Written by Edmarie C. Barrientos
Monday, 18 October 2010

The 24th Farmers’ Information Technology Services (FITS) Center of the Southern Tagalog Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (STARRDEC) was launched last August 24, 2010 in the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, Multi-Purpose Hall, Callos, Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

It was participated by PCARRD (Dr. Lily Bayabos and Ms. Amor Alejar), STARRDEC (Dr. Leyma L. Cero, Ms Almira G. Magcawas, and Ms. Edmarie C. Barrientos), Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU) (Mr. Rommel Octavius Nuestro, Mr. Archieval M. Jain and Ms. Maria Lirio C. Ragel) and the staff from the Office of the Provincial Agriculture headed by Mr. Marlon P. Tobias. Other participants were the farmers and staff of the offices of the municipal agriculture of Laguna.

Mr. Marlon P. Tobias, Provincial Agriculturist of Laguna, gave the welcome remarks. Hon. Jeorge “ER” Ejercito Estregan, Governor of Laguna represented by the Provincial Coordinator Atty. Leonardo Ragaza, Jr., Dr. Divinia C. Chavez, RRDCC Chairperson of STARRDEC represented by Dr. Leyma L. Cero (RMIS Coordinator) and Dr. Ricardo A. Wagan, represented by Engr. Rommel Octavius Nuestro, PMA TGT Leader of LSPU, gave their messages.

The last part of the program was the Technology Forum. The resource speaker was Mr. Renato A. Belen, a Farmer-Scientist and one of the candidates for the Magsasaka Siyentista of the Center. He is a well-known organic vegetable grower in the province of Laguna. Mr. Belen was once featured as a cover story in the Manila Bulletin Agriculture Magazine in May 2007. Mr. Belen shared his experiences on organic farming. He also gave details on his practices using Effective Microorganisms, composting, vermiculture, vermi tea, and fish emulsion concentrate. In the closing program, Ms. Cristina D. Goma, FITS Manager of OPA Laguna, expressed her appreciation to all the participants in the launching of FITS OPA Laguna. After the program, some of the participants had a chance to get giveaways of the products of Mr. Belen. ■

(article and photos courtesy of STARRDEC NEWS)