Written by Amylyn Rey-Castro
Photos, Taken by Bryan Arcilla

With a total of 595 farmer-enrollees, the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV CALABARZON through its Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Office (RAFIO) in coordination with the provincial governments of Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon kicked off the school-on-the-air (SOA) on hybrid rice production for Laguna, pinakbet vegetable production for Batangas, and corn production for Quezon on August 24, 2018 at Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (STIARC), Maraouy, Lipa City, Batangas.

Dubbed as “Radyo Eskwela sa CALABARZON,” the SOA, it being the newest segment of the radio program Talakayang Pangsakahan ng CALABARZON, seeks to integrate the philosophy and technology of sustainable agriculture, focusing on rice, high value crops, and corn components, in a distance education scheme and aspires to achieve certain behavioural changes in agricultural practices among farming communities in the said provinces – from information to cognitive and affective knowledge to actual behavioural changes, that will result in action for social and economic mobilization.

During the programme, Regional Information Officer and RAFIO Chief Patria T. Bulanhagui stressed the point that, “radio broadcasting remains to be as relevant and strong as it was in the early years even with the continuing development in information and communications technology. It is on this belief that we are doing this project.” She added that with the support of the management, DA CALABARZON utilizes and will continue utilizing radio as a major tool in reaching its partners and stakeholders and provide them with relevant information on its programs.

Likewise, each representative of the provincial agriculturists commended the Regional Field Office for initiating the conduct of the SOA. They also expressed their support to the project and emphasized their commitment into it.

Moreover, Avelita M. Rosales, one of the banner program coordinators concerned, informed the participants of the latest programs and activities of the Corn Program and the interventions the farmers could avail through them, while Antonio C. Visitacion, one of the agricultural program coordinating officers present, encourage the farmer-enrollees not just to learn the technologies to be discussed for themselves but also to adopt the same in their respective areas.

Almost a hundred city and municipal agriculturists; rice, high value, and corn coordinators; and farmers of the said provinces attended the kick off ceremonies.

Radyo Eskwela sa CALABARZON will be aired over Radyo Natin 106.3 FM Laguna every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30 – 9:15 am and KISS FM 95.1 every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 12:00 – 12:45 pm. Farmers will learn topics about rice, high value crops, and corn every Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and Friday and Saturday, respectively, all first and third weeks of the month, from September to November 2018.