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As part of the on-going Potato Summit 2018, potato seed storage were turned over and awarded by Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office – Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-RFO-CAR) to the farmer beneficiaries from Benguet on April 18, 2018.
The turn-over ceremonies were conducted at Gestdan Centrum, Baguio City.
Potato seed storage amounting to Php 500,000 each was turned over to 12 organizations that include Bosigan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Manpat-a Farmers Association, Sinipsip Am-gam Pines Farmers Association, Highland Veggies Growers Group, Mountain Blooms Multi-purpose Cooperative, Aguday Vegetable Farmers Association, Bayoyo Farmers Association, Minac Rural Improvement Club, Takadang Maandap Organic Producers, Abiang Women's Federation Inc., Abiang Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Osdong Cagam-is Palpalatan Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
Upon the receipt of the project, the beneficiaries shall assume responsibility and custody over the project and ensure its proper utilization and maintenance pursuant to the purpose it was constructed.
In addition, 6 more seed storage that are yet to be established this year was awarded to Manpat-a Farmers Association, Kibungan Arabica Coffee Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Taba-ao Farmers Association, Nansabatan Maallad Farmers Association, Botiao Farmers Growers Association of Atok Inc. for the enhancement of White Potato production.
The turn-over certificates were awarded by Undersecretary for High Value Crops and Rural Credit Evelyn G. Laviña and DA-RFO-CAR Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo, assisted by Regional Technical Director for Research and Regulations Cameron P. Odsey and Councilor Leandro Yangot, Jr. of the City of Baguio.//Karen T. Gawigawen
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A sense of togetherness and community was instilled to luzon potato stakeholders by Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary for High Value Crops and Rural Credit Evelyn Laviña at the 1st Luzon Potato Summit on April 18, 2018 at the Gestdan Centrum, Baguio City.
USec. Laviña discussed in her speech the two points of action that will be highlighted in the 2-day summit, to organize a body that will represent the potato industry and the creation of the Philippine Potato Roadmap. Anchored on President Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate to provide food for every Filipino, the goal is to address the importation of potato in the country due to low production.
She reiterated that DA is now inclusive and is composed of different personalities to make up the potato industry. The DA has the Agricultural Institute (ATI), Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM), and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) as the main drivers of operation; the academe for the researches; the local government units (LGU’s) as they know the people better; and the private sector that watches over the DA.
“You may be a multinational company, a farmer, or just a labourer, but you’re part of the value chain of potato. The community is working hand-in-hand and serves as a check and balance. We’re going to deliver our services through the partnership we have,” said USec. Laviña.
The varieties of potato planted in the Philippines are classified as table potatoes but USec. Laviña encouraged the addition of chipping potatoes because of the available market. Chipping potatoes’ lower sugar content is ideal for making chips. An area with a 1500-2000 elevation is best for this and she asked for any takers to do the experiment.
Potato is a root crop considered as a staple food for other countries. USec. Laviña mentions that it is now being pushed as another option for rice and corn. Compared to white rice, potato is better due to its nutrients. The 3-in-1 crop has Vitamin C, Iron, and B-Complex which complements each other especially with Vitamin C as a vital component in the absorption of iron in the body.
She hopes that the summit could be an avenue where issues and concerns can be raised and also a place to talk about how to help each other. A healthy competition between farmers is also encouraged by her to liven up the industry.
“The only missing piece in the puzzle is you. We want you to be Agripreneurs just like Secretary Manny Piñol. Actions come from both sides. That way, DA didn’t waste resources and you didn’t waste time plus you have money at the end of the day. I hope you have a very positive voice so that we can move forward without looking back. Let’s do it happily!,” she concluded.//Ayra Galanza