DAET CAMARINES NORTE. After the successful launching of the Gulayan sa Paaralan Program in Camarines Sur and Sorsogon, The Department of Agriculture Bicol through the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) once again, launched the same activity this time on September 6 at this municipality. Said program intends to augment the fund needed in order to address the nutritional deficiencies of school children and at the same time help families to earn additional income through planting vegetables in school. The harvest will also be used for supplemental feeding.
Some 80 selected elementary schools received sets of garden materials which include :
14 meters PE-UV tunnelling Film; fine net; seeding trays; hoe; rake; sprinkler; shovel; organic fertilizer and assorted vegetable seeds. School coordinators were also trained on vegetable gardening and nursery establishment. Marilene Dimacalungan , HVCDP staff served as the resource speaker.
According to Nene Rosal Merioles, School Division Superintendent, The Gulayan sa Paaralan Program is the best convergence program initiated by the Department of Agriculture. Parents , school teachers and children have their roles to play particularly during Brigada Eskwela activities .
Dr. Mary Grace Rodriguez said that this program will encourage school children to engage in agriculture since they will actually try their hands with the garden tools which they only see on books. A team will be created to monitor and create guidelines for the best gulayan project .
Meanwhile, The DA distributed Ps 6,222,874.00 worth of farm machineries and equipment to qualified Farmers Association and Cooperatives on the same day at the Camarines Norte Lowland Rainfed Research Station. The machineries/equipment composed of: pineapple processing facility,roasting machine, dehuller/skin Remover, grinder pulverizer, kneader/mixer, stainless working table, decorticationg machine, water-pump, power tiller, rainshelter and 4wd tractor.
In his message Engr. Almirante Abad, Provincial Agriculturist of Camarines Norte, reminded the recipients of the shared responsibilities. “The Association should maintain the equipment and shoulder the cost for repairs. Our farmers are soon to retire due to age which is 57 onwards. Our agricultural areas are diminishing because of massive urbanization. Our population is rapidly increasing. It’s now time to adapt modern mechanization to lower cost of labor and increase production “. He said.
“Nagulat po ako dito, hindi namin inaasahan na mabibigyan kami ng 4wd tractor” said Tyron Paul Weber, Chairman of Labing Farmers Association. “ Sa amin sa Paracale, mahal ang gulay. Malaking tulong and binigay sa amin ng DA upang mapadali at maparami and aming produksyon. Pag nakita ng anak ko na may makabagong paraan sa pagsasaka, baka siya na mismo ang magkusa na magsaka”, he narrated.
Officials present during the turn over ceremony were: Dr. Mary Grace Rodriguez, OIC Chief, Operations Division; Engr. Almirante Abad, Provincial Agriculturist; Engr. Bella Frias, Agricultural Center Chief II and other officials from various Farmers Association. (B. Nunez)