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Techno Pinoy in Jagna, Bohol
« on: October 24, 2007, 06:03:00 PM »
By Joe Espiritu
Columnist
Bohol Sunday Post

So, Jagna has launched the Techno Pinoy. Well and good. They have their work cut out for them. The thrust in the information is mostly on agriculture. They have to start from the scratch. The majority of the Jagna population is fishing oriented since the bulk of the population occupies the shorelines. Of the thirty-three barangays only four upland barangays, Mayana, Calabasita, Boctol and Lonoy may have residents equivalent to an average shoreline barangay like Pagina and Canupao.

The shoreline folks are yet on the fishing stage. They do not farm, which involves tilling, sowing and reaping. They only wait when fish are coming, the pelagic ones. They establish fish sanctuaries but those had caused a lot of howls from other fishermen. A few coral strands cannot support enough dimersal fishes to afford a decent living so most of the fisherfolk live in poverty. Sad to sad, they admit that they are poor but would not show it.

They would like to embark on certain livelihood projects but they do not have the resources much less technology to make their plans come true. Besides, they do not have any entrepreneurial skills. Give them capital in form of loans and they will immediately put up a sarisari store. Their idea of livelihood is buying and selling never production. How to introduce them into the industrialized era would be a boon.

Dole outs from the Emergency Employment Administration of Pres Diosdado Macapagal to the Biyayang Dagat of President Ferdinand Marcos went down the drain. There are fisherfolk whose names still linger in the bad debt list of the Development bank of the Philippines it they have not yet been written off. Now the government, in the municipal level is putting up an information center to help the farmers.

Perhaps one of the information that the locals would want is market research. People had been producing goods but the steady market had not been located. In our article in the Jagna fiesta edition, we stated that Jagna starts to produce vegetables for southern Bohol. However, if we expand production, there are no post harvest facilities, which would prolong the shelf life of leafy vegetables.

High valued corps would enjoy a steady market but no one has yet identified what high valued vegetables can be grown in our upland barangays. Cabbages and carrots are found in our market but they come from other places. The mushroom industry is barely surviving. We have an indication that a type of edible Japanese mushrooms, in demand abroad could be grown here but we do not have the technology.

Another thing. Jagna may thrive if there are contract growing facilities. What we mean is; some companies might be persuaded to interest contract growing among Jagna backyard farmers. Livestock like hogs and forty-day chickens may be grown in quantity if the arrangement is right. In some places like Nueva Ecija, suppliers provide the livestock, feed and medicine to the farmers and buy their product when the stock grows to the marketing stage. All the farmers provide is the buildings and labor. Some rice farmers consider this as alternative income. This could be made available to truck gardeners and marginal fishermen here.

We repeat, what we need is market research. People would hardly grow anything if it could not be sold. There should also be a steady market not the one, which would wait until the greens start to lose their salability to force the producer to lower their price. Only when a steady market is established when the production should start. Then technology would come in even in simple projects to enhance production.

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