DUMAGUETE CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA) -- This year's Buglasan Organic Farm Family Congress and Agri-Fair is a showcase of the organic ways of producing a crop and underscores the province's commitment to sustain organic agricultural practices.
An annual three-day event which coincides with the celebration of the provincial fiesta, Buglasan Festival opened yesterday until Oct. 18, 2019.
Gov. Roel Degamo attended the opening ceremony held at the Provincial Agriculturist Office along with Department of Agriculture (DA-7) Director Salvador Diputado, local officials, and officers of DA provincial office.
In his message, Degamo reiterated his support to local farmers.
"Ang kagamhanan probinsya pinaagi sa Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) magpadayon sa pagtabang ninyo taman sa among makaya (The Provincial Government through PAO will continue to provide for your needs). Rest assured that I will continue to remain focused on how I can deliver this support for the farmers of Negros Oriental," Degamo told the farmers who attended the opening day of the event.
Provincial Agriculturist Nestor Villaflores explained the theme of the affair which is "Negros Oriental: The Landscape of Organic Agriculture Opportunities" that pushes for the diversification among agricultural produce and encourages farmers to adopt latest trends in farming but still adhering to sustainable organic farming practices.
"Kinahanglang i-diversify nato. If we use an area solely for rice production, madugay madaot gyud ang yuta. (Ma)-used up ang yuta. Ma-used ang atong soil, productivity will be lessened. It will drop, in which it needs diversification. When diversifying it to high valued crops, we need to instruct them and teach them the organic ways of producing crops (We are pushing for diversification. If we use an area solely for rice production, it will loosen the soil in the long run. Productivity will go down. In which it needs diversification. By diversify to high value crops, we need to instruct them and teach them the organic ways of producing a crop)," Villaflores said in a recent press conference to promote the FarmCon.
The opening day of the Buglasan Organic Farm Family Congress and Agri-Fair was marked by symposiums on updates on organic agriculture and updates from the Philippine Carabao Center.
Another symposium focused on gender and development was also held yesterday.
There were also contests in the afternoon which include the 4-H Club Spoken Poetry Contest, RIC Rice Production Dance Contest, RIC Quiz Bee, FA Quiz Bee, Fisherfolk Quiz Bee, and Talentadong Mag-uuma Singing Contest.
On Oct. 17, simultaneous sectoral activities are carried out inside the PAO compound throughout the entire day.
These include RIC Carabeef Based Main Dish Cooking Contest, FA Grafting Contest, 4-H Club Marcotting Contest, 4-H Club Tableya Processing and Packaging and Tsokolate Making, 4-H Club Battle Gardening Contest, Fisherfolk Best Tilapia Siomai, 4-H Poster Making Contest, 4-H Club Quiz Bee, FA Lubo Aling Ag-ig, Lung-Ag Contest, and the 4-H Club Minus-One Singing Contest.
Meanwhile, the Miss 4-H Club 2019, which is one of the major events during the Farm Family Congress and Agri-fair, will start at 8:00 p.m. at the Provincial Convention Center.
The different farmers association, fisherfolk association, rural improvement club, 4-H club members supported by PAO will have their sectoral meetings in the afternoon today.
Prizes for the contest winners will be given during the culminating ceremony on Oct. 18.
Buglasan Organic Farm-Family Congress Organizing Committee Co-Chair Frances Evangeline Yap said the competitions and other cultural activities aim to provide an opportunity for farmers to show their talents and abilities.
Meanwhile, Farm-Family Congress 4-H Club Beauty Pageant Chair Belinda Villahermosa also emphasized that their objective in holding the pageant is provide social activity and develop the potentials of the daughters of local farmers and fisherfolks.
"The candidates of the pageant are daughters of our farmers and fisherfolks. Tagaan pod sila nato ug partisipasyon ug social activity. This pageant is not only a beauty contest. It also entails the talents and intelligence and communication abilities of our candidates," Villahermosa said.
This year, there will be three candidates per district of the province or a total of nine candidates will vie for the crown.
On the other hand, different farmers associations supported by PAO will also sell their organic produce at a special price inside the PAO compound during the farm family congress.
With this, Villaflores noted the event also pay tribute to the marginalized farmers in the province.
"One important thing for this congress is to honor our marginalized farmers. Every year we are doing this. It is the mandate of the Provincial Agriculturist Office to assist and give incentives to our farmers who are producing our food," Villaflores added. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)