BAGUIO CITY—The Department of Agriculture-CAR recognized on December 23 outstanding farmers and farmers’ group in the 2016 Regional Gawad Saka, Organic Agriculture Achievers, and Corn Quality Achievers Awards held at the Prince Plaza Hotel, this city. 

Expected to add to the joys of their Christmas celebrations, the outstanding men and women from the agriculture sector along with members of their families took time out from their farming routine and came over to receive their plaque of recognition and cash award from the DA for their great contribution towards the growth and development of the agriculture sector in the region.

The DA-RFO-CAR family led by OIC-Regional Executive Director Lorenzo M. Caranguian were at hand to celebrate and congratulate the farmers for their remarkable performance and in serving as models for their fellow farmers in the country’s quest of increasing agricultural productivity, resulting to food sufficiency and sustainability.

“We rejoice and salute our hardworking farmers for their excellent performance. In the spirit of volunteerism and service to fellowmen, our awardees have done their best to innovate and rise above the challenges of highland farming and improve their yield and livelihood thus contributing to positive growth,” enthused Mr. Marcelo Abela, IP Council Representative, La Trinidad, Benguet and former Regional Chair of the National Agriculture and Fishery Council (NAFC), who served as “Guest of Honor and Speaker.”

There were 11 regional Gawad Saka awardees among them is the Lubon Barangay Food Terminal of Lubon Tadian, Mountain Province that also won in the national search for Gawad Saka Awardees this year. National Gawad Saka winners under this category received a cash prize of PhP 350,000.00, and a plaque of recognition.

The Lubon BFT also received PhP50,000.00 and a plaque of recognition as a regional awardee.

The other regional group category awardees are: Bauko Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Council (MAFC) of Bauko, Mountain Province, Outstanding MAFC; Bashoy Farmers’ Consumers Cooperative of Kabayan, Benguet, Outstanding Non-LGU-Managed Barangay Food Terminal (BFT); Bila Development Club in Bila, Bauko, Mountain Province, Outstanding Agricultural Entrepreneur; Aguinaldo 4-H Club in Aguinaldo, Ifugao, Outstanding Young Farmers Organization; and Cornelio Benigno and Family, Outstanding Farm Family from Buguias, Benguet. Each of these group winners received cash prizes worth PhP 50,000.00 each.

For the individual category, this year’s Gawad Saka Regional Awardees are: Honorio Clemencia, Outstanding Rice Farmer Adopting Integrated Rice-Based Farming System from Tabuk City, Kalinga; Arturo Yongoyong, Outstanding Corn Farmer from Aguinaldo, Ifugao; and Johnny O. Carillo , Outstanding High Value Crops Farmer of Rizal, Kalinga. 

Meanwhile, the other 2016 outstanding awardees in Organic Agriculture are: Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Ifugao as Outstanding Province; MLGU Itogon, Itogon, Benguet as Outstanding Municipality; Catherine Buenaventura of Lagawe, Ifugao as Outstanding Provincial Focal Person; Berto Bayeng of Itogon, Benguet as Outstanding Agricultural Extension Worker; Rogel Marsan and family as Outstanding Farm family of La Trinidad, Benguet; La Trinidad Organic Practitioners Multi Purpose Cooperatic (MPC), Outstanding Small Farmers Group; and, Romeo Kimbungan, of La Trinidad, Benguet, Outstanding Small Farmer-Individual.

Recognized as Corn Quality Achievers Awardees for 2016 are Adelfa Camungao of Sta. Marcela, Apayao; Annabel Ayson of Luna, Apayao and Perpetua Ancheta of Pidigan, Abra as Outstanding Agricultural Extension Workers.

The other corn quality achievers included Ms. Remy Balliyao of Tabuk City, Kalinga as Outstanding Provincial Corn Coordinator; Delia Cuecacao of Sta. Marcela, Apayao as Outstanding Municipal Agriculturist; and the Municipal Local Government Unit of Sta. Marcela as Outstanding Municipality.

The Gawad Saka and the other award search for outstanding Filipino farmers, is an annual undertaking of the DA which aims to give due recognition and pays tribute to dedicated individuals and institutions whose exemplary accomplishments contributed to the country’s agricultural development.

At the regional level, each winner for the individual category received P30,000.00 cash prize while each group category received P50,000.00 cash. Aside from the cash reward, all winners received plaques of recognition. Depending on the category, some of the winners also received equipment and machineries like camera equipped with geotag applications, farm tractors and planters. 

The regional winners represented the Cordillera Region in the national search for Gawad Saka, Organic Agriculture and Corn Quality Achievers awardees.

Aside from the Lubon BFT, the other national winners from the Cordillera in the different search categories are: Marsan Family, Organic Agriculture Outstanding Farming Family; Adelfa Camungao of Sta. Marcela, Apayao; Annabel Ayson of Luna, Apayao, Perpetua Ancheta of Pidigan, Abra as Outstanding Agricultural Extension Workers and Remy Balliyao of Tabuk City, Kalinga as Outstanding Provincial Corn Coordinator. -30-