SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR  –  Eighteen (18) Farmers organizations in Camarines Sur that responded to the call of the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) to consolidate small holder vegetable farms, initially received assorted vegetable seeds from the of the Department of Agriculture in Bicol on May 12 and 13, 2020. 

DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla and OIC Chief of the Field Operations Division Dr. Mary Grace DP. Rodriguez distributed the boxes of vegetable seeds to the chairpersons of the 18 farmers organizations.

Dr. Rodriguez said that since 2019, the HVCDP is campaigning for clustering or consolidation of small commercial farms in line with Secretary William Dar’s  8 Paradigms (item No. 4) which is consolidation of small and medium-sized farms. This is to attain economies of scale, particularly for crops that require mechanization and use of technology. Farm consolidation will make farming more efficient, reduce cost of production and increase farm productivity.

“Each member of these farmer organizations, has vegetable farms with size ranging from ¼ hectare to 2 hectares. By synchronizing their planting and agreeing on what to plant based on the demands in the market, they are able to come up with the volume being required of them. In fact they have already established their networks and rapportin the local market and even in the National Capital Region. Therefore, supporting these farmers will have greater impact to the vegetable sufficiency in the local markets,” Dr. Rodriguez enthused. 

One of the recipients was the Samahan ng Kubong Bato in Del Gallego headed by Rodolfo Pitapit Jr. It is composed of 42 members. The association received 80 cans of eggplant seeds  (3.5 g/can with 875 seeds), 15 cans of tomato seeds, 50 cans of squash seeds, 21 pouches pole sitao seeds, 3 cans ampalaya (100g/can), 1 can pechay (100g/can), and 70 packets cucumber. Following the prescribed distance of planting, these vegetable seeds can cover 3.8 hectares.

For the Binanuaanan Farmers Community Development Association of Pili, Cam. Sur, Chairperson Edison Petallo, in behalf of its 22 members, received 47 cans of seeds of chili pepper, 14 cans of eggplant, 15 cans of tomato, 25 cans of squash, 1 pouch pole sitao, 10 cans ampalaya, 1 can upo, 10 cans pechay, 18 packets papaya. Following the prescribed distance of planting, these vegetable seeds can cover 3.8 hectares. 

Meanwhile, the Lupi High Value Commercial Crops Growers Association with 21 members led by  Allan Broñola received 57 cans eggplant, 40 cans ampalaya, 30 cans chili pepper, 25 cans squash, 12 pouches pole sitao, 2 cans radish, 5 cans upo, 31 cans tomato, 36 cans cucumber (100s/packet), and 70 packets cucumber (70 S/packet). These can be planted in 12.48 hectares.

                  TheSan Rafael Agri-Planters Association inLibmanan with 37 members headed by  Periel B. Cortez received  228 eggplants, 5 pouches mungbean, 150 cans squash, 4 pouches pole sitao (500g/pouch), 47 cans chili pepper, and 108 cans cucumber. These are good for 11.5 hectare of vegetable plantation.

                  The Pili Camarines Sur Vegetable Growers Association with its 203  members headed by Epinia Sandoval also received 20 cans chili pepper, 20 cans hot pepper, 114 cans eggplant, 125 cans tomato, 96 cans squash, 4 pouches (500 g/pouch) pole sitao, 50 cans ampalaya, 2 cans upo, 10 cans pechay, 2 cans bell pepper, and 4 cans papaya.

Another recipient was Tigaon High Value Commercial Vegetable Growers led by its president Raul Caceres. The association which is composed of 50 members, received 108 cans  of eggplant seeds  (3.5 g/can with 875 seeds), 20 cans ampalaya, 14 pouches pole sitao, 125 cans tomato (1.6g/can with 500 Seeds), 1 can squash seeds (20g/can with 120 Seeds), 10 cans pechay, 40 cans cucumber. These vegetable seeds are good for 12.47 hectares.

                  Other farmers’ associations that receive more or less the same interventions included: Sto. Nino Pili Vegetable Growers Assn. with 40 members led by Ernesto San Felipe; Planza High Value Planters Association in San Fernando with 25 members led  by Maria Paloma; San Joaquin Vegetable Planters Association in San Fernando with 10 members headed by Bibiana Doblon; Libmanan Vegetable Growers Association Inc. with 23 members headed by Edwin Castañeda; the Agri-Preneur Farmers and Producers Association, Inc. of Libmanan with 200 members led by Robert Buayaban; Busac Agri-Planters Association with 30 members in Libmanan headed by  Jose Vargas; Uson Rice and Vegetable Planters Association with 10 members also in Libmanan headed by Mamerto B. Talisay; Padlos vegetable Farmers Association with 16 members also in Libmanan led by Grace Loveno; Cristo Rey-San Pedro Vegetable Growers Association in Lupi with 36 members led by Beverly Niem; Bulawan Sr. Farmers Association with 30 members also in Lupi led by Jimmy Macatingrao; and farmers associartions in San Fernando, Cam. Sur.

Lupi OIC Municipal Agriculturist Edna Alberto who accompanied the leaders of three farmers organizations in her municipality expressed her gratitude to DA Bicol. “Malaking tulong po ang mga vegetable seeds na ito at mga seedling trays sa aming bayan lalo na sa mga vegetable growers considering na kami po ang nagsusupply ng malaking volume ng gulay tulad ng talong, ampalaya at sitaw sa probinsya ng Camarines Sur. Nagpapasalamat po kami kay Regional Executive Director Rodel Tornilla at Dr. Mary Grace Rodriguez, OIC Chief ng Field Operations Divison” Alberto added. (Lovella P. Guarin/ Photo by Ramon Adversario)