TUBO, ABRA – Sixty farmer members, composed of 15 males and 45 females), of the Farmer Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs) gathered for a transformative training program from February 20-22, 2024. These FCAs operate under the umbrella of the Tipon iti Umili para ti Panagsalwad ti Naparswaan (TIPON) being assisted by the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera’s (DA-CAR) Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo (4K) Program. The training was organized to address the growing need for sustainable agriculture and food sufficiency. It focused on crop management for various crops including white corn, pigeon pea, string beans, black beans, sweet potato, and tomato.

The three-day training covered crucial aspects of crop production, spanning from the selection of the right variety and steps in land preparation to water management, fertilization, planting techniques, pest management, crop care, and post-harvest practices. A production calendar, tailored to the unique conditions of the Tubo Ancestral Domain, was also developed to guide farmers in optimizing their yields.

The training initiative emerged from the identification of high-feasibility commodities within the Ancestral Domain. While some households are already cultivating these crops for home consumption, the current practices require an upgrade to align with scientific approaches, modern standards such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), and sustainable agriculture principles.

The participants actively engaged in the training, identifying the crops they intend to cultivate as well as the potential market and marketing strategies. The ultimate objective is to empower local farmers with the knowledge and skills needed to enhance crop production, improve yields, and contribute to the socio-economic development of the Tubo Ancestral Domain.

The training was organized in collaboration with the Municipal Local Government Unit of Tubo, initiated by its Municipal Agriculture Office and the TIPON, bringing together experts in agriculture and crop production to share their insights and expertise. The participants expressed gratitude for the opportunity to enhance their skills and contribute to the sustainable agricultural development of their community.// Nympha Akilith, DA-CAR 4Ks Program