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FFS imparts brand new knowledge to IP farming community in Maasim

MAASIM, Sarangani (June 3, 2022) – Some staff from Sulong Tribu and the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMAG) have conducted a Farmer Field School (FFS) training at Sitio Malmac in Barangay Kablacan.

Twenty farmers of the Knowledge Application Integrated and Sustainable Agriculture (KAISA) Farmers Association learned about dealing with pest management, good crop management, and improving their decision-making abilities in coping with biotic (insect, pests, weeds) and abiotic (water, soil, weather) stresses.

According to Celito Terando, Sulong Tribu program manager, the goal of FFS is to “really bring knowledge on organic and natural farming and provide income-generating opportunities to our farming communities.”

He added that the said activity on May 20 was also a tool in achieving the provincial government's goal through the leadership of Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon to “decrease the poverty incidence in the province by increasing the productivity of the farmers and create economic activity through farming.”

“Kaning atong training is for their own consumption para di na sila maglisod og naog sa sentro aron makapamalit sa ilang makaon,” he said.

“However,” Terando added, “gina-encourage sad nato sila (farmers) nga dakoon ang ilang mga uma og mataas ang ilang produksyon aron ang sobra sa ilang mga pananum ila pang mabaligya og maka-dungag pangkwarta sa ila aron makatabang sa uban pa nilang mga panginahanglanon.”

The KAISA Farmer’s Association is mainly composed of Tboli and Blaan farmers whose major crops are corn and other vegetables.

Terando also updated that under Governor Solon’s leadership, 21 Indigenous People (IP) FFS were established; 38 IP barangays were provided with intensive farming training, and 1,249 farmer-leaders were trained on natural and organic farming and provided with farm inputs and implements.

A total of 37 Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) IP barangays with 2,630 IP farmers were also given technical support with values formation and transformational leadership.

Terando also disclosed that they are also looking into the potential of the area for farming high valued crops “nga makadungag pa sa ilang source of income.”

After the 16-week training, Terando said that they will continue monitoring the farmers’ application of their learning.

The farmers also lauded FFS as they were able to discover new facts and strategies to further increase their yield while reducing their expenses. (Joshua John S. Pantonial/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)

Photo by Jake Narte taken on May 20 during the conduct of FFS training at Sitio Macmal, Barangay Kablacan in Maasim.

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