With the theme “Enhancing Sustainable Agriculture thru Biological Pest Management,” the Department of Agriculture Regional Crop Protection Center ? 10 (DA 10-RCPC) held its 1st Station Open House on October 7, 2010.
The event is first of its kind and it aimed to promote to farmers and other prime movers in agriculture various biological control agents that are environment-friendly, inexpensive and beneficial to its users.
Still in line with the center’s goal to exhibit crop protection technologies that are cost effective and in turn, enhance product quality and increase value in the market, the affair allowed the participants to engage in discussions in laboratory facilities as well as view demonstration plots. These differ from Trichogramma species/Sitotroga infestation room, Metarhizium and Beauveria laboratory and pest clinic, and predatory insects laboratory that houses Coccinellid beetle, earwig species and green lacewing.
In addition, three successful farmers in the persons of Felipe Ubaldo, Emmanuel Gonzales and Nick Engallado, Sr. shared their first-hand experiences who have managed to heed the call of the department to embrace organic farming as well as implement the use of biological control agents. More importantly, they have all enlightened their fellow farmers and other agricultural stakeholders that adapting to different farming technologies has been very rewarding.
During the program proper, RCPC officer in-charge Virgilia Y. Rendon told the attendees that “our center would be of no use if we don’t impart our expertise to the farmers.” She also acknowledged other agricultural research stations who have also helped them realize their objectives.
Moreso, she urged the farmers to utilize the available farming technologies and left them as well with a challenge to take a closer look at our deteriorating ecosystems.
Meanwhile, Regional Technical Director of DA-RFU 10 Constancio Maghanoy cited the importance of having a station that conducts demonstrations. In agreement with Rendon’s statement, he stressed that the farming technologies devised in the area should be shared to the farmers and not be kept to themselves.
In addition, Maghanoy disclosed that there would be a shift in DA’s program next year and it will include more projects on infrastructure such as post-harvest facilities, farm-to-market roads, marketing-infra activities and among others.
To reinforce the call for everyone involved in farming to settle in using the existing farming technologies, Malaybalay City Councilor George Damasco underscored that farmers should not be easily swayed by the offers extended to them by multi-national companies. Instead, he wishes them to continuously till their lands as he deems that these possessions still live on even though one’s life ends.
Apart from the good turnout of farmers, the 1st Station Open House was attended by Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Crops Division representative Layla Baraquia, Provincial Agricultural Officer Engr. Alson Quimba, local officials and municipal agricultural officers (MAOs) of the region, the Barangay Agriculture and Fishery Council (BAFC), Bantay Dagan pest surveillance team, DA employees and retirees, and professors and students from schools and universities. (RAFID DA-10 / Joanne Olson)