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DA-8 consults corn industry, joins farm tour with students

DA-8 consults corn industry, joins farm tour with students

DA-8 conducts a corn industry stakeholders consultation meeting with farmer groups and participates in a farm tour with students to promote livestock farming. Photo: DA-8/Facebook

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture in Eastern Visayas (DA-8) hosted a consultation meeting with various corn industry stakeholders on April 25, 2023, at the Merida Municipal Gymnasium in Merida, Leyte. 

The primary objective of the meeting was to identify gaps in corn production and develop strategies to increase productivity. Representatives from Mat-e, CASACALIMA, San Jose, Makugihon, Maalamap, Senior Citizens, Tubod Lamang, Canaya, and Masumbang farmer groups were in attendance.

During the meeting, Mr. Joel Pedraza, the Regional Corn Program Focal, discussed available support and interventions under the banner program. San Miguel Foods, Inc. also presented its programs and opportunities that cassava and corn farmers can take advantage of. Mr. Francis V. Abarre, the Municipal Agriculturist, encouraged the farmers to develop programs to address their needs in farming and their association.

The consultation meeting included a SWOT analysis workshop to assist farmer groups in assessing internal and external factors that could impact their enterprise. One recurring issue was organizational strengthening, which centered on how farmer members could sustain operations and scale up their enterprises after government support.

In addition to the consultation meeting, DA-8 participated in a farm tour at The Shepherd's Farm in Abucay, Tacloban City. The Sacred Heart School - Montessori Department organized the farm adventure, allowing 18 kindergartners and their parents and guardians to explore the sheep farm.

Owned and managed by Mr. Robert Uy, The Shepherd's Farm started as a sheep multiplier farm with the assistance of the National Livestock Program in 1998. Mr. Uy oversees 240 crossbred Doppers, St. Croix, and Katahdin sheep on his 10-hectare farm. 

During the farm tour, Mr. Rolando B. Hipe, Babatngon Experiment Station Superintendent, briefed the participants about the project and answered their queries about sheep farming alongside Dr. Emerita Q. Filamor and Dr. Gary de Asis.

The Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS) distributed reading materials to parents and school representatives to provide additional learning opportunities about livestock raising. The Sacred Heart School - Montessori Preschool Department regularly organizes field immersion activities to give the children a hands-on farming experience. —iTacloban

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