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PIA Press Release

Revived school-on-air program in Siquijor brings 38 farmers-graduates

Siquijor (27 February) -- The first School-on-the-Air (SOA) graduation program held recently marked the opening salvo for the GMA rice activity in the province of Siquijor.

The graduation was held at the Provincial Agriculturist Conference room in Larena, Siquijor.

Thirty-eight rice farmers from the five municipalities graduated with full of energy, all of them very happy and could not just possibly believe that adhering to the early morning daily radio program aired over DYAR Radio Mindanao Network Sunshine Radio from Monday to Saturday at 4:30 AM to 5:30A.M. has come to end, says the farmcaster of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist here.

Rene Bucol of Catamboan, Larena said "he learned many things during the airing of several topics, lectures he did not learn from seminars he had attended. "It was indeed a great experience, enjoyable since you only do it while doing your early morning chores at home," he said.

SOA started in September 2009 anchored by the Regional Agcomn staff in DA-RFU Cebu City headed by Ms. Gracelen Dagala, regional information officer.

The program aims to educate farmers on new and appropriate farming techniques and practices for specific crops and livestock. It also promotes awareness among farmers integrating all farm management components with emphasis on the business aspect of farming with the end in view of increasing farm income.

Series of prepared lectures on different subject matters in farming were discussed like in classroom teaching learning situation. Collaborating agencies of DARFU-7, provincial and municipal local government units are behind the funding of the activities.

According to Agcom staff, Merlyn Talagon, records show that the first school-on-the-air graduation in Siquijor was in 1990-1991 coordinated by SP committee chair on Agriculture Arturo Pacatang during his time when he was a technician with the DA.

The program merited an award as best coordinated SOA having sustained since 1990 until at present. More than that Lilia Duhaylungsod, an active farmer leader from Basac has been the mainstay then until at present that she has grown gray hairs and still continuously and surely not missing SOA daily airings. "School-on-air has been my partner ug kauban kada kaadlawon," she said.

The regular radio program of the Department of agriculture region 7 "Tuburan sa Kalamboan" anchors the program.

The program methodology conducts briefing and consultation with Agcom staff and pool of farm casters in four provinces of region 7 who serve as the mentors by course module.

The course module are recorded and canned prior to airing.

For 2010 more farmer enrollees are expected to participate. Feedbacks of the program from the farmers are basis for future radio programs and enrollment forms are being distributed to interested farmers.

Hon. Arturo P. Pacatang, Chairman also committed the provincial government's full support to the program because he said there is no better and fastest way of reaching our clientele through radio broadcast. This in a way, was providing framework to motivate farmers and farming communities since they could gather first hand information and learning experience. (PIA-Siquijor) [top]

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