MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon – In Manolo Fortich town, two of the Department of Agriculture – Northern Mindanao (DA-10)’s assisted farmers’ cooperatives, associations (FCAs) were recognized after winning the 2023 Corn and Cassava Cluster Management Excellence Awards
The awarding ceremony was held at the Salvador H. Escudero Hall, National Meat Inspection Service, Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City on November 17.
The awarded coops are Mantibugao Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Farmers’ Cooperative (MARBFC) and Bliss Lingion Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BLMPC).
According to a news statement from the DA, BLMPC won the Cassava cluster and MARBFC took home the Corn Management Excellence Awards.
MARBFC manager Evangeline P. Frasco expressed her gratitude in her acceptance speech for their FCA’s hard work being acknowledged and rewarded.
“Thank you, DA for the cash award where we can expand our inputs provision to our corn farmers where more funds mean more farms to be assisted, and an increase in the volume of production to satisfy our markets,” stated Frasco.
On the other hand, Dante M. Dosayco, BLMPC chairperson said, “We assure you (DA) that our future deeds will only get better. This is a token for our past efforts and also a push for our future endeavors.”
In the race for the corn excellence awards, Samahang Gumagawa Tungong Tagumpay MPC from Occidental Mindoro and Maningalao-Lingayao Agriculture Cooperative from Agusan del Norte are the first and second runners-up, respectively, behind MARBFC.
Meanwhile, the first and second runners-up in the cassava awards, respectively, are Villa Luna MPC of Isabela and Zamboanga del Norte Cassava Growers and Processors, Inc. of Zamboanga del Norte, behind BLMPC.
The DA stated that the two coops are their partners in the production of safe and quality corn and cassava, the promotion of the value chain approach, the growth of the corn and cassava sectors, and the provision of various services to their members by the cluster organizations
During the awarding ceremony, U-Nichols A. Manalo, national corn coordinator and OIC-Director of DA-Field Operations Service, read a message on behalf of Senator Cynthia A. Villar, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform, about how innovation, convergent efforts, and the adoption of farm clustering approaches play a critical role in advancing the corn and cassava sectors.
“We come together to celebrate the synergy between innovation, dedication, and collaboration among groups, individuals, and agencies,” she said.
The senator is also a strong supporter of farm clustering, claiming that it boosts output and ensures a steady supply of safe, high-quality agricultural products, as well as creating an enabling atmosphere for farmers to become more productive, innovative, and competitive.
Sen. Villar stated that she lauded farm clusters’ achievements, even describing them as drivers of economic growth and social development.
“Rest assured, I will continue to pursue legislative mechanisms and policies that will solidify the linkage of production and market access across our country’s rich and diverse commodities,” Sen. Villar says as she concludes her speech.
In addition to the honored farming clusters, the various technical working groups for corn and cassava clusters at the national and regional levels were acknowledged and awarded certificates.
Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado leads the DA-10 delegation, which includes Regional Technical Director for Operations Carlota S. Madriaga, Corn focal person Richan D. Lacanaria, and Science Research Specialist II Mischelle F. Egama, who is also the former Cassava focal person, DA-Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) – Regional Training Center Dir. Ma. Lydia Echavez, and Gemma G. Cania, Manolo Fortich’s municipal agriculturist.
Other national agricultural executives in attendance included Engr. Remelyn R. Recoter, the newly appointed DA-ATI director, and Engr. Roger V. Navarro, Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Undersecretary for Operations. (melbmadera)