Lingayen – Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. led the inauguration of the Barangay Food Terminal (BFT) in sitioMapita, barangay Laoag in Aguilar town on December 3 as a continuing effort to increase agricultural production in the farmer community of Indigenous People (IP).
Launched by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in cooperation with the provincial government,the food terminal willaddress the problems of the farmers in transporting their products from the highland community to their local markets in the lowlandto increase the income of farmers.
“Nuon, kanya-kanyakamingnagbababangproduktoperongayonsa BFT munaiipuninngmga farmers angmgagulaybagoibababasa local markets,” Margarita Rola, SitioMapita High Value Crop Grower’s Association president, said.
Governor Espino, vowed to support the agri-development projects in the highland village being implemented by DA in partnership with the provincial government. He said a ‘training center' will rise next year in the highland village where farmers could conduct their training on agricultural production and entrepreneurial activities.
Agricultural production in the province, Governor Espino said, has consistently developed as evidenced by the two national rice achievers award and two national corn achievers awards received by the province.
Provincial Agriculturist OIC DalisayMoya noted that the major project of the provincial government in the area was the construction of the Banga-Pinoy, a water reservoir -- with 3 units of 10,000-liter capacity and 6 other units of 5,000-liter capacity.
“Through Banga-Pinoy, villagers could now utilize spring water from the ZambalesMountains for the domestic consumption and agricultural production,” Moya said.
Last May, the provincial government granted a Php297,000-subsidy to SitioMapita High Value Crops Growers’ Association to complete the implementation of the irrigation component.
The agricultural production of Mapita farmers has increased with the completion of the irrigation facility which also helps sustain the Farmer Entrepreneurship Program (FEP) launched in the village in 2009.
JuanitoRola, the first farmer graduate of FEP said the IP community relied on traditional farming for decades, but had adopted organic farming with the guidance and training assistance from the Provincial Agriculture office.
“I’ve been a farmer for 35 years, but it was few years back when farmers in our community were introduced to the FEP,” Rola said.
Moya said the provincial government will sponsor training for organic vegetable production along with the provision of post harvest facilities in said sitio next year.