RRDCC confirms appointment of 4 MS

Written by Almira G. Magcawas
Thursday, 11 November 2010

Each Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center is complemented by acknowledged farmer-leader or Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) to collaborate with the Regional Consortium in demonstrating, experimenting and promoting technologies in agriculture and natural resources.  The MS acts as resource person during trainings, seminars, field days, investment clinics and cross visits as well as provides technical assistance and hands-on training and even shares experimental insights to on-farm visitors.  The MS also devotes a portion of his/her farm as demonstration plot for his/her own farm trials.

During the 69th Regional Research and Development Coordinating Council (RRDCC) Meeting of STARRDEC held on 20 October 2010 at the Cavite State University (CvSU), Indang, Cavite, four new Magsasaka Siyentista were confirmed and given appointment by the RRDCC: Ms. Carmelita R. Reyes for FITS OPA Marinduque; Ms. Agapita D. Hagedorn for FITS DA-LRC; Mr. Jaime C. Javier for FITS Baras; and Mr. Renato A. Belen for FITS OPA Laguna. They were selected based on their credibility, innovativeness and productivity and also on the socio-economic impact and accessibility of their farms.

Ms. Carmelita R. Reyes or “Ka Mita” is one of the successful entrepreneurs in the province of Marinduque. Aside from managing a 2.5 hectare plantation of arrowroot in Boac, Sta. Cruz and Torijos, she also runs the Rejano’s Bakery which is famous for its arrowroot cookies.

One of the reasons why Mrs. Reyes was selected as MS of FITS OPA Marinduque is because of the technologies she is using in her farm. She is not applying any chemical fertilizer but instead, she incorporates “bettie” or “sapal” to the soil to serve as basal fertilizer. The juice extracted from the tubers is also utilized as liquid fertilizer. Because of her farm practices, she harvests more good quality tubers compared to the other farmers in the province.

Mrs. Reyes already received various awards and recognitions for being an outstanding entrepreneur. With her experience, she continues to encourage other farmers to engage in arrowroot farming to help the arrowroot industry  in Marinduque.

Ms. Agapita D. Hagedorn owns a 1.5 hectare farm in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. She started by raising two fatteners in 1983. Yearly, she increased her breeders by a few heads until it reached to a 50-sow level in 1993. At present, she is managing a 100-sow level farm and her contract growing project which generated additional employment opportunities for the Palaweños.

She participated in various trainings and seminars on swine production to give her enough skills and help her run her business. The day to day struggles and challenges she had encountered were not easy; but due to her hard work and perseverance, she was able to succeed with her endeavor. In return, Mrs. Hagedorn helps the small farmers earn additional income by sharing her good agricultural practices, techniques and strategies in swine breeding production and management.

Mr. Jaime C. Javier is a native of Baras, Rizal. He owns a 1.7 hectare farm which he plants with rice and vegetables. Mr. Javier is one of the few farmers in the municipality of Baras practicing organic agriculture. He formulates his own fertilizer using indigenous materials available in the farm. He conducts his own experiment to be able to try which of his formulations could give better results. Just recently, he extracted the juice from cashew and acasia to use as liquid fertilizer.

To date, Mr. Javier is the Chairman and the Vice President of the Samahan ng Magsasaka ng Baras and Federation of Rizal Farmers, respectively. Being a farmer-leader, he continues to assist the Local Government Unit of Baras in promoting organic agriculture in the municipality by encouraging other farmers to engage in organic farming.

Mr. Renato A. Belen or “Ka Ato” is from San Pablo City, Laguna. His farm in San Juan is not only known for its fruit trees such as rambutan, lanzones, durian and mango but is becoming more popular for growing high value vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, eggplant, among others.

Although Mr. Belen started to practice organic farming just a few years ago, he had already developed a product called “LactoBac LAS-1,” an effective microorganism and “LAS-1 Activated Pure Organic Compost” which contains essential micro and macronutrients. He also produces his own fish emulsion concentrate, vermicompost and vermin tea. The use of his developed products lessened his operational cost in the farm and boosted the quality of his farm produce.  He had been awarded in 2008 as one of the “Ten Outstanding San Pableños” for his remarkable achievements and significant contribution and laudable services in the field of agriculture.

To date, the STARRDEC has 21 Magsasaka Siyentista who assist the Consortium, the Partner Member Agencies and FITS Centers in the implementation of the Techno Gabay Program. ■