16 Jan 2012

DOLE, TESDA, CapSU award welding kits to 100 Capizeños

By Niño Manaog
University Extension Associate
Capiz State University

MALIPAYON NGA PASKWA GID
(From left) CapSU President Editha Magallanes, DOLE Capiz Director Ricardo Monegro
and CapSU Extension Director Raul Ticar facilitate the awarding of a welding starter kit
to a beneficiary in December 2011 in Roxas City.
The Php.8M worth of welding equipment given out during Christmas season
was designed to help address poverty in the rural communities of the province.


In one of the most generous gestures made before Christmas, the Capiz State University (CapSU), working hand in hand with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Capiz and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Capiz, gave out some 100 welding starter kits to the residents of some three towns of Capiz and Roxas City on December 14, 2011 at the Dadivas Gymnasium in Roxas City.

Led by CapSU President Editha Magallanes, the awarding ceremony of 100 Kabuhayan Starter Kits formed part of the Mobile Technology School (MTS) project in partnership with DOLE and TESDA.

Remar Apolinario of CapSU Roxas hands
a starter kit to a beneficiary during the ceremonies
in Dadivas Gym in December 2011.
According to Dr. Carmelino Villanueva, extension chairman of CapSU Roxas Campus who hosted the ceremonies, the recipients are actually the students of the MTS classes in Shield Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) in the last two years, considered the brainchild under the Magallanes administration.

Twenty-nine recipients came from the three barangays—Tiza, Milibili and Talon—of Roxas City; 26 from Panit-an, 13 from Ivisan; nine from Sigma; and 23 from Mambusao, all of the province of Capiz.

In her speech, CapSU President Magallanes took pride in the extensive extension work being initiated and undertaken by the university, urging the beneficiaries to take stock of the opportunities given to them by the three institutions.

Advocating numerous programs,
CapSU President Editha Magallanes
promotes the extension activities
of the university which to
help address the concerns
of the communities across Capiz.
Magallanes addressed the audience, saying that they are virtually CapSU Graduates. She also asked them to promote agriculture-based courses and CapSU itself in their endeavors. Magallanes said that livelihood partnerships such as these form part of the community-based initiatives under her administration designed to help alleviate poverty in the communities.

For his part, Mr. Ricardo Monegro, DOLE Capiz director, encouraged them to extend this livelihood opportunity to the rest of the community, also requesting them to consider local employment and not overseas employment, a sentiment shared by TESDA Capiz Director Victor Gallego who enjoined them to be grateful for the opportunity for livelihood.

Monegro assured the audience that the DOLE services are constantly made available for the benefit of the communities. Gallego likewise pointed out that the opportunity can help the beneficiary in many ways. He can start a livelihood or engage in full-time business, which can give him more opportunities for employment and personal growth.

Barangay councilor Nenita Lacuarta
speaks in behalf of the recipients.
Speaking in behalf of the recipients, Ms. Nenita Lacuarta, barangay councilor of Bula, Mambusao, Capiz expressed gratitude for the opportunity given to them. 

Fifty-two-year-old Feliciano Albor of Talon, Roxas City who has been welding for 45 years, said will have yet to start to build a welding shop in a conspicuous spot in the downtown area of his barangay next year. Albor said that once he is able to source out capital for this purpose, he plans to employ two assistants for the said business.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Rosalinda Bautista of Milibili, Roxas City, who received the kit in his son’s behalf, said she will ask her son to come back to Roxas City to start his business. Her son Sandro Jose Bautista who was in Manila at the time finished the SMAW course under the MTS project.

The welding starter kit consisted of one unit welding machine, one set of hacksaw handle with blade, one piece of locking pliers (vise-grips); one piece of welding rod handle (300 amp capacity) and 2 pieces of #4/0 AWG welding cables.

Other personalities in the awarding ceremony included Panit-an Mayor Katherine Belo and Esperidion Pelaez who represented Gov. Victor Tanco of the province of Capiz; CapSU Roxas Administrator Editha Alfon; CapSU Extension Director Raul Ticar; and MTS Project Coordinator Emmanuel Perez.

The welding starter kits awarded are  designed to equip the beneficiaries the necessary
means to provide livelihood and allow for business or employment opportunities.

14 Jan 2012

Activities and Achievements

The 2011 Accomplishments Highlights of the President Roxas FITS Center

By Niño Manaog

With reports from Joemon Roquinaza, Jenetes Benales, Joseph Beltran, Annabel Dorado and Leonardo Barcenas

The Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center based in President Roxas, Capiz envisions food production, security and economic enhancement of farmers and fishermen in agri-fisheries sector. Launched in November 2010, the President Roxas FITS Center has undertaken numerous activities that helped to prove relevant to the lives of its clientele.

The Center has three sectoral mandates. The agricultural sector seeks to increase agricultural productivity thru dissemination and adoption of sustainable farm management practices, distribution of quality planting materials and infrastructure support. The fisheries sector aims to increase fisheries productions and promote resource management and conservation, rehabilitation and protection for the sustainability of the fisheries resources. The poultry and livestock sectors seek to promote and increase livestock and poultry productivity.

Directly reporting to the Department of Agriculture Capiz, the FITS Center delivered a number of tasks. It prepared and submitted identified priority projects for the municipality to the DA Secretary thru the OPA. It prepared and submitted Special Orders for Agricultural Technicians and Municipal Agriculturists for Agri-Pinoy Program. It also coordinated on the preparation of proposed projects on farm to market road projects.

Through the efforts of the FITS Center working with the Local Government of President Roxas, following financial assistance were released 27 Rural Improvement Clubs, P75,000; 12 Barangay Agriculture and Fisheries Councils, P36,000; 9 Barangay Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils, P20,000; for a total amount of P131,000 released during the Agri-Fisheries Day.

Rural Improvement Club (RIC) Coordinator
Jenetes Benales (right) guides a housewife in
deboning bangus during the skills training
given by the FITS Center in Quiajo,
President Roxas, Capiz.
Efforts for Institutional Development
The President Roxas FITS Center hosted the agri-fisheries day celebration on March 23, 2011 attended by 1,300 farmers, fishermen and other agri-rural based organizations including RICs, BFARMCs, BAFCs, MAFCs, 4-H Club, President Roxas Fishpond Operators’ Association, Hog Growers Association and Vegetable Growers’ Association.

The Center took part in the annual Halaran agri-fisheries trade fair, bringing two sacks of raw sugar sourced from Sugar Central and 24 bottles of vinegar produced by barangay Aranguel’s RIC as part of their livelihood.

Some 60 members of peoples’ organizations representing 6 barangays joined the Provincial Cooperative Month Celebration in November 2011 in Roxas City. President Roxas Economic Development Cooperative (Predco) was awarded 5,000 pesos as second place for Best Cooperative by Cooperative Development Authority (CDA). Predco is a teachers lending cooperative and has lent some P2 million to some 100 beneficiaries.

The Center also listed 69 recipients of Akbay Agrikultura Kaagapay ng Bayang Pinoy Program for future livelihood financial assistance. For this purpose, it identified the barangays of Carmencita, Pantalan, Madulano, Goce, Sto. Niño and Cabugcabug for Akbay Agrikultura Livelihood Financial Assistance Program under the National Agricultural and Fisheries Council of the Department of Agriculture (DA). Farmers will be granted 10,000 pesos worth of livestock and facilities. On zero interest, identified livestock raisers will refund the grant in three years.

Moreover, the Center helped strengthen the organizations of 4-H Clubs in barangays Carmencita and Pondol. Among other activities, the 4-H Club members were engaged in vegetable production, cleanup drives and similar other environmental concerns, along with other socialization activities.

Aside from conducting monthly meetings for the MAFC, BAFCs, RICs and BFARMs, the Center monitored the swine projects handled by ten 4-H Club member recipients who were given one swine head in January 2010.

Under the rollover scheme of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), five recipients from barangays Pondol and Carmencita were given capital to purchase piglets for fattening. After a year the money refunded by the first recipients were given to the next for the same purpose. The said first recipients who were high school students were aided through the additional income provided by the sale of their swine.

As of December 2011, a new batch of recipients was given 2,500 pesos per recipient to start the livestock-raising for a new rollover. The recipients underwent livestock raising trainings under ATI in March 2010.

Linkages
The President Roxas FITS Center also helped coordinate with other national agencies. In coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Center helped in the monitoring and assessment of mangrove reforestation program in barangays Madulano (9 hectares); Quiajo (8 hectares), Pandan (8 hectares) and Pinamihagan (20 hectares). The Center linked with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to monitor the ongoing project on oyster culture using raft method in barangay Sangkal.

Working with the Department and Trade and Industry (DTI), the Center conducted consultations with fishpond operators association on the marketing of bangus and other fisheries products and their corresponding value additions.

Working with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the Center assisted in the conduct of training and seminars on animal health care program for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) as project beneficiaries thru their cooperatives. For this period, the FITS Center personnel joined the trainings led by DAR on extension planning and methods and technology of growing vegetables for LGU extension workers assigned to ARB projects. The AR beneficiaries are situated in Sto. Niño and Carmencita.

Resources and Services for Livelihood (RSL) Center
For the period covered, the Center maintained the operations of the Resources and Services for Livelihood (RSL) Center, a one-hectare farm devoted to goat raising, piggery, rice, corn and vegetable production.  Established in 2004 and funded by the National Agricultural and Fisheries Council (NAFC) under the Department of Agriculture (DA), the RSL Center is located in barangay Cabugcabug, donated and manned by the local government of President Roxas, Capiz. 

To undertake the maintenance of Resources and Services for Livelihood (RSL) Center as show window for integrated farming system, the Center has embarked on varied activities. For the RSL Center, it facilitated the pathway concreting and repair of one poultry house; maintained the screen house for vegetable production; and conducted land clearing and rebuilding of vegetable garden plots. An air-conditioning system was also built.

Farmers learn from each other how to use the A-frame
to locate the contour lines of the sloping land.
It also secured four dump trucks of mud press from the Sugar Central which was used in the garden plots. The HVCC coordinator led the cultivation from land preparation, seeds propagation, fertilization and planting of crops and vegetables. To upgrade the chicken production for the year, it also ordered 100 heads of hybrid chicken breeders which were dispersed in October to five barangays including Goce, Manoling, Vizcaya, Bayuyan and Badiangon (20 farmers per barangay).

In the succeeding months, the Center purchased and distributed input assistance to corn farmers in the form of seeds subsidy. It led the maintenance of plant nursery and also led the procurement of chemicals for crop protection program for rice and corn. It likewise procured vegetable seeds and distributed them to the target clientele at least once every month. Seeds were sourced out from the OPA Capiz, ATI and the local sources.

To help rehabilitate the hilly agricultural lands in their municipality, the Farmers Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center based in President Roxas, Capiz hosted a two-day training cum study tour on Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT) on November 15–16, 2011 at the President Roxas FITS Center in Poblacion, President Roxas, Capiz. Some 25 upland farmers from the barangays of Goce, Manoling, Badiangon, Carmencita and Bayuyan took advantage of the expertise of Benito Labindao, Agriculturist II and Lilia Peñaranda, chief of the Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Center for Hillyland Development based in Malapad Cogon, Sigma, Capiz. In the second day of the training, the farmers trooped to the Regional Integrated Agricultural Research Center for Hillyland Development in Malapad Cogon, Sigma, Capiz where Benito Lapindao conducted a demonstration exercises. Led by Lapindao, farmers used A-frames to identify the contour lines in the actual farm.

In December, The President Roxas FITS Center hosted a two-day Vegetable Production Seminar for farmers and teachers coming barangays Cubay, Manoling, Poblacion, Kamatis Village, Cabugcabug. Some 25 vegetable growers and public school teachers were briefed by Training Coordinator Eduardo of Capiz State University (CapSU) on preparing effective microorganisms and foliar fertilizers. Navarra led the group into making their own concoctions including fermented plant juice, fermented fruit juice and fish amino acid.

The President Roxas FITS Center is composed of the following personnel working together to achieve these accomplishments—Leonardo Barcenas, FITS Manager; Ulysses Bendicio, Technology Services Specialist; Joenard Golero, Information Services Specialist; Joseph Beltran, Rice Coordinator; Joemon Roquinaza, High-Value Commercial Crops (HVCC) Coordinator; Annabelle Dorado, Corn Coordinator; Darren Distro, Livestock Coordinator; and Edmund Villaoscarez, Fisheries Coordinator; Marjorie Fuentes; and Jenetes Beñales, Institutional Development Coordinator. They are assisted by Vicente Borre, Jr., livestock technician; Edilberto Teodosio, utility worker; and Jennifer Trumpeta, RSL Center utility worker.

From January to December 2011, the President Roxas FITS Center led by Manager Leonardo Barcenas undertook a series of activities all involved in these said sectors.

Farmers and teachers from the barangays of President Roxas, Capiz
learn the basic steps in making foliar fertilizers using indigenous microoganisms (IMOs).
CapSU's Eduardo Navarra (in striped shirt in bottom left photo)
guides the participants gathered by the FITS Center led by Leonardo Barcenas.


Agriculture
Across the year, the FITS Center conducted farm visits, dialogues, and consultations with rice farmers. In particular, it assisted, monitored and supervised the Ibaca-Culilang rice cluster. More important, the Center listed 326 rice farmers who can now be easily identified for future assistance. It also submitted monthly reports on rice production, planting and harvesting and on the occurrence of rice pests and diseases.

The Center also assisted on the graduation of School-On-the-Air of Palaycheck System for 25 farmer participants representing barangay Ibaca in April. The Center facilitated the production of 61 pieces of flyers on rice seeds production; and a 4” x 8” tarpaulin used for drying. The Center likewise received a grant of 1 unit rice carbonizer through the Governor’s office.  It distributed 61 packs of certified palay seeds (5 kgs per pack) and 20 bags certified palay seed rehabilitation assistance to 20 farmers from Manoling, Badiangon and Bayuyan which were affected by flash flood in December 2010. As per 50:50 scheme under the Rapid Seeds Supply Financing Project (RASSFIP), the Center provided 40 bags of certified palay seeds for 33 farmers representing barangays Manoling, Badiangon, Bayuyan, Culilang and Cabugcabug.

Across the year, the FITS Center conducted farm visits, dialogues, and consultations with corn farmers. It supervised the Manoling-Goce and Bayuyan-Badiangon cluster areas and also submitted monthly reports on corn production, planting and harvesting. Moreover, it helped prepare and submit barangay resolutions requesting postharvest facilities from the Governor’s Office thru the Office of Mayor Raymund Locsin.

For high-value commercial crops, the Center distributed some 200 packs of seeds (of seven assorted vegetables) to farmers representing six barangays. It also held quarterly organizational and formation meetings of vegetable growers’ association.

From November 2010 to April 2011, the Center facilitated the participation of some 30 farmers (13 males and 17 females) for the School-on-the-Air (SOA)-Palayamanan by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) which is conducted in coordination with the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) Capiz. In this program, vegetable growers were enrolled on SOA and were monitored on their radio learning sessions through house-to-house monitoring. SOA is aired on Sundays at 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. over Radio Mindanao Network’s DYVR (657 kHz). Aside from submitting reports on status of SOA enrollees, Coordinator Joemon Roquinaza assisted in the conduct of 3 consecutive quizzes for SOA enrollees and one final examination. In April 2011, some 22 SOA enrollees were graduated by the OPA Capiz at the Villareal Stadium in Roxas City. Husband and wife Danilo and Merilyn Abian of Kamatis Village in barangay Poblacion, President Roxas, Capiz were awarded Second Honors across the Capiz province. Fifty-two-year-old Anna Marian Golero of barangay Cabugcabug was also cited for having completed all of the required number of concoctions. Winners were awarded garden tools, vegetable seeds and groceries.

The OPA Capiz also identified recipients for High-Value Commercial Development Program (HVCDP) rehabilitation program. Under this program, the Center distributed vegetable seeds and organic fertilizers and awarded garden tools.

Livestock
For the Livestock Sector, the Center launched the Animal Health Care Program benefiting a big number of animals, livestock and poultry. For the period covered, it facilitated the treatment, deworming and castration of some 300 animals including carabao, cattle, swine, goats and dogs. The Center has facilitated the vaccination of 1,500 pigs, 400 dogs (anti-rabies) and 50 chickens (against avian pest). More important, it conducted information drives to different barangays on anti-rabies vaccination and hog cholera prevention program.

The Center facilitated the upgraded swine dispersal program to backyard swine raisers. To augment the income of identified fishermen recipients, ands to introduce alternative livelihood, some 30 fishermen from barangays Mandulano, Sangkal and Quiajo received one pig (10 recipients per barangay). The recipients gave a counterpart of P600 each for the award; they were also required to prepare clean and sanitary pigpens.

The Center also managed the provision of animal health care program to livestock sector. To facilitate the conduct of trainings and seminars to livestock raisers on animal health care and production, the Center led a training for 20 members of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) Cooperative in barangay Carmencita. Provincial Veterinarian Leonil Abordo of Capiz lectured on swine fattening and poultry raising; the cooperative was awarded chickens and pigs by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Participants and sponsors of SALT training in Malapad Cogon, Sigma, Capiz.
In August 2011, some 80 farmers representing six barangays attended the Swine Management and Product Presentation Seminar hosted by the FITS Center and Vitarich, a private company.

Then, during the Sloping Agricultural Land Technology Training in November, Livestock Coordinator Darren Distor provided input on complementing the upland farms with functional and productive livestock alternatives. SALT is best complemented by livestock raising because through the technology, animal fodder is regularly made available in the upland farms.

Fisheries
Thru farm visits and dialogues, the FITS Center rendered technical services to five targeted fishpond operators and cooperators in barangay Pantalan, Marita and Sangkal. It also helped in the conduct of Pre-membership Educational Training on Cooperative for fishpond operators association of President Roxas. It helped in the conduct of red tide monitoring in the municipality.

For postharvest services, the Center rendered technical assistance on proper fish handling, icing and sanitation to some 200 housewives of fisherfolk engaged in fish vending across nine barangays. It hosted skills training and cooking demonstrations on fish lumpia and fishballs using locally available fish ingredients to the household women of Quiajo, Pandan, Pinamihagan Pantalan, Marita, Aranguel, Madulano, Sangkal and Pondol. It also conducted monitoring of financial assistance given to BFARMCs and RIC beneficiaries.

For fisheries, the FITS Center led capability building activities on marine conservation and management for municipal fishermen. In April, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) conducted Oyster Culture to some 40 fishermen of barangay Sangkal. The participants were taught oyster farming using raft method. Materials were provided by BFAR; manpower and personnel were provided by the barangay; and supervision was led by the FITS Center and the local government and BFAR Capiz.

In October, 50 municipal fishermen were awarded 100-meter fish nets each) as livelihood assistance program of the LGU. It also facilitated the distribution of 10,000 fresh water tilapia fingerlings to fresh water backyard pond cooperators.

CapSU's Eduardo Navarra (far left) meets with the local government
of President Roxas under the leadership of Mayor Raymund Locsin (far right).
CapSU partners with the LGU and coordinates activities
led by FITS Manager Leonardo Barcenas (middle).

11 Jan 2012

Engage, Involve, Influence

Panay FITS Center lists 2011 accomplishments

By Niño Manaog
With reports from Juanito Hecita, Jr. and Ma. Edeline Mendez

Since its launch in November 2010, the Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center based in Panay, Capiz has been active in the implementation and assistance to the projects that benefited a big number of its constituents.

Working with the Capiz State University as its partner member agency, the Panay FITS Center is composed of Mr. Juanito Hecita, Jr., FITS Manager; Ma. Edeline Mendez, Information Services Specialist; Ramie Detaro, Technology Services Specialist; Jessie Barcenas and Anabel Villaruz, HVCC Coordinators; Nida Arro and Editha Dollete, Crops Coordinators; Nita Develos, Livestock Coordinator; and Rosalyn Delos Santos and Francis Villar, Support Staff.

The Center made accomplishments across the different sectors which benefited farmer clients in the municipality, among others.

Crops 
Under the PalayCheck System, the Center led the implementation of Rapid Seed Supply Financing Program (RaSSFiP) II by awarding 705 bags of subsidized palay seeds (40 kg per sack) released October 16, 2010 to August, 2011 to farmer beneficiaries of different barangays. One bag was awarded to one hectare of the beneficiary.

Palaycheck participants from barangay Tico 
prepare their AESA Reports for discussion 
in their Wednesday classes led by PhilRice 
and the FITS Center personnel.
The Center likewise extended assistance in the implementation of the Location-Specific Technology Development (LSTD) Program of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). For this year, PhilRice’s PalayCheck and Palayamanan were panned out to farmers of two barangays in two seasons.  In Tanza Sur, PalayCheck was launched on June 6, 2011 benefiting 30 farmers and the Field Day was held in September 16, 2011. Meanwhile, the Palayamanan course intended for 30 farmers in the same barangay was launched on December 2, 2011 and the Field Day is scheduled anytime in 2012. For Bago Grande, the PalayCheck was launched on June 16, 2011 and the Field Day was held on September 16, 2011, benefiting 30 farmers. The Palayamanan involving 30 farmers in this barangay was launched on November 1, 2011 and the Field Day is scheduled in 2012.

To advocate to effective and productive farming practices among its farmer constituents, the Center also led the conduct of the Farmers Field School (FFS) & School-on-the-Air held over Radio Mindanao Network (RMN)’s DYVR (1223 kHz) in coordination with the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) Capiz and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI). Launched October 19, 2011, the FFS has enrolled some 30 farmers of barangay Tico, and are set to graduate in January 2012.

Full-time farmer Anthony Billones, a Palayamanan 
School-on-the-Air enrollee, harvests his pechay 
in the Organic Vegetable Garden in Tanza Sur. 
Billones now manages the Sta. Monica Parish Church’s 
FAITH Garden which grows a wide variety 
of organic crops and vegetables for household 
and commercial purposes.
High-Value Commercial Crops 
In the first quarter of the year, the Center distributed 16 kilograms of assorted vegetable seeds—squash, ampalaya, okra, pechay, pole sitaw and radish— to 100 farmers representing barangays including Cabugao Este, Tanza Sur, Agbanban, Bago Grande and Daga. 

In the period covered, Panay FITS Center operated and maintained a 1,000 sq.m-cut-foliage demonstration project in barangay Tanza Sur which cultivates Florida beauty as ornamental plant. Cut flowers harvested from the said farm were marketed and sold to local buyers.

In the same area, Panay FITS Center also maintained a 1,000-sq.m organic vegetable garden cultivating vegetables like pechay, okra, eggplants and pepper. It also practices vermicomposting and promotes the use of indigenous microorganisms (IMOs) and environment-friendly solid waste management practices.

Among others, the Center assisted in the establishment of the Food-Always-in-the-Home (FAITH) Garden located at the Sta. Monica Parish Church grounds in Poblacion Ilaya, Panay, Capiz. Managed by the local clergy headed Msgr. Ben Advincula, the 5,000-sq.m agricultural project features varied kinds of vegetables and also promotes the use of indigenous microorganisms (IMOs), vermi-composting and environment-friendly solid waste management practices.

To launch a massive campaign for organic agriculture in the municipality in consonance with the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, the Center facilitated the conduct of capability building activities on bio-intensive gardening (big), plant propagation and organic concoctions.

Capiz State University Techno Gabay Team Leader 
Eduardo Navarra briefs the Tico farmers 
on the relevance of the Farmers Information and 
Technology Services (FITS) Center in Panay, Capiz. 
CapSU acts as the partner member agency 
for Panay FITS Center reporting directly 
to the WESVARRDEC.
In October, in coordination with the East-West Seed Company, the Center assisted in the conduct of farmers’ classes on vegetable production benefiting some 28 farmers of barangay Tanza Sur and 26 farmers from barangay Bago Grande.

The Center also helped prepare the project proposal requesting the establishment of Organic Vegetable Demo Garden and endorsing Richard Borreros as proposed cooperator in barangay Cabugao Este, Panay, Capiz. The same was endorsed to the DA office on December 12, 2011.

The FITS Center also assisted in the conduct of the Farmers Field School (FFS) & Palayamanan School-on-the-Air over Radio Mindanao Network (RMN)-DYVR (1223 kHz) in partnership with the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) Capiz and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) from November 7, 2010 to April 16, 2011. Out of 30 farmers students enrolled, 20 farmer graduates were given certificates of completion in April 2011.

Livestock 
Across the year, the Center has also been engaged in the operation and maintenance of slaughterhouse based in Cabugao Oeste, Panay, Capiz. In the campaign for Massive Anti-Rabies Vaccination, 2,723 dogs were vaccinated between March 2011 and December 2011serving some 1,833 owners across 42 barangays. In December, some 30 farmers in classes under the Farmers Field School (FFS) were taught the rudiments of Native Chicken Raising in barangay Tanza Sur.

Multisectoral Initiatives
In support of the tourism initiatives of the town, the Center extended Market Support during the Product Expo held May 1–4, 2011 at the Tourism Building, Poblacion, Panay, Capiz. The Center likewise assisted in the operations of Agrifood Terminal Operations in Cabugao Oeste, Panay, Capiz when it was launched February 25, 2011. And during the 2011 Sinadya sa Halaran Horticulture and Agro Fair held December 8–11, 2011 at the Provincial Park, Roxas City, the FITS Center showcased products food—papaya pickles from Agbanban and novelty and shell craft items from Tanza Norte.




Production Team
Juanito Hecita, Jr., FITS Manager
Ma. Edeline Mendez, Information Services Specialist
Jessie Barcenas and Anabel Villaruz, HVCC Coordinators
Rosalyn Delos Santos and Francis Villar, Support Staff
Niño Manaog, Extension Associate, Capiz State University


Initiatives for the Ivisanons

The Ivisan FITS Center 2011 Accomplishments Highlights


The Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center based in Ivisan, Capiz accomplished a big number of activities for the past year 2011. Inspired by the vision of their local government to do more for the farmers in the municipality, the FITS personnel performed their tasks with renewed enthusiasm and commitment to their target clientele, initiating activities and projects that all benefited the majority of the constituents.

Launched in November 2010, the Ivisan FITS Center is composed of the following personnel— Letecia Andrada, FITS Manager; Giovanni Lawag, HVCC Coordinator; Junedel Buhat, Technology Services Specialist; Susan Villar, Livestock Coordinator; Nilda Coopera, Fisheries Coordinator; and Fely Bermudo, Information Services Specialist. Their prospect Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) is Roosevelt Villarde, whose family specialises in coconut shell novelty items and products.

Coco Shell Products
The coco shell products of Mr. Roosevelt Villarde, the prospective Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) for evaluation in this town, enjoyed ample exposure in various activities endorsed by the local government. Notably, Villarde’s Gejur Handicrafts products such as necklaces, souvenir items, cellphone holders, etc. were exhibited in regional trade fairs and even in activities sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Rice
From January to April 2011, the Center introduced the Farmers Field School-Palaycheck in Barangay Sta Cruz, enrolling 20 rice farmers. From July to October, the FFS likewise benefited 26 rice farmers of Ilaya. The 23 farmers of Malocloc Norte introduced in November 2011 will be graduated in February 2012.

Across the year, the FFS featured the expertise of Agricultural Technologists Fatima Ocampo and Giovanni Lawag and also sought the assistance of Antonio Llorente of the Agricultural Trainnig Institute and Angelie Alayon of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) Capiz.

The whole year, the Center assisted in the production of vermicast and vermicompost for farmers in barangays Cudian and Poblacion Sur, promoting organic agriculture. Three rice and HVCC farmers assisted in these areas produced some 150 bags of vermicast.

In June and July and October and November 2011, some 100 farmers representing various barangays of Ivisan were given seeds on a 50-50 scheme. These inputs were planted in the year’s first cropping yielding some 3.2 metric tons of average produce. At this writing, farmers have yet to harvest the produce from the second cropping.

In September 2011, the Center launched the TeknoKlinik (see right photo), an initiative that featured the expertise of the PhilRice personnel who lectured on rice production, pests in diseases. The capability building effort benefited some 100 farmers from across the municipality and was led by FITS Manager Letecia Andrada. PhilRice’s Ruth Francisco lectured on varietal adaptability mechanisms in the face of climate change.

High-Value Commercial Crops
On June 28, 2011, Techno Gabay Team Leader Eduardo Navarra of the Capiz State University (CapSU) Extension Institute led a training lecture on organic farming and vegetable production to some 20 farmers representing barangays Ondoy, Matnog, Sta. Cruz, Ilaya and Basiao, all of Ivisan town in Capiz.

Held at the Ivisan Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center in barangay Poblacion Norte, Ivisan, Capiz, the livelihood training formed part of the two day Vegetable Production and Post-Harvest Handling Training led by the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMA) of Ivisan under the leadership of Municipal Agriculturist Letecia Andrada and Agricultural Technologist Giovanni Lawag.

Navarra briefed the participants on the disadvantages of commercial modern farming and stressed on the advantages of organic farming, stressing on how to best equip and protect the soil for quality production. According to Navarra, commercial modern farming using too much chemicals and pesticides not only depletes the soil quality but also harms human beings. In turn, he stressed on the benefits that farmers would get from practicing organic farming technologies.

Navarra highlighted the projects of Ramon Peñalosa, Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) of fits opa Negros Occidental who practices integrated natural farming and produces his own insecticides, pesticides and similar other technologies in his farms in Victorias City and Manapla, Negros Occidental. Navarra also suggested that farmers should make their own foliar fertilizers like Dao FITS Center in Dao, Capiz whose focus commodity (indigenous microorganism concoctions) very well complements and assists organic farming. Navarra also urged the participants to form a group of farmers in their little communities who would focus on producing organic vegetables and crops because there will always be demand for them. He likewise assured that the local government of Ivisan led by Mayor Felipe Neri Yap will always welcome such initiatives if only to serve the members of the locality.

The lecture orientation, along with some demonstration of some farming materials and technologies, drew favorable response from a number of farmers. Sixty-year-old Danilo Obrigue who maintains some 1.5 hectares of palay and 4,000 sq.m. planted to vegetables said he plans to try organic farming because it proves economical and friendly to people’s health. The former barangay captain of Ondoy said that vegetable growers in their locality were inspired by the type of farms they saw in Palayamanan in barangay Mianay that they would want to replicate it in their own barangay.  For Obrigue, this is now the time to inspire others to pursue organic farming.

Seventy-one year old Mercedes Aldea, who has been farming in Sitio Balangasan in Ondoy since 1964, saw the ease in practicing organic farming. It is pasil (easy) because it makes use of materials that can be found in our very surroundings. She herself uses rice straws and chicken manure for compost and fertilizer and plans to maintain the same in her one-half hectare land planted to palay and banana. Aldea also produces patola and vegetables which she periodically sells in Ivisan market. Meanwhile, 54-yr-old Avelina Benosa who has a 9,000 sq.m.- rented piece of land planted to coconut, banana and native ginger also wants to produce vegetables. For this purpose she considers sustaining their farm using both commercial and organic farming. For Benosa, she would adapt any practice that would best add to her productivity. 

The two-day initiative also covered lectures and demonstrations on seed selection and site selection, integrated nutrient management, integrated pest management, post-harvest handling practices and marketing. 

Livestock
In 2011, the Center launched activities to reinforce and strengthen the livestock status of the municipality. From January to March, they initiated vaccination, castration, supplementation, deworming and treatment of livestock, poultry, swine and cattle across some 15 barangays, benefiting some 70 livestock cattle and poultry raisers in the municipality.

In the second quarter, they conducted the same set of activities for farm and household animals, benefiting some 1,900 residents across fifteen barangays. For the last two quarters of the year, the Center continued with their usual livestock operations activities, giving service to some 100 more Ivisanons through services rendered to some 470 animals including dogs, cows, chickens and pigs. In June and in the last months of the year, the Center likewise facilitated the dispersal projects of cattle and swine in barangays Malocloc Norte and Malocloc Sur, Cudian, Ondoy and Agmalobo. Under the project scheme, some 10 housewives awarded the livestock are required to return 2 heads of female pigs or one head of female calf after one year.

Fisheries
For barangays Basiao, Balaring, Cabugao, Agustin Navarra, Agmalobo, Malocloc Sur, Poblacion Sur, Matnog and Cudian, the Center has initiated efforts to help the residents improve their livelihood. In January, they networked with the Zoological Society of London, an international nongovernment organization to launch the Policy Workshop on Coastal Resource Management. Among others, the organization helped Ivisanons made aware of how to “promote and achieve conservation of animals and their habitats.”

For the period covered, Fisheries Coordinator Nilda Coopera worked with the BFARMCs particularly on the fisherfolks’ registration to properly identify the beneficiaries and prospective projects that can be given to them. In May 2011, they also took part when the local government pushed for the review of the Fisheries Code in the municipality.

They also helped BFAR in conducting the training on Solar Salt Drying using polyethylene plastics. In the succeeding months, they also reviewed the finalization of the Coastal Resource Management Plan, selecting fisherfolk representatives from 10 coastal barangays. They also proposed for a fisherfolk’s livelihood project. The entire 2011, the Center took effort to visit fish yards and advised fisherfolks on how to make the most of their resources.

Institutional Linkages
In cooperation with Capiz State University (CapSU) Extension Institute led by Dr. Raul Ticar, the Center hosted two livelihood trainings featuring the expertise of CapSU Dayao Fishery. Dr. Edna Nava of CapSU Dayao Campus led a skills training on kropek making to some 15 housewives and individuals at the Kabuhayan Training Center in October. CapSU’s expertise elicited a good number of feedback, which inspired residents to take on their livelihood alternatives. Then in November, Prof. Fatima Sustento of CapSU Dayao led patis making, benefiting more housewives and households.



Production Team
Letecia Andrada, FITS Manager
Giovanni Lawag, HVCC Coordinator
Fatima Ocampo, Rice Coordinator
Susan Villar, Livestock Coordinator
Nilda Coopera, Fisheries Coordinator
Junedel Buhat, Technology Services Specialist
Eduardo Navarra, Techno Gabay Team Leader
Niño Manaog, Extension Associate, Capiz State University

Acknowledgements
Municipal Mayor Felipe Neri Yap
Lorna Bernales, Municipal Planning and Development Officer