Hearts day has always been a busy day for Regional Executive Director Narciso Edillo of the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR).

This year, he delivered a message to the Benguet Farmers Federation of Irrigators Association Inc. (BFFIA) during their Assembly Meeting, morning of February 14, 2018 at NIA-CAR, La Trinidad, Benguet.

In his message, Edillo talked about the challenges besetting agriculture such as the need to strengthen research that will help increase production to achieve self-sufficiency. Another is the declining interest of the younger generation on farming thus, majority of farmers are aging and they are not open to new technologies.

He said that farmer associations have big roles in the implementation of programs and projects of the department. The DA aside from the usual rice and corn program also support high value crops such as vegetable, coffee and others, he added.

He also emphasized that to compete with other neighboring countries, labor cost and cost of production should be minimized. He said that mechanization should be promoted to subsidize inputs. Postharvest facilities should also be provided through associations and cooperatives so that more farmers will benefit from the intervention. And Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) should be strictly implemented. Example of this GAP are the practices of direct seeding and cluster farming. These should be considered by the farmers to compete in the international market.

RED Edillo also commended the farmers for providing food for the country. “The DA is one of the agencies among many that support farmers in this role,” he said.

He ended his message by saying that the BFFIA should strengthen their association for the DA to extend support to them.

The Regional Director was also visited by Mayor Avelino Amangyen of Paracelis, Mayor Joselito Goygoyon of Kiangan, Ifugao and Councilor Glenn Anila of Tabuk City during that day to follow up the status of their proposed projects for funding support by the DA.

RED Edillo reminded them to ensure that they have accomplished the requirements needed for the liquidation of the projects that was downloaded to them during the previous year to be qualified to acquire another support from the department.// Karen T. Gawigawen