Compost; or Goats + Veggies + Compost.

Basically, the modules provide farmers income and produce—“pag binagyo ang gulay, may hayop naman akong makakain at maibebenta.”

Gonzales also presented the Farm-to-Table Concept. The Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) of DA will assist farmers to organize themselves into cooperatives and in preparing feasibility studies. As a cooperative, they will also benefit much in the Sagip-Saka Program of the government.

He also added that Dar was able to secure $500M dollars from the World Bank for extension work and postharvest facilities.

Moreover, they will be reviving the KADIWA ni Ani at Kita Program which will sell available, affordable and safe food and will get rid of middlemen. This program was started during the time of President Ferdinand Marcos. At present, there are KADIWA centers in the National Capital Region and Davao. Soon, this will be launched in Legazpi City.

Gonzales also discussed the four pillars of a successful free-range livestock and poultry production—breed, biosecurity, nutrition and management.

In the industrialization of free-range chicken, SM and Waltermart malls are ready to buy poultry products from farmer-cooperatives.

“Asahan ninyo ang suporta at tulong ng DA sa inyong magsasaka,” assured Gonzales. (jaysonmgonzales)