The office of the provincial agriculture recently launched “SINAG” or Sustainable and Innovative Agriculture (SINAG) project, a training program for farmers intended to assist them recover economically from the pandemic. The launch was held at the Balay sa Oma of the Provincial Agricultural Center (PAC) in Barangay Irawan.

SINAG sa Balay sa Oma (House in the Farm), a 20,000-hectare in Irawan, is a program that will hold trainings and seminars for farmers and fisherfolks who are interested in enhancing their technical knowledge about their respective livelihood.

Dr. Romeo Cabungcal, provincial agriculturist, described SINAG as anchored on the agricultural principle of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.

 

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“Gusto namin na dito magsimula ang rise (sinag) of hope na sa kabila ng nararanasan natin na pandemya kung saan maraming tumigil [ng operasyon ng kanilang negosyo]… gusto namin na maipakita na kung pagtutuunan ng pansin ang agrikultura ay talagang mayroon tayong pagkakakitaan,” Cabungcal said.

Balay sa Oma is suitable as a SINAG learning site, he explained, because it presents modern life on a farm with an environment that is diverse for having plants, vegetables, livestock production, fish pond for freshwater fish, fruit-bearing trees, and others.

Cabungcal said that the learning site will be open to farmers and those who want to learn to farm.

“Ito ay tinawag na Balay sa Oma kasi it replicates ‘yong bahay sa bukid, bahay kubo, pero dati kasi when we say bahay kubo it is a concept of bahay kubo na nakakaawa, sira ang pawid at walang dingding. Ngayon ang ginawa natin ay innovation, dinadala natin ang nakaraan pero nasa modernong pamamaraan,” Cabungcal said.

 

 

“Mayroon kaming iba’t ibang herbs and mints, mushroom, vermicomposting para ma-fertilize lahat ng tanim dito, mayroon tayong vegetables production, corn, papaya, gabi, native chickens and fruits and vegetable seedlings nursery. Mayroon din tayong farm field center kung saan d’yan makukuha ng mga farmers o ng sinong gustong pumunta dito ang mga information nito,” he added.

Board member Albert Rama, chair of the committee on agriculture, also emphasized that the concept of Balay sa Oma should be replicated in all municipalities to sustain the daily needs of the people and to balance the economy.

“Ganito exactly ang gusto natin makita sa ating mga munisipyo because sa ngayon kailangan natin mag-diversify [para sa] economy,” Rama said.

“Kung mapapansin ninyo nitong pandemic talagang hardly hit ang ating tourism particularly sa north pero sa south hindi masyado kasi diversified. Dito sa concept ng Balay sa Oma ay pinagsama ang tourism and agriculture,” he added.

 

 

Rama said that there should be a law protecting the farmers not only the consumers.

“Napakamura ng palay, nasaan ang hustisya doon? Gumastos tayo ng ilan tapos bibilhin lang ng P8 to P10. Pagdating sa consumer mayrong protection, may price control act pero para sa mga magsasaka ay wala,” Rama said.

 

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.