Hundreds of farmers benefit Yamang Bukid-Tesda agri educ scholarship

Published: January 6, 2020 01:25pm | PUERTO PRINCESA CITY


Yamang Bukid Farm, Palawan’s top farm tourism destinations is spearheading farming education in communities after it has helped realize the dreams of hundreds of scholars who late last December finished agriculture-related short courses.

In partnership with the government’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), the farm tourism destination in Puerto Princesa City’s Barangay Bacungan was the venue of over a month of instructions on various agriculture-related short courses.

(Photo by Yamang Bukid)

The national certificate level II (NC-II) accredited programs included courses on organic fertilizer making (three batches), hog raising (two batches), field budding and grafting (one batch), propagation activities leading to horticulture (one batch), animal production for poultry-chicken (two batches).

According to Bro. George Maria, Yamang Bukid Farm Palawan vice president for community relations, the scholarships were handed to grassroots-based beneficiaries under the auspices of the office of Palawan 3rd district Rep. Gil “Kabarangay” Acosta Jr.

Scholar-graduates were also awarded Tesda certification on production of various concoctions leading to agriculture crops production (one batch), plants crops leading to agricultural crops production (one batch) and land preparation for agricultural crops production with three batches.

(Photos by Yamang Bukid)

The government, through Tesda, has been pushing for farming education particularly in rural communities in a bid to revitalize the stagnating agricultural sector in the country.

The more than 20-hectare farm destination, which has been popular for its well-manicured sunflower gardens, became the latest addition of learning sites for sustainable and organic way of farming after it was accredited as such by the Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) as well as a farm school by Tesda early this year.

(JL)

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YB partners with DA for
'farm entrepreneurship'

  • Yamang Bukid Farm (YBF) has partnered with the Department of Agriculture (FA) to elevate farming and agro-tourism in the country by teaching farmers a better, science-based, alternative approach and perspective in growing crops, and by encouraging the younger generation to get more involved in agriculture.

    Agriculturist Flor Ilao of the DA's Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) said the agency decided to award YB with an accreditation because of the company's desire to help the government turn farmers from regular crop growers to "farmer entrepreneurs."

    DA's senior agriculturist Norberto C. Maur said the ATI and YB aim to introduce programs about new modalities in agricultural extension in which regular farmers are molded to become farm entrepreneurs and businessmen promoting not only farming but also farm tourism.

    Through the YB's Training Center, farmers are also trained to shift from monoculture to diversified or integrated farming.

    Hezir Rabaya, YB farm production manager, expressed delight over the accreditation that Yamang Bukid received from the ATI, saying it would allow them to train farmers throughout Palawan, and not only in the provincial capital's Barangay Bacungan where the 1.2-hectare farm is located.

    Farmer-trainees get to be under the tutelage of YB Training Center's trainers and consultants who are experts in the fields of forestry, agronomy, and veterinary medicine, among others.

    With a desire to spread alternative and more efficient farming techniques, YB, which started its farm with only 20 farm workers, is now home to more than 200 farmers and agriculturists. Talking about the new partnership, farmer Sonny Tesado said: "Gusto kong matuto ng ibang paraan ng pagtatanim."

    However, there is a handful of farming families who do not share Tesado's enthusiasm in this fresh farming approach and DA's Maur said this is one of the challenges that YB's Training Center is hoping to address.

    "It's heart-breaking to know that our farmers are starting to age. Their children who have witnessed how hard it was to farm during their time no longer want to go into farming because they have realized there is no money in farming.">

    The YB Training Center aims to break that notion and lure people back into farming.

    YB agriculturist Fernan Hubo said Yamang Bukid aims to instil among their farm workers a "sense of joy" in their work, and emphasize to the next generation — who have otherwise grown skeptic about farming — that plenty of opportunities in agriculture abound.



    "There is money, plenty of money in farming... There is dignity and money," Hubo said.

    "Since we now have an accredited learning site, we will be able to encourage more people to take agriculture and become farmers that follow scientific practices," he added. — YB
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Farm destination partners with Palawan palay-producing town to help IP farmers

  • PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—A fast-emerging farm tourism destination here has partnered with the local government of Narra, Palawan to buy palay from farmers affected by plummeting prices of the staple grain.

    Palay stalks hang heavy with ripe grains on a farmland in Narra town, Palawan (Photo by Dianne Kathryn Datu)

    Bro. George Maria, Yamang Bukid Farm Palawan vice president for community affairs, said the farm would buy at least P100,000 worth of ready to mill palay at P25 per kilo, way above the prevailing buying price of the state-run National Food Authority of P19.

    Maria and other officials of Barangay Bacungan-based farm met with officials of Narra municipality and expressed their intention to procure palay from impoverished farmers there.

    Dried palay grains along a roadside dryer in Narra town, Palawan.
    (Photo by Dianne Kathryn Datu)

    “This is a great opportunity for the farmers of Narra because you will buy the palay at a higher price and give back a portion of the rice to them,” Vice Mayor Crispin Lumba Jr. told Bro. Maria at the official’s office last Oct. 29.

    Hope Alas, YBF vice president for tourism affairs, said the amount to be used was net proceeds of last month’s run for the farmers staged by the farm tourism destination.

    “This is our commitment to the farmers and to those who joined and believed in our cause,” said Maria, a former seminarian.

    Eugene Sumaydeng, municipal agriculturist, recommended YBF to consider buying from indigenous peoples (IP) communities who are cultivating organic upland palay.

    “Your help will be hugely felt in these far-flung areas,” Sumaydeng said.

    As part of their commitment, Lumba said the local government will shoulder the drying and milling of the palay and assist in the transportation of the grains from the upland down to the town proper.

    Maria, the YBF official, said they expected to help dozens of impoverished IP farmers.

    “What we’re doing is really small, but we hope this could snowball into something big and spur other businesses, well-off individuals and organizations to do the same so we can help alleviate the sorry situation of our farmers,” Maria said.

    Lumba, the vice mayor, said his town has planned to push for a similar initiative and the partnership with Yamang Bukid Farm was a start.

    “You know about government bureaucracy, we have to abide by it especially if involves people’s money, so your project is a timely and welcome development,” he said.

    Farm officials said they would give back to the farmer’s half of the milled rice and keep the other half for redistribution during its Christmas outreach missions next month, and use the collected rice bran or darak, as swine feed.

    (Juan Lim)
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Palawan farm destination gets gov’t boost for dairy production

  • PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Yamang Bukid Farm, one of Palawan’s most visited tourism destinations, is embarking on dairy production to help improve the nutrition of school children, especially those in public schools.

    Photo by Br. George Maria

    This after the farm tourism destination in the city’s Barangay Bacungan availed of a soft loan from the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) to raise imported and high quality breed of carabao that can be a good source of milk and other dairy products.

    Some 11 Murrah buffaloes were initially given by the Nueva Ecija-based state animal propagation hub in a “public-private partnership scheme” to the Puerto Princesa City farm destination, according to Dr. Arnel del Barrio, PCC executive director.

    Photo by Br. George Maria

    “This is part of our carabao enterprise development wherein we help cooperatives, individual farmers (and) families by lending them the carabaos like a soft loan.
    Beneficiaries like Yamang Bukid Farm repay it with another carabao which will be given to (another beneficiary),” Del Barrio said.

    Ten female buffaloes (also technically known as cows) and a bull were received by Yamang Bukid Farm and were promptly shipped from Nueva Ecija midweek.

    While at sea, one of the four pregnant buffaloes gave birth to a healthy female calf affectionately called “baby YB.”

    Hezir Rabaya, one of the farm’s managers who fetched the herd said a concrete barn was built on a hill overlooking the sprawling farm to house the animals.

    “We have enough facilities and personnel for this project,” said Rabaya.

    The farming destination, Rabaya said, has several employees who underwent training on quality milk production at PCC recently. These Yamang Bukid employees are the ones who will help him in taking care pf the imported water buffaloes and in doing the milk production.

    Del Barrio said PCC typically disperses 200 carabaos yearly on average and that Yamang Bukid Farm is among the “numerous applicants” to the program.

    “Yours is exceptional. Your story of doing business to help others is inspiring. I also came to know that you are accredited (as a training center) by (Agricultural Training Institute). In short, you have everything PCC can hope for in a partner (in this project),” the PCC head said.

    He said both PCC and Yamang Bukid Farm are on the same advocacy of helping provide livelihood to farmers and their families.

    “The bottomline is to help alleviate poverty and give good nutrition to the schoolchildren,” the official said.

    Del Barrio said Yamang Bukid can also include dairy and milk production a component to its ATI-accredited trainings and further boost its capabilities as a learning site.

    The sprawling farm tourism draw, which attracts at least 5, 000 visitors weekly, is known for its well-manicured gardens of ornamental plants, succulents, among others and is into sustainable farming of vegetables and other crops.

    It employs nearly 300 farmworkers, over 90 percent of whom are former illegal loggers and charcoal-makers who have since become protectors of the environment.
    (Juan Lim)
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