About 80 Ifugao agri-stakeholders were gathered for a one-day provincial farmers’ consultation in Banaue, Ifugao on February 23, 2024.

Participated in by farmers and local government unit (LGU)-representatives from the different municipalities of Ifugao, the activity enabled the presentation of programs, projects, and activities (PPAs) of banner programs and the existing and updated guidelines and requirements relative to the implementation of the FY 2024 PPAs of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the province and the Cordillera region as a whole. Through this, leveling-off with the participants was assured as a strategy for the smoother implementation of programs and projects in partnership with the individual farmers and farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs).

Breakout sessions-workshops per banner program followed allowing the participants to identify their preferred crop varieties for production based on their experiences and in consideration of the changing climates and effect of the El Nino. Preferred varieties for the high value crops, rice, and corn were identified. Additionally, the intervention packages or modules for livestock and poultry including the preferred and feasible agri-machinery in the unique landscapes of the municipalities were also identified. Results of the workshops were presented afterward and will serve as the basis of the DA-CAR in the procurement of appropriate agri-interventions and for plan and budget proposal in the following year. Further, the farmer’s information needs were also consulted to guide the agency in developing relevant and appropriate IECs to complement the different programs and projects on agriculture.

DA-CAR OIC-Assistant Field Operations Division Chief Beverly T. Pekas urged the participants to support the agri-development programs in the province and the Cordillera as a whole. She also emphasized the importance of producing safe and quality produce that would not only benefit the consumers but also the farmers themselves, thus the implementation of organic farming and good agricultural practices (GAP). As reported, there are already 10 GAP-certified farms in Ifugao out of the 388 GAP-certified farms regionwide and five (5) certified organic farms out of the 35 total certified farms. To cap the activity, a plenary session took place to answer queries and concerns/issues of the participants.

The Ifugao provincial consultation is the final leg of the series of consultations being conducted per province by the DA-CAR which started on Feb. 8, 2024, in the province of Abra. It is a yearly activity in line with the existing procedure of the agency under the quality management system.//Janice B. Agrifino