The provincial government of Iloilo is celebrating the 1st Provincial Farmers’ Week on October 3 to 7, 2022 with the primary goal of addressing the gaps in the agricultural sector.
Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. led the opening of the celebration on October 3 at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol lobby. The celebration is themed, “Mangunguma padayon nga edukaron, hugpungon kag pabaskugon para agrikultura mangin mainuswagon.”
The governor said the activity is an opportunity to identify the gaps in farming and fisheries and come up with concrete policies to address them.
In addressing these gaps, the governor said it should not just be a work of the Provincial Agriculture’s Office but a collaboration with other Capitol departments.
Among those that need to be addressed is the gap between bulk produce and the business industry.
“We have a large sugar industry here, we have a coffee industry and we plant cacao. But we don’t have a candy factory. The best candies that we eat even come from abroad,” he said.
Defensor said there is also a need to improve the shelf life of fish products being sold so it could compete with the international market.
Farm tourism should be strengthened for sustainable agriculture and to raise the income of farmers.
The province will also focus on the concreting of farm-to-market roads and road opening projects to improve the mobility of goods.
The Local Economic Development and Investment Promotion (LEDIP) Center will aid in developing the value chain for agricultural products to generate jobs from agriculture.
The highlight of the week-long celebration is the Farmers’ Congress to be held at the Iloilo Sports Complex on October 7. The governor said it will be a venue for a dialogue with the farmers and fisherfolk to assess these gaps.
“We will dialogue with them, we will validate the perceived gaps, develop our ideas, and come up with concrete policies so that at the end of the exercise, we will be focused and ready to put them in the budget of the province that we will submit to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan,” he said.
Defensor said the provincial government will do its best to maximize the potential of Iloilo as an agricultural province.
“We are happy that we are an agricultural province and we will do everything to do our best to maximize our potential in agriculture,” he said.
Agri-Fishery Trade Expo 2022 activities
The Farmers’ Week commenced on October 3 with the launching of a week-long Agri-Fishery Trade Expo 2022. In the afternoon, there was a forum on farm mechanization and solar irrigation projects which aims to upgrade the knowledge and skills of farmers.
A lecture demo on flower arrangement, lecture on landscaping and dish garden and demo contest on dish garden will be conducted on October 4.
On October 5, there will be a coastal cleanup in the municipality of Oton, lectures and games on fish conservation to selected elementary pupils in Oton, and lectures on aquaculture and postharvest value adding at Casa Real de Iloilo.
On the same day, the Provincial RIC Achievement Day will be held at the Iloilo Sports Complex.
On the fourth day, there will be spaying and neutering for dogs and cats at Casa Real Front Lobby and seminar orientation on livestock production technologies (AI-Swine and Goat Farming) at the National Museum – Western Visayas.
The highlight of the celebration is the Farmers’ Congress at the Iloilo Sports Complex on October 7 wherein the farmers, rural women, youth and fisherfolk will be recognized for their contributions to agricultural and fishery productivity.
The 1st Provincial Farmers’ Week was celebrated through Provincial Ordinance 2018-190 sponsored by first district Board Member Valentin Serag which declares the first week of October of every year as Farmers’ Week in the province of Iloilo. (LHC/Capitol news)
Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. visits the Agri-Fishery Trade Expo 2022 at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol grounds which will run until Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. The activity is part of the 1st Provincial Farmers’ Week celebration. CAPITOL PIO