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Empowering farmers toward self-sufficiency, sustainability

By LOUIE MALIZA
of Padayon Pilipino . 

IN one of his speeches, Provincial Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano said that as the governor of Misamis Oriental, being one of the food baskets in Northern Mindanao, his job is to make sure that every farmer in the province will have enough food on the table, be able to send their children to decent schools and become partners of development.

Without a doubt, agriculture is one of the pillars that drive the province of Misamis Oriental toward progress. Emano, the governor with a green thumb, is aware that an innovative approach can enhance the province’s agricultural productivity and sustainability.

With over 169,400-hectare of fertile agricultural lands, one can foretell the greater opportunities ahead for the more than 72,000 farmers in Misamis Oriental.

Providing the farmers adequate support will encourage them to buckle down to work on the farmlands and produce more to be self- sufficient.

“With the support of the farmers, whom I consider as one of the backbones of Misamis Oriental’s progress and development, my administration will succeed in all its future agricultureelated endeavors” Emano said.

He wants the farmers to be empowered in order to produce more because the main objective is to be self-sufficient and sustainable.

According to Emano, gone are the days of traditional farming for agricultural sustainability can be attained by adopting new farming techniques and methodologies.

He emphasized that modern farming is designed to reduce, if not eliminate, poverty incidence in the farming sector.

He further explained that the adoption of non-traditional farming techniques, at a lesser cost, with a maximum return of investment, is one of the most compelling exploits of the modern farming technologies.

For instance, the application of high-value seedlings, the inter-cropping methods, and the water drip techniques were all designed for the purpose of maximizing farm yields and production.

To illustrate, water dripping in agriculture is “supplying water in the form of droplets close to the roots.

Drip irrigation reduces the labor cost through a simplified tecnique of watering the plant.

Also, Emano encourages the cultivation of high-value crops and identifies some “pilot sites” in the province for specialized crops.

An example of an agricultural pilot site is the “Buhian Diversified Farm” owned by Engr. Edgar Buhian in Initao, Misamis Oriental. Accredited by the Department of Agriculture as a training center for farmers, it grows vegetables, rises livestock and develops coconut products.

Emano believes that adequate training and the exposure of the traditional farmers to modern farming techniques will enhance their capability for maximum production, thereby improving family income.

The stigma of being lowly farm workers, of being exploited “tillers of the Earth,” who could hardly eat three square meals a day, kept haunting in their minds.

The province of Misamis Oriental, concerned about the predicament of the agricultural sector, adopted a policy agenda to help liberate the farmers from the bondage of poverty.

Acknowledging the challenge, the provincial government lined up a number of programs aimed at empowering the agriculture sector.

“Honestly, it is disheartening that farmers in our country are deprived of the needed attention such that becoming a farmer seems to be a predestined misfortune. To help address this concern, my administration made the firm commitment and continues until now to provide the agriculture sector all possible support intended to alleviate the plight of the lowly farmers. For the last six years since I became governor, the agriculture sector in Misamis Oriental has somehow regained their integrity. Now, the farmers are confident of the future,” Emano quipped.

(Louie Maliza is working at the capitol’s provincial press office.)

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