“Maganda at mahalaga ang pagkakaroon ng ganitong forum. Nalalaman ng farmers ang mga ibinibigay at kayang ibigay pa na tulong ng DA at ng local government sa kanila. Gayon din naman, nalalaman ninyo [DA-4A] kung ano ang mga adhikain ng magsasaka para lalo ninyong malaman kung ano pa ang kanilang mga pangangailangan.”
Arnold B. Malbataan, member of Samahan ng Magkakape ng Lipa, appreciated the importance of the farmers’ forum spearheaded by the Department of Agriculture IV-CALABARZON (DA-4A) and the Lipa Office of the City Agriculturist (Lipa-OCA) on May 20-21.
The current agricultural situation in Lipa was discussed in the forum where it was reported that the production of major crops (coffee, lanzones, black pepper, hot pepper, banana, cacao, tomato, ampalaya, squash, sitaw, and eggplant) was still high even though the city was greatly affected by the Taal Volcano eruption and COVID-19 crisis.
“Katuwang po ninyo ang Kagawaran lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya. Sana ay manatiling matatag at ‘wag titigil sa pag-produce ng pagkain,” Vilma M. Dimaculangan, DA-4A OIC-Regional Executive Director, said.
It was also announced that out of 14 barangays, 11 were African Swine Fever-free already. The remaining three are on the third to the last phase of recovering, the deployment of sentinel pigs or the test animals.
DA-4A presented during the forum the list of interventions, such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and farm equipment that were given and will be given to the farmers to help them increase crop production this 2021.
“Nasa atin po ang oportunidad. Samantalahin po ninyo ang mga ibinibigay ng Kagawaran. Kayo naman po ay patuloy na mag-produce at sigurado pong marami diyan ang bibili,” Pedrito R. Kalaw, Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (RAFC) Chairman, said.
DA-4A also presented to the Lipa farmers different loan facilities, like Kapital Access for Young Agripreneurs (KAYA), Agri-Negosyo (ANYO), that can be applied through Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC).
“Malaking tulong ‘yong halagang nakuha namin para muling maibangon ‘yong nasira naming taniman. Madali lang din kaming nakapag-apply ng credit at one and a half month lang ay naaprubahan agad,” Gina C. Radovam, Luntiang Ani Farmers Association member and applied 300K loan under the ANYO loan facility, said.
DA-4A granted Lipa farmers P1,837,500 worth of interventions that consist of assorted vegetable seeds, complete fertilizer, pruning shear, knapsack sprayer, power sprayer, and muriate of potash from DA-4A High Value Crops Development Banner Program, and P2,965,500 worth of interventions that consist of one unit of vacuum pack, one unit of cassava presser, 50 kgs hybrid white glutinous corn seeds, 50 bags of hybrid yellow corn seeds, 130 bags of complete fertilizer, one unit four-wheel drive tractor, 75 kgs of hybrid white glutinous corn seeds, 50 bottles of chemical insecticide, and 100 bags of complete fertilizer from DA-4A Corn Banner Program. #### (Reina Beatriz P. Peralta, DA-4A RAFIS)