SORSOGON CITY –Coinciding with the Kasanggayahan Festival’s 1st regional drum and lyre competition that brought the festive air here, the opening of the Agri-trade, Travel & Tourism Expo on October 13 at the Capitol grounds has been extra colorful and lively.

The trade fair is one of the colorful activities of the Kasanggayahan Festival – a cultural celebration of the founding anniversary of the province of Sorsogon headed by Governor Jose Edwin B. Hamor. The agri exhibits at the Sorsogon Capitol grounds will last until October 17.

Eight organized groups of Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Phase 1 and Phase 2 beneficiaries joined the trade fair and displayed their agricultural products in their respective booths they themselves decorated intricately using indigenous materials like anahaw, coconut and banana leaves.

Trade fair exhibitors from SAAD Phase 1 were the Green Thumb Catanagan Farmers Association; Taboc Organic Farmers Association; Añog Corn Farmers Association, all of Juban. Also from SAAD Phase 1 were Sta. Elena Mallard Duck Assn. of Magallanes; and Naspi Agricultural Workers FA of Pilar. The new beneficiaries of SAAD Phase who joined the trade fair were San Antonio Farmers Association of Barcelona; San Vicente Corn, Cassava & Crop Association and San Isidro Farmers Association of Castilla. The products on display included fruits and vegetables, rootcrops, eggs, processed food products, and planting materials.

The opening of the trade fair was led by Board Member Maria Nini O. Ravanilla; DA Bicol Regional Executive Director Rodel P. Tornilla; DTI Bicol OIC Regional Director Dindo G. Nabol; DTI Provincial Director Maria Lourdes Pancho; and Annie C. Guab, President of Sorsogon Travel and Tours Association (STOA) Inc.

According to Director Tornilla, Sorsogon is one of the three pilot provinces of DA’s Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) in Bicol when it started in 30 priority provinces in the country in 2018. Currently, the five municipalities of Castilla, Barcelona Bulusan, Prieto Diaz and Matnog are still included as SAAD Phase 2 beneficiaries.

“DA’s assistance is not only up to production. We are also teaching our farmers to be successful entrepreneurs. That’s why our SAAD beneficiary associations here are very eager to participate in this Agri Trade Expo. Matagal na po silang naghanda para sa Kasanggayahan Trade Exhibition. Celebration like this Kasanggayahan is an opportunity for them to showcase their products and be introduced to prospective alliances. Kasanggayahan is also a season to celebrate as we have many favors to be thankful for,” added Director Tornilla.

The other farmer’s groups that participated in the trade fair were the Bacon Believer Farmers Cooperative; AMIA Village of Dinapa FA-Castilla & AMIA Village of San Isidro Pto. Diaz FA-Pto. Diaz; Grei’s Farm; Vines and Branches; Sorsogon Fruits and Vegetables; Casiguran Pineapple Growers Association; Martha Fish Processing and Candelaria Seaweeds Association.

The opening ceremony was attended by Sorsogon Provincial Agriculturist Maria Teresa Destura; Adelina A. Losa, chief of the DA Bicol – Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD); and Pedro Oliver, OIC – Superintendent of Sorsogon Dairy Production and Technology Center. The RSBSA team of DA Bicol also put up a booth during the Agri-trade, Travel & Tourism Expo. (Lovella P. Guarin – RAFIS 5)

Source: Maria Ligaya Renegado, SAAD Associate Project Officer 1

Photo credit: Ian Undecimo (RSBSA), Eduardo Collantes, Jr., and Ramon Adversario, Jr (RAFIS 5).