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Farmers in the Cordillera are encouraged to plant root crops to sustain the nation’s quest for food self-sufficiency.

Department of Agriculture – CAR Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo, MA.Ed., gave this advice to farmers of Paracelis, Mountain Province during the conduct of the farmer’s day as part of the towns annual anniversary.

Director Edillo served as guest of honor and speaker during the event.

Root crops such as camote and cassava are healthy alternative to rice for Filipinos. It has great potential in the market and may be produced as additional source of income, Edillo said.

The major crops cultivated in the municipality are rice and corn and the good thing about root crops is it may be intercropped with corn. It can be planted after rice especially in rainfed areas.

According to Director Edillo, DA Secretary Manny Piñol encourages farmers to go back to the basics. This is in relation to the ASEAN integration where there is free flow of products from other countries so producing our own food is a way of ensuring that what we eat are safe.

Moreover, he also said that it is but proper to give recognition to the efforts of our “hero-farmers” that contributes to the development of the country’s agricultural industry. The agricultural extension workers (AEWs) that helped the DA in facilitating and monitoring interventions to the farmers were also recognized by Edillo.

He said that despite the fact that we do not regard the farmers as we do to other professions, it is not the time to be sentimental but rather to find more ways of strengthening the partnership between the government and the farmers.

For a country that basically relies on agriculture, we must enhance farm production and productivity amidst challenges of providing sufficient food for the Filipino. Director Edillo challenged the participants during the said celebration. //Karen T. Gawigawen