SAN AGUSTIN, PILI, CAMARINES SUR – A rice farmer of barangay Tawig in Paracale, Camarines Norte was the latest recipient of a 1-year-old female carabao or caraheifer from DA Bicol in 2022.
Dennis Barena, 55 years old, is a long-time rice farmer and part-time miner from Paracale.
“Salamat po sa napakagandang regalong natanggap ko ngayong bagong taon. Ito pong kalabaw na ibinigay sa akin ng DA Bicol. Malaking tulong po ito sa aking pagsasaka dahil hindi ko na po kailangan manghiram ng kalabaw o makinarya sa pag-aararo ng bukid” Barena said. “Nakikisaka lang po ako dito sa mahigit isang ektaryang lupa at isang beses lang nakakapagtanim sa isang taon tuwing tag-ulan,” he added.
He lamented the lack of irrigation to support year-round farming, as well as the high cost of fertilizer and farm labor. At times when he is not farming, he tries his luck in mining and manages to bring home a little amount to cover their family expenses. DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla and Dr. Marissa Guillermo, Regional Livestock Program Coordinator turned over the draft animal to Barena at the DA Regional Office on December 28, 2022.
Barena was accompanied by Paracale Municipal Agriculturist Crisanto Arandia and the former’s wife Gemma Barena. Earlier in December, DA Bicol provided six bags of certified rice seeds, some planting materials, and IEC materials to Barena. Barena is a member of the SAMAHAN ng Magsasaka at Mangingisada ng Barangay Tawig. (Lovella P. Guarin / RAFIS 5)