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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Working mom strives to send husband to school

  • She symbolizes the changing role of a modern woman. Like most mothers, Arlyn Villawala prioritizes her family above else. That’s why it was painful to her to leave home for months, away from her husband and their baby daughter to prepare for the licensure exams for agriculturists.

    “I could not help but cry when I hear her voice over the mobile phone every time I call home. I terribly miss them,” Arlyn said, holding back tears during an interview at the University of the Philippines Los Banos recently.

    Arlyn, an employee of farm-tourism destination Yamang Bukid Farm in Puerto Princesa City Palawan, and fellow employee Daniel John Zabala, are sent by their employer to the UPLB for the rigorous months-long review, preparing them for the biggest day of their careers yet.

    A graduate of agricultural economics at Palawan State University (PSU) in Puerto Princesa, Arlyn is a young aspiring agriculturist who used to work for the city government.

    Among her tasks was to conduct surveys in the city’s villages in relation to the local government’s programs. During one of those trips, she dropped by the Farm, observed and learned how the former community of illegal loggers there was transformed into nature lovers with the introduction of the farm.

    Before long, Arlyn joined her colleagues at the city government who worked at the farm. “I was given an offer I could not resist,” she said in Filipino. “The pay was good and the working environment was perfect for me who loves farming.”

    At the farm, Arlyn is assigned in helping oversee the sprawling estate’s vegetable, herbal and ornamental gardens. She is among the farm’s young agriculture experts who teach former illegal loggers the scientific way of farming and of conserving nature. Her good pay is not only helping meet her family’s basic needs but it afforded her the luxury of paying for her husband’s school.

    Working as a mall security guard during the day, Arlyn’s husband goes to school at night, taking up criminology at one of the city’s private colleges. “I’m working for them. Even if it’s hard to be away from my little girl, I’ll just bear it,” Arlyn said.

    Due to their tight review schedule, she can only call her husband and daughter at least once a week.

    She said she would persevere so her husband can finish his schooling, adding she was very proud and happy when he told her of his desire to go to college. Arlyn was grateful to Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (YBHPI), parent company of Yamang Bukid Farm, for the support it extended for their review. Aside from review fees, the wellness products manufacturer also shouldered their food, board and lodging and other expenses.

    She said she would try to make most of the time in the review to learn as much as she could and get herself well-prepared for the board exams. “I will give my best to pass in the board exams. This is for my family. They are my inspiration,” she said.
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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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Yamang Bukid Farm, DA-ATI partner in helping Palawan hog-raisers

  • PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—A farm tourism destination in this city is offering free artificial insemination services as part of its commitment to help backyard piggeries in communities in Palawan.

    One of the swines at Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan wallows inside its pen. The farm tourism destination is partnering with the Department of Agriculture---Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) to provide free artificial insemination services to community in and outside Puerto Princesa City.

    Yamang bukid Farm, a 20-hectare farming attraction in Barangay Bacungan has partnered with the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan (Mimaropa) for the Artificial Insemination in the Barangay program in the island-province.

    According to Cristina Gonda-Magnaye, ATI-Mimaropa high valued commercial crops program (HVCCP) focal person, the package is worth P300, 000 consisting of AI laboratory equipment from the department.

    Artificial insemination kit is turned over by DA-ATI Mimaropa personnel Cristina Magnaye and Alma Mae Manalo to Yamang Bukid Farm in Quezon City recently. The farm tourism destination in Puerto Princesa is partnering with DA-ATI to provide free artificial insemination services to swine raisers in and outside Puerto Princesa.

    “Yamang Bukid (Farm) was chosen after it was able to comply with the necessary requirements,” Magnaye said, adding the Farm will give as counterpart the venue and technical personnel for the free use of the AI equipment by the public.

    The turnover ceremony of the equipment was done in the Quezon City of YBFP’s parent company, health and wellness beverage maker Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. recently, with DA-ATI represented by Magnaye and Alma Mae Manalo, livestock program focal person.

    Dr. Glen Calipus, a University of the Philippnes-Los Banos (UPLB)-educated veterinary and molecular biology expert and Yamang Bukid Farm consultant, represented the farm tourism destination.

    Magnaye said the AI facility at Yamang Bukid is one of two such projects for the region this year, with the other one housed in a private-run farm in Mindoro.

    “We want to have more of these facilities in Mimaropa so more hog raisers can avail of these,” Magnaye said.

    Aside from the pieces of equipment, the technology package also included two heads of high quality breed of boars as source of genetic material (ejaculate).

    Known for its well-manicured flower and vegetable gardens and an unending bloom of sunflowers, the farm tourism draw is also into sustainable and organic way of growing plants and vegetables and is among the biodiversity havens in Palawan farm tourism industry.

    (Juan Lim)
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