“Patuloy tayong magsipag, patuloy tayong magtanim ng ating kakainin.”

This is the message of support given by Masbate Governor Antonio Kho as the Department of Agriculture Bicol awarded a Philippine Good Agricultural Practices (PhilGAP) Compliance Certificate to the Masbate Safari and Agricultural Complex on February 17, 2023 at Cataingan, Masbate.

The said compliance certificate covers a vast farm in San Pedro, Cataingan, Masbate including the 28.5 hectares devoted to the cultivation of 22 varieties of Dragon fruit. The Masbate Safari, thus earned the title “The Largest PhilGAP Certified Dragon Fruit Plantation in Bicol Region”, as certified by DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla.

Aside from Dragon Fruit, Masbate Safari is also devoted to the production of banana, mango, coconut, pineapple, rambutan, calamansi, and Peruvian Apple. Their harvests reach not only the markets of Masbate but also that of Cebu and Calbayog, Northern Samar.

Vice Governor Elisa Olga Kho, an ardent agriculture advocate, dedicated the said PhilGAP Certificate and Title, which was awarded by Rosita M. Imperial, Chief of the DA Bicol Regulatory Division, to the workers of Masbate Safari headed by Farm, Sales & Marketing In-Charge Mr. Leonardo Salarte. These workers, according to Vice Governor Kho during her speech, made the accomplishments possible through their hard work and dedication.

The awarding was also attended by Masbate 2nd District representative Ara Kho, Sannguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Agriculture Chairman Georgejr Gonzales, and OIC- MAO Susan Y. Arcenal.

The Department of Agriculture, through its Regulatory Division, passionately promotes the adoption of Good Agricultural Practices not only in farms but also in school and community farming projects as this ensures safe and good quality produce without sacrificing environmental protection, and workers’ health, safety and welfare. Currently, there are 37 PhilGAP-certified farms in Bicol; seven (7) in Albay, seven (7) in Cam. Norte, nineteen (19) in Camarines Sur, and four (4) in Masbate. (Some photos are courtesy of Georgejr Gonzales FB account)