70 Tabuk farmers finish school-on-the-air class
by L. Lopez
Tabuk, Kalinga (20 June) -- Seventy rice farmers recently finished a two -month non-formal school-on-the-air class over Radyo ng Bayan here that gained them new technology on post-harvest management.
Farm caster Remy Balliyao of the Provincial Agriculturist Office (PAO), who is in-charge of the radio class, said the program is handled under an inter-active module where farmer-listeners send reactions and responses through text messages on topics discussed over the radio.
Post-harvest management involves operations in the harvesting, threshing, drying, milling and storage of rice aimed at minimizing post-harvest losses with an estimated average rate of 15% per cropping. This means that for every 100 cavans of rice harvested, 15 cavans go off to losses due to mishandling and improper operation.
The 70 enrollees took notes of the lectures on post-harvest management given every Wednesdays, 6-7 in the morning from April 29-June 3.
At the end of every topic, a short quiz is given where questions are sent on air to farmers who later submit their written answers to the PAO for checking, Balliyao said. For the entire duration of the course, there were 11 tests given totaling to 41 items with a final summative examination.
Balliyao said those who graduated from the radio class are from irrigators associations and farmers cooperatives from Tabuk, Pinukpuk and Rizal municipalities reached by the signal of Radyo ng Bayan, a government radio station in Kalinga.
During the graduation ceremony, four farmers received awards as First Honors, and five each for second and third honors. The incentives and awards were provided by the Bureau of Post-harvest and Research Extension (BPRE), that sponsored the program in coordination with local government units. Three graduates were given distinctions for presenting to the BPRE complete notes of the topics.
In her keynote message, Gov. Floydelia Diasen urged the farmer-graduates to share their knowledge to other farmers to boost the province's rice production.
"It would be kind on you graduates if you also share the technology to those who were not able to enroll in the course so that more farmers in the province would benefit and learn from the new technology", Diasen said.
As a farmer herself, she reminded the farmers of the possible blending between the old but tested farming system to new technologies introduced by the Department of Agriculture (DA) to maximize production.
New technologies always bring higher benefits but let us not discard totally some traditional but tested farming methods, rather let us improve and update them, she stressed.
Diasen enlightened the minds of some farmer-parents who send their children to college to spare them from the works on the field later-on, saying this is anti-productive.
Some parents have very low impression on their work as farmers they send their children to school so that they will not become farmers themselves, Diasen commented.
She encouraged DA to conduct similar courses to farmers in the province, mentioning her administration's flagship program on agriculture.
Diasen boosted on the province's remarkable rice production level with the coming in of programs like the Accelerated Hybrid Rice Commercialization Program that highlighted Kalinga on the rice map of the country.
She assured farmers of her strong support as she lays down her administration's large budgetary allocation for farm-market-roads, hatcheries and other farm inputs. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]