Cordillera organic agriculture farmer’s show off their skills as they enthusiastically participated invarious competitions during the Farmers Fiestaheld at BAPTC, La Trinidad, Benguet on September 25-27, 2018.

The fiesta was part of the 5th Regional Organic Agriculture Congress cum Farmers Festival and Trade Fair Exhibit on its third day. Around 400 organic agriculture farmers and Local Government Unit (LGU) officials coming from Abra, Benguet, Kalinga, Ifugao and Mountain Province participated in this event.

One of the highlights of the farmer’s fiesta was the cooking contest showcasing our very own organic native chicken as the main dish and edible fern or ‘paco’ as the side dish. Two representatives from each provincepulled together to cook and present their assigned dish at a specified time.

As a result, Mountain Province garnered first place for the side dish category entitling them a cash prize of 4,000 pesos. Benguet landed second place with a cash price worth 3,000 pesos while Ifugao won the third place with a cash prize of 2,000 pesos. The remaining provinces also received a consolation price worth 1,000 pesos each.

For the main dish competition, three provinces including Abra, Benguet and Mountain Province have a tie score for the first place. Each province received a total cash prize of 4,000 pesos each while the remaining 2 provinces received a consolation price worth 1,000 pesos each.

Overall, Mountain Province was hailed as first place for the cooking competition with an additional 2,000 pesos cash prize while Benguet landed as second place.

All the participating provinces also received a certificate of award.

On the other hand, Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office-Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-RFO-CAR) also gave away 5 heads of piglets as a prize in the native pig weight estimation. Benguet was able to take home 2 heads of piglets while Abra, Mountain Province and Kalinga got one each.

Another major contest during the congress was the best booth competition as part of the trade fair exhibit. Each booth showcased the different local organic products from the 5 participating provinces of Cordillera such as Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province. Booths were judged on the first day after the cutting of the ribbon.

The best booth was awarded to the province of Ifugao as the first place followed by the province of Abra as second place.  Both provinces received a certificate and cash prices worth 10,000 pesos and 7, 000 pesos respectively. The three remaining provinces also received a certificate and a consolation price worth 1,000 pesos each.

Other games include water fetching, fruit in the basket and cup blowing where in the winners were given seeds in can as a prize.

Farmers thanked the DA-FRO-CAR for coming up with this congress that opens an opportunity for them to learn new things and also mingle with other organic farmers.

In response, Engr. Danilo P. Daguio also encouraged the farmers in his closing remarks.

“If we don’t change our strategy in farming, there will be no progress. Our solution to our degrading environment is organic farming and this is our big contribution. And we have proven that we can go for organic as evidenced by our previous awards in the national level in terms of organic farming. We should be challenged in going organic,” Daguio stressed.

He also challenged the farmers to take their farms to the next level by engaging into Agri-tourism as being encouraged by the Department of Tourism. According to Engr. Daguio, Agri-tourism is one of the potential of organic farming. It does not have to be big as long as it is well organized and where people can learn something new.

“Each of us has a role to play so let’s work with other people, share what we have learned from this congress and serve while we are still alive,” he added. //RDibdiben