BENGUET --In the pursuit of participatory governance, the Benguet Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) in partnership with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Manahan and the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera (DA-CAR), conducted a farmer’s consultation for policy formulation on crop programming in Balili, Mankayan on October 8, 2022.
This activity is a follow-through of the Forum on Informing Policy and Practice of Highland Vegetable Value Chain conducted in September 2022 at the Benguet State University gymnasium.
According to Board Member Ruben Paoad, Committee on Agriculture Chairman, the activity is being conducted per municipality to consult with the farmers on what schemes are doable in the province to stabilize prices of highland vegetables.
“This is part of the planning stage in crafting the policy. I believe that with the cooperation of every farmer in the province, we will be able to determine the scheme that is acceptable to everybody. Crop programming or clustering can be considered, but we are here to gather your opinion and suggestions for the success of this undertaking,” Paoad said.
Jerry Damoyan, Assistant Coordinator of the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division of DA-CAR, reiterated the importance of the consultation and expressed the support of the office to this endeavour.
“We support the crop programming scheme because we believe that this will improve our efficiency in terms of production to marketing. Through this, it would avoid fluctuations of commodity supply volumes and thus stabilize prices benefitting both producers and consumers. I thank the LGUs for this initiative and let us continue to do this,” he shared.
During the consultation, farmers voiced that crop programming may be applicable to them but they are urging the government to consider studying all aspects that may affect the system, the weather condition, the soil type, and price monitoring, among others. They argued that if the government is going to move forward with crop programming, creating market opportunities first is vital.
Councilor Harold Guanso, Mankayan Sangguniang Bayan Committee on Agriculture chairperson, suggested that the national government should not only concentrate on production but should also the marketing side. If possible, a memorandum of understanding between farmers and buyers in Greater Manila should be facilitated, and upland farmers be given priority to supply large companies considering the quality of their products as certified Good Agricultural Practices.
OIC-Provincial Agriculturist Delinia Juan shared that in terms of marketing, several farmers are gaining from the KADIWA Program of the DA-CAR, thus this could also be adopted.
Also present during the consultation are Board Members Joel Tingbaoen, Neptali Camsol, Jeston Balong-angey, OIC-Municipal Agriculturist Maribel Pinas, and barangay officials. (LDMendoza-DA CAR)