The Department of Agriculture High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) in Bicol continues to promote seasonlong vegetable production through on-site technology demonstration during its 3rd Vegetable Seed Derby and Harvest Festival held on May 17, 2023 in Brgy. Curry Pili, Camarines Sur.

About 400 high value crops farmers from 19 local government units (LGUs) in Camarines Sur participated in the activity. According to DA-Bicol Field Operations Division Chief and Regional HVCDP Coordinator Dr. Mary Grace DP. Rodriguez, the 3rd Vegetable Seed Derby and Harvest Festival aims to showcase the technologies and best practices of participating companies, encourage farmers and agricultural extension workers to adopt and promote the technology, and strengthen the vegetable industry stakeholders’ collaboration and partnership. She mentioned that this is an opportune time to attract the youth to engage in agriculture as the technology demonstration area is located adjacent to the Rosendo G. Vales Elementary School. She added that the results of the vegetable seed derby will serve as input to a scientific study being conducted by the DA HVCDP.

“May scientific study po kaming ginigibo, kada harvest po samuya pong imi-measure, tinitimbang and then after this 3rd derby magkakaigwa na po kaming analysis sa mga varieties and si best performance po of all the seed companies na nagbali. Ini isi-share mi man po (We are currently doing a scientific study. Every harvest, we measure and weigh the outputs then after this 3rd derby, we shall conduct an analysis of the varieties and best performance of all participating seed companies)” Rodriguez said.

Four seed companies namely East West Seed Company Inc., Seed Works Philippines Inc., Allied Botanical Corp., UPL Philippines/Advanta Seeds Philippines established their techno demo area in a one-hectare technology demonstration site. Each seed company was given an area of 1,500 square meters to showcase its best fruit and vegetable seed varieties. Meanwhile, eight chemical companies joined the activity to introduce and promote their latest products and technologies. These are: Bayer Crop Science Inc., Gemini Agri Farm Solutions Corp., Syngenta Philippines Inc., BASF SE, Zhengbang Crop Production Phil. Inc., Enviro Scope Synergy Inc., FMC Agro Philippines Inc., and Planters Products Inc. Agri-machinery companies Brixton Agro-Industrial Machinery, REB-Greentech Systems Enterprises, and GRJC Agri-Industrial Machineries demonstrated their agricultural machineries and equipment.

DA-Bicol Regional Technical Director for Operations Luz R. Marcelino, RTD for Research and Regulations Dr. Edgar Madrid, Farmer Regional Technical Director for Operations Rebecca Purisima, and Farmer RTD for Research and Regulations Raul Carreras graced the occasion. Pili Mayor Tomas Bongalonta Jr. and Pili Vice Mayor Francis Belen also attended the activity.

“Kita sa Pili, agri center sa bilog na Kabikulan. Ako po nagpapaabot ning dakulaon na pasasalamat sa Department of Agriculture na kita ang ginibuhan kaining ika-tolong Vegetable Seed Derby and Harvest Festival. Ini po sana maging ladawan sa satuya gabos na paraoma, vegetable growers tangani po na ang satuyang banwaan maging modelo sa gabos sa pagtanom niato (Pili is the agri center of the Bicol region. I would like to extend my biggest thanks to the Department of Agriculture for conducting the 3rd Vegetable Seed Derby and Harvest Festival in our municipality. We hope that this would serve as an example to all farmers, particularly vegetable growers so that our municipality would serve as a model in crop production)” Bongalonta said.

DA-Bicol HVCDP raffled off 242 sets of agricultural inputs, equipment and supplies worth a total of P400,000 to all the farmer-participants.

Vegetable farmer Mario Añes of Brgy. Sto. Niño Pili, Camarines Sur thanked the DA-Bicol for the learning opportunity saying “Dakula po na tabang sa samo ining okasyon na ini dahil na-improve po ang samong mga kaaraman. Maliban sa seminar mi dangan sa aktuwal na namasdan mi po, sa nailing mi dakulaon pong maray na tabang samo (This activity will greatly benefit us because it enriched our knowledge. Both the seminar and what we observed from the actual farm tour will significantly help us)” he said.

The DA HVCDP has been conducting on-site technology demonstration projects since 2021 as a strategy to boost vegetable production, showcase modern vegetable farming methods and technologies, improve farmers’ agricultural productivity and raise their income. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA RAFIS V)

Photo Credits: Ramon C. Adversario Jr. and Eduardo D. Collantes Jr., DA RAFIS V