Veggie council reaches out to provincial members
by Jean D. Abangan
Tagum City (19 May) -- The Vegetable Industry Council of Southern Mindanao (VICSMin) sets its monthly meetings in provinces of the Davao Region to get in touch with provincial chapters.
In an interview, provincial chairman of Davao del Norte Vegetable Industry Development Association (DNVIDA) and VICSMin Chair Ray Acalain said VICSMin monthly meetings in the provinces are intended not only for officers to discuss policy directions but also to gather issues and concerns of local vegetable farmers.
VICSMin recently held its meeting in the Provincial Government Center of Davao del Norte in Mankilam, Tagum City.
Acain was looking at three areas of concerns which he hoped VICSMin could help solve to better assist vegetable farmers in the provinces.
He said VICSMin would like to help link vegetable farmers directly with markets and to assist government in convincing them to adopt new farming technologies that would boost production thereby increasing their income.
"We would also like to help the government come up with policies that can address farmers' needs," Acain said as he noted that some government programs have gone waste because they fail to answer felt needs of target beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, Davao del Norte Provincial Agriculture Office (PAGRO) chief Dominador Encarnacion in a separate interview said 287 farmers are now members of DNVIDA which has received P1.2 million assistance fund from the Department of Agriculture for vegetable production.
Beneficiaries are allowed to borrow a maximum of P20,000 as capital for vegetable growing aside from the seeds and technical assistance that PAGRO is extending.
Noting that the assistance fund is small to be equally distributed to all members, Encarnacion said it is being rolled; benefiting farmer-members one batch at a time after one has paid his or her loan. (PIA XI) [top]