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Farmer-Scientists in Loon, Bohol
« on: June 17, 2009, 05:52:51 PM »
By Adam L. Saligumba

Loon's corn production program received a tremendous boost with the graduation of 96 farmer-scientists who completed levels I, II and III of the Farmer-Scientists Training Program (FSTP) of the Department of Agriculture on June 2 at the Loon Sports and Cultural Center with the theme "Empowering Farmers for Socio-Economic Progress."

Dr. Romulo Davide, professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños and a well-known figure in DA who founded FSTP and currently serves as its program leader, graced the occasion and confirmed the graduation of the 96 farmer-scientists.

Davide was accompanied by Dr. Caroline May Daquio, center director of DA-ATI-RTC 7; Melecio Maghanoy, FSTP study leader of UPLB-CA ASC; and Roman Dabalos, provincial corn coordinator, who represented Engr. Eugene Cahiles, manager of the Agricultural Promotion Center (APC)-DA RFU 7.

Loon Mayor Lloyd Peter Lopez, Vice-Mayor Edwin Ladeza and Municipal Agriculture Officer Trinita Suello welcomed the guests who also marked the launching of the FSTP Phase II Programme barangay level.

Lopez, assisted by Ladeza and MAO Suello, distributed certificates of completion to 82 Phase I graduates, certificates of achievement to 13 Phase II graduates and certificates of recognition to seven Phase III farmer-scientist graduates.

Certificates of Appreciation and Recognition were also given to Mayor Lopez for providing the funds for the FSTP Barangay Operation; SB Kag. Ignacio Castil Jr., Agriculture Committee chairman, for the passage of resolutions for funds to support the FSTP; MAO Trinita Suello for coordinating and supervising the FSTP operation throughout Loon; agricultural technologist Fe Cartagenas for coordinating and supervising the FSTP field work at the barangay level; Dr. Reynaldo Comia, professor, UPLB-CA ASC as lecturer on soil fertility and nutrition of corn plants; Antonio Cornejo, FSTP Study Leader, UPLB-CA ASC as lecturer on FSTP orientation, management, operation and related topics; Melecio Maghanoy, FSTP Study Leader as lecturer on some aspects of FSTP orientation, photo documentation and program assistance.

The main objective of the Farmer-Scientists Research Development and Extension (RDE) Training Program is to give small farmers in Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, Negros Oriental, Leyte, and Compostela Valley in Mindanao direct training contact with agricultural experts and scientists to develop their technical and scientific capabilities to grow corn and other crops utilizing appropriate farming technologies.

The Farmer-Scientists RDE Training Program specifically aims to cultivate the minds of the farmers through lectures on value formation changing attitudes toward teamwork, cooperation and sharing of technical information; equip farmers with scientific knowledge and technologies in corn-based cropping system; apply integrated pest management (IPM) using biological control agents and natural enemies of pests and disease-causing organisms and the safe use of less toxic pesticides when necessary; make farming as a business enterprise through formation of farmer organizations, cooperatives and marketing networks; develop self-reliant and self-sustaining farmers and communities through maximum production of rice, corn, vegetables, and other economic crops to supply the market demand; and strengthen the leadership capability of farmers in their respective communities.  
The corn-based Farmer-Scientists RDE Training Program is based on the assumption that there is no barren soil; only barren mind, and that farming is business. It is designed to liberate poor farmers from the bondage of poverty and hunger.

The Phase I of FSTP involved Value Formation, Research Exposure and Technical Empowerment. Farmers and scientists set up experiment plots of corn to compare the effects of organic fertilizers versus inorganic fertilizers, integrated pest management, varietal trials, intercropping system and others. Cultivation of the farmer's mind for love of God, country and people is also emphasized.

Phase II involves On-Farm Experimentation and Technology Adoption. The farmers replicate their research experiences from Phase I in their own farms for technology verification and adoption. They set up experiments with the assistance of scientists/experts and agricultural technicians to determine which production technologies are adoptable in their farms.

In Phase III, farmers are taught Farmer-to-Farmer Technology, Transfer and Adoption. Graduates of Phase III now become lecturers and share their expertise by teaching untrained fellow farmers how to generate and develop farming technologies based on their Phase I and Phase II experiences. They use either the Adopt-A-Farmer Model or Adopt-A-Barangay Model with the LGU's support. They are assisted by the municipal agriculture officer, agricultural technologists and experts/scientists from toher agencies when needed. This program emphasizes the intercropping system, together with livestock production, to increase the farmers' income.

Established by Davide in his hometown of Argao, Cebu in 1994, the Farmer-Scientists Training Program was launched in Loon on November 14, 2006 during the term of former Mayor now Sangguniang Panlalawigan Senior Board Member Cesar Tomas Lopez. Since then, the program's technology has enabled farmers in the municipality to produce and harvest corn to as much 5.35 tons per hectare (Phase II farmer-scientists) using the Pioneer and IPB Var 4 variety/hybrid.

Highlights of the accomplishments of the 82 Phase I graduates, who are farmers of Catagbacan, Handig, Lintuan and four barangays in Cabilao Island, namely: Talisay, Pantudlan, Looc and Cabacungan yielded significant results.

In the Varietal/Hybrid Trial the OPV IPB Var 4 (white) gave a yield of 3.19 to 4.35 tons/ha in Cabilao and Lintuan; and 2.0 tons/ha in Catagbacan Handig. The hybrid Yellow Tupi gave 4.8 tons'ha in Cabilao, IPB sweet corn 3.77 tons/ha in Lintuan, and the USM Var 10 yielded 2.94 tons/ha in Catagbacan compared to 1.04 to 2.90 tons/ha of the local Tinigib variety.

In the fertilizer trial, the combination of Bio-N plus Urea and Complete gave the highest yield of 4.35 tons/ha in Lintuan; while in Cabilao the Chicken Manure plus Bio-N plus Urea and Complete gave the highest yield of 3.86 tons/ha. In Catagbacan Handig the recommended rate gave the highest yield of 4.34 tons/ha followed by Bio-N plus one-half of the recommended rate yielded 3.57 tons/ha. The No Fertilizer treatment trial produced only 0.38 ton/ha in Cabilao and 2.06 tons/ha in Catagbacan Handig.

Results of the population density trial showed that 1 to 2 plants per hill gave a much higher yield of 3.0 to 4.35 tons/ha compared to the 4 to 5 plants per hill which produced only 1.0 to 2.08 tons/ha.

In the detasseling trial, the removal of tassels (flowers) at 40 to 45 days after planting to control the borer pests showed that detasseling every 3 rows and leaving the 4th row undetasseled produced a higher yield of 3.28 to 3.77 tons/ha compared to 2.90 to 3.5 tons/ha of the No Detasseling treatment.

Results of the intercropping trial showed that sweet potato (camote), mongo, and peanuts are excellent intercrops for corn leading to increased farm production and income of farmers.

In his message, youthful and dynamic Mayor Lloyd Lopez encouraged the farmer-scientists graduates to apply in their respective farms what they have learned during their training, pointing out that all the resources in corn production have all been placed at their disposal. What remains now is their industry and dedication to till their lands which heretofore have been idle or not utilized fully and make them productive. He also requested them to share their acquired knowledge to other farmers in their respective barangays who have not been afforded this opportunity.

The mayor gladdened the hearts of the Phase II and Phase III farmer-scientist graduates when he announced that one sack of Dura Bloom Organic Fertilizer will be awarded to them as incentive. He also informed the audience that the Municipal Agriculture Department has an annual budget of P1 Million from the municipality's IRA fund and, that the Farmer-Scientists Training Program has been institutionalized through a municipal ordinance with an annual allocation of P100,000.

The FSTP-FITS (Farmers' Information Technology Service) management team in Bohol is composed of Dr. Romulo Davide, Program Leader; Dr. Lutgarda Tolentino, Asst. Program Leader, ASC, UPLB-CA; Dr. Daquio, Coordinator for ATI-RTC, DA 7; Liza Quriog, Provincial Agriculturist and Coordinator for Bohol LGUs; Engr. Cahiles, APC Manager-DA RFU 7 and Coordinator for DA Bohol; Dr. Elpidio Magante, president of CVSCAFT, and coordinator for the academe; Dr. Luis Palapar, vice president for academic affairs of CVSCAFT and FSTP deputy coordinator, and Dr. Teresita Abella, PCARRD-FITS coordinator.

Romans 10:9-10
"If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

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xx - Farmer-Scientists in Loon, Bohol - Loon - Bohol
Re: Farmer-Scientists in Loon, Bohol
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2009, 06:05:02 AM »
This is a welcome development knowing that Loonanons are more noted as mga negosyante.

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