Lanao del Norte farmers get P240M aid, loans

TUBOD, Lanao del Norte, Jul. 1 (PIA)–The Department of Agriculture (DA) completed the delivery, June 28, of P200 million worth of farm machinery and production assistance, including a P40 million easy access credit fund, as promised by President Rodrigo Duterte in the aftermath of Typhoon Vinta which ravaged Northern Mindanao in December 2017.

DA Region X Director Carlene Collado said the last batch of farm implements turned over to Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Q. Dimaporo during the 60th Founding Anniversary of the province completed the presidential commitment.

DA started delivering the interventions right after the president  visited Lanao del Norte in December 2017. 

The interventions included livestock, seeds and production support.

The procurement of the farm implements had to go through the process of bidding which usually takes a long process and the equipment had to be delivered in batches.

On Friday, tractors, transplanters and mini-rice mills were delivered by DA including a Solar Powered Irrigation System in Lala town.

The DA Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) also increased the allocation for the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) for Lanao del Norte farmers and fishermen from P4 million to P40 million. (DA10/PIA10)

Farmers Employing Organic Agriculture Methods Train for ICS

KAUSWAGAN, LANAO DEL NORTE – Farmers, community organizers, agricultural extension workers and the Local Government Unit of Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte joined together to install an Internal Control System (ICS) on organic agriculture for the organic agriculture practitioners in the municipality.

Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center X (ATI – RTC X) conducted the training on ICS for Smallholder Groups last March 4 – 8, 2019 at Dona Laureana Rosales School of Practical Agriculture, in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.

MOCK INSPECTION – participants review and process their inspection forms during the mock inspection for Organic Third Party Certification at Aga Sayo Diversified Farm, Cayontor, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte. The mock inspection is part of the activity for the Training on ICS for Smallholder Groups.

The installation of the ICS is a requirement for organic third party certification. The role of ICS is to be an official “control body”. This implies that certain basic requirements for organic inspection needs to be fulfilled. There should be a single organic system plan for the group and that, individuals group members use the certification system. Likewise, similar production methods and inputs are used on all farm plot in the group.

Standard inspection protocols are integral for the implementation of ICS. The installation of ICS for smallholder group has many requirements which include (1) written procedures and forms (ICS manual), (2) understanding risk assessment and critical control points, (3) internal organic standards, (4) internal control and approval procedures, (5) organized group structure, (6) human resource training and development schemes and (7) established product protocol, among others.

Participants to the training include upland rice farmers, peanut growers, vegetable farmers, and community organizers. Each of the participant has a vital role for the installation of the ICS.
The training has four Phases. Phase 1 focuses on the installation requirements and comprehensive appreciation of the principles of organic agriculture and the elements of ICS. Phase 2 involves the training of the ICS staff. Phase 3 is the On-the-Job training for members of the ICS. Phase 4 focuses on the evaluation of the ICS. It aims to determine the completion and readiness of the organization for application for certification. The participants have completed Phase 1, Phase 2, and parts of Phase 3 and Phase 4. Follow up trainings and activities will be conducted to fully comply and complete the 4 Phases.

Resource persons to the training were Mr. Reynaldo Gil G. Lomarda and Lonalyn A. Sulatan, both from Greenminds, Inc., an External Service Provider (ESP) of ATI 10. Topics to the training include the Salient points and Relevant Regulations of RA 10068, Philippine National Standards (PNS) on Organic Agriculture, Organic Certification, Smallholder Group Certification, Internal Control System (ICS) & steps in Installing, Procedures, Forms and Processes, Internal Report Integration, Internal Approval, ICS Documentation, and a Workshops on the ICS manual, among others.

Highlighted in the training is the visit to the Aga Sayo Diversified Farm for the mock inspection for the organic certification. Aga Sayo Farm is a beneficiary of the “From Arms to Farms Program” of ATI.
Mr. Peter M. Jubas, a participant to the training, is very thankful that he was invited to the training. “This training will help me a lot. It is not easy to have an ‘organic’ certified product. I have learned from this training that it will still undergo a tedious process. But, at least, this training is a very huge step to have our products certified as ‘organic’,” he said. “With the help of our ever supportive LGU, we know we can do this,” he added.

The Municipal Government of Kauswagan is a member of the League of Organic Agriculture Municipalities and Cities in the Philippines (LOAMC – PH) and Kauswagan Mayor Rommel Arnado is currently the President of the organization. (with reports from Javier P. Andalan)

Lanao Norte’s coco farm touted to boost NorMin tourism

Northern Mindanao’s farm tourism got a boost as a Lanao del Norte town recently developed its own coco farm.

Lanao del Norte Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo said the Provincial Coco Farm Tourism Camp in Barangay Poblacion, Magsaysay town is being primed to become a tourist attraction in the province.

In a statement Wednesday, Dimaporo noted that farm tourism “is now becoming popular in the country.”

“Lanao del Norte, with its vast agricultural land the primary source of income aside from fisheries, will surely encourage local and foreign tourists to come and experience the beauty and bounty, as well as the hospitality and see for themselves the unity of the people,” she said.

Local traders, she said, will benefit from farm tourism as it will create more economic activities.

Restaurants, hotels and souvenir shops will flourish to meet the demands of the tourists, the governor added.

Magsaysay, which celebrates the importance of coconut through the Niyogan Festival every May 23, was chosen by the provincial government to be the pilot municipality due to its model coconut plantation.

Dimaporo said the farm was established in line with the government’s thrust to promote farm tourism as mandated in the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016.

The law recognizes that tourism, coupled with agriculture extension services, can disseminate the value of agriculture in the economic and cultural development of the country, serve as catalyst for the development of agriculture and fishery communities, and provide additional income for farmers, farm workers, and fisher folk.

The law also aims to promote environment-friendly, efficient and sustainable farm practices; provide alternative recreation facilities and farm tourism activities for families, students and other clientele; and promote health and wellness with high-quality farm-produced food.

Farm tourism, according to an article of the Philippine Information Agency, is where tourism and agriculture meet, where people are invited to properties that offer recreational activities or adventures that enable them to enjoy the freshness of nature.

For an area to be recognized as a farm tourism camp, its proprietors must obtain accreditation from the Department of Agriculture and Department of Tourism. (PNA)

DOT-10 to develop LanaoNorte as farm tourist destination

TUBOD, Lanao del Norte, August 26, (PIA)–The Department of Tourism (DOT-10) and the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte through the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO), recently conducted ocular inspection to possible sites in the province that can be included in the development and promotion of farm tourism in the country. 

Team composed of DOT-10 personnel and Tourism officers of the province and municipalities were into ocular inspection to farms possible for a farm-tourist destinations. (PIO-LDN)

DOT-10, PTO and the Provincial Information Office, this province, visited privately owned farmlands within Lanao del Norte to personally inspect and assess the location and the existing amenities that these farms can provide.

Farm tourism is rapidly growing in the Philippines as well as to other countries.

Farm tourisdm is where tourism and agriculture meet, inviting the public into their property that offers recreational activities or adventures that interests the people while enjoying the freshness of nature in relaxing mode and encouraging them to experience life in the farm through different activities such as hiking, bird-watching, campfires, fruit harvesting and overnight stays. 

Republic Act 10816, otherwise known as “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016,” defines farm tourism as the practice of attracting visitors and tourists to farm areas for production, educational and recreational purposes.

It involves any agricultural – or fishery – based operation or activity that brings to a farm visitors, tourists, farmers and fisherfolk who want to be educated and trained on farming and its related activities, and provides a venue for outdoor recreation and accessible family outings. 

The accreditation of farm tourism camps will be the responsibility of DOT and the Department of Agriculture (DA), according to the law. 

On the other hand, for marketing promotion and development, the DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board, the DA, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the local government units shall include farm tourism in their marketing and promotions programs, and support operators of accredited farm tourism camps and their associations in conducting and joining local and international conferences, congresses, trade fairs, and exhibits. 

As the provincial chief executive, Governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo strongly supports the DOT program and was humbled when DOT included “The Land of Beauty and Bounty” to be one of the beneficiaries of the program, where it possessed a number of must-see natural sights, to name a few-the Tinago falls, Cathedral falls, Pagayawan falls, and Mighty Cave Park. 

The provincial chief executive had earlier named Magsaysay as the pilot municipality for promoting Agri-Tourism in the Province of Lanao del Norte. (PIO-LDN/PIA-10)