More barangay agricultural extension workers in Benguet

LA TRINDAD, BenguetJennilyn Dawasan, OICRegional Executive Director, Department of Agriculture – Cordillera Administrative Region ,rallied the people of this province as well as the general public to buy locally produced agricultural products, and to be vigilant ,one way to stop smuggling. ‘ I urged everyone to immediately report to authorities cases of alleged smuggling and be vigilant to safeguard our industry (vegetable), ‘ Dawayan said , who stressed timeliness urgency in reporting as she noted smuggling (imported agri products) remain a challenge.

The government is doing all its best to curb the problem on smuggling, Dawayan quipped.
Dawayan, who scored on food security and safety was the guest speaker in Tuesday’s (Nov. 14) opening of the AgriTourism Fair, one of highlights in the province’ Adivay 2023 celebration together with Governor Melchor Diclas, who led other provincial and municipal officials from the 13 local government units (LGUs), and regional line agencies.

The agriculture official reported that Benguet farmers accounted 344 Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certificates out of the 393 issued nationwide. ‘It’s a testament that local farmers are compliant to food safety standards. She attributed to the collaborative efforts of technical people from the different LGUs including municipal agriculture officials. To sustain GAP efforts- an
internationally accepted produce, anchored on clean-safe and sanitary, Dawayan urged farmers to continously improving their products to meet global competition.

Likewise, she assured that her agency together with concerned agencies like the departments of trade and industry, and tourism will continue finding ways to promote their products, one is the re-introduced Kadiwa. She added that financial assistance to farmers (ASPIRE) will be strengthened, to cater more local farmers. The agriculture official also noted the significant increase of local farmers engaging in organic farming.

Gov. Diclas for his part, vowed to collaborate with concerned government agencies to lessened the impact of smuggling, noting that the market mix following supply and demand principle contribute to the problem on smuggling Diclas also expressed the efforts by former Benguet officials who played a significant role in uplifting farming practice, leading to GAP certifications. The governor has enjoined organizers of the agri-tourism fair to extend the activity in order to maximize the use of the booths and further promote the province’ industry.

In a related development, Delinia Juan, the new head of the Office Provincial Agriculture (OPAG), said that that there’s an abundant supply of semiseparate agri products this season. Juan has expressed her office’ gratitude to the Provincial legislative and executive bodies, ang LGUs for supporting and granting their proposal –increasing the number of barangay agricultural extension workers with allowance. She added that marketing and promoting locally produced remain a challenge even as he thanked the government through the various line agencies in supporting their efforts.

Primo Agatep/ABN

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