SAN AGUSTIN, Pili, Camarines Sur—More than 418 members of the Indigenous Peoples in Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon participated in two agricultural trainings on high-value crops and livestock and poultry raising held recently in their respective barangay Tribal halls as part of the interventions for the implementation of Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo or 4Ks Program.
These trainings were conducted in response to the clamor of the IPs for capability activities during the coordination meeting with representatives of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Bicol and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) on March this year.
IPs in Tiwi, Albay own a total of 1453.8462 hectares of ancestral domain with an estimated population of 5,000 IPs. However, majority of the area remain idle and unutilized because of the IPs inability to develop it for livelihood, farming and economic undertaking.
According to Tiwi Agricultural Officer Jose R. Claudio, these trainings will equip the IP communities with skills in organic agriculture production, asexual propagation of Pili and Cacao, and provide them with alternative livelihood since their abaca and coconuts are still recovering from the devastation wrought by the typhoons last year and the effects of the pandemic (crisis).
The forthcoming interventions of vegetable seeds, garden tools, organic fertilizers and these trainings will transform their ADs into productive farms.
Vilma Casimiro 34, shared that she felt helpless for her family when Typhoon Rolly destroyed almost all of the abaca in their town. Their only source of income is making abaca twine. With the training on organic vegetable production and grafting of pili and cacao, she can make extra income while waiting for the abaca to mature.
Joseph Ariat 35, related that planting sweet potato and abaca in his small area in Sitio Tabgon, Joroan is not enough to feed his family of three. With his new learning on intercropping, multiple-cropping, and grafting, he is excited to develop his small area into a diversified farm.
Tiwi HVCDP Coordinator and lecturer Maricel Copino urged the IPs to venture into Pili and Cacao Grafting. She said that through this propagation, they will be assured of a good and prolific, early maturing and fruiting variety and they can sell their grafted trees for Php250.00.
In his lecture on Organic Agriculture, Tiwi OA Focal Person Michael Francisco encouraged the IPs to practice farming without the use of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Tiwi has fertile soils so organic agriculture is a practical system for the IPs.
Agricultural Programs Coordinating Officer for Albay and Sorsogon Florentino Ubalde said that through this training, the IPs will have a more sustainable system by utilizing their resources as potential food production areas.
The said trainings were also conducted in barangay Osmenia, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte; barangays Atulayan, Kilomaon, Minadongjol, Patitinan, Bongalon and Sibaguan in Sagñay, Camarines Sur; barangay Tinawagan, Tigaon, Camarines Sur; barangays San Jose and San Rafael, Bulusan, Sorsogon; barangays Sta. Cruz and San Rafael, Donsol, Sorsogon; and barangays Joroan, Mayong and Misibis, Tiwi, Albay.
4Ks is a special program crafted by the DA to promote and enhanced provision of agricultural and fisheries related livelihood, investments and services to the Indigenous Peoples (IPs) nationwide through provision of needed interventions. (jaysonmgonzales)