(Photo from Facebook page Yamang Bukid Farm – Palawan)

Yamang Bukid will purchase unhusked rice (palay) from farmers in the city and Narra to ease their burden while adjusting to the declining farm gate prices following the passage of the Rice Tariffication Law.

Hope Alas, tourism campaign manager of Yamang Bukid said that they will get the budget to procure palay from the proceeds of the “Takbo para sa mga Magsasaka” on September 28 in celebration of the fifth Agros Festival.

“This is our fifth Agros and for the record, this is something that we want bigger. What we normally do is the regular Agros which is may mga games but what we are adding right now is more on the advocacy,” she said in an interview on Saturday.

Alas said this extends to all farmers in the province, not only to their in-house ones. She said the goal is to inspire farmers that they themselves could also extend help to others.

“That’s why we conducted the Takbo para sa mga Magsasaka because the issue is really timely, though matagal na siyang issue, yong plight ng mga magsasaka. It’s just that other people started to realize that farmers are really being belittled, discriminated and they are not given enough attention,” she said.

The run also focuses on spreading awareness that agriculture in the Philippines is ironically dying even though Philippines is dubbed as an agricultural country.

She stressed that it is now time to take an action for the industry that feeds Filipinos around the country as at the end of the day, everyone would not have something to eat on their tables without the farmers.

“With the proceeds, what we are going to do, we will be helping out local farmers here in Palawan that into organic farming and at the same time, we will be buying palay in Narra. We will be buying the palay more than the price that they are selling,” she said.

She said that they already coordinated with the group that would help to identify poorest of the farmers where palay will be procured.

Recently, the selling price of palay in Narra had dropped to the lowest price of P10, Alas said that Yamang Bukid plans to triple the price. She said that this would help them to at least augment income.

She said that this kind of initiative aims to show farmers their value but not to a point where they get dependent.

Aside from Narra, they will also buy in some parts from Inagawan, and to the southern most part of Puerto Princesa.

“Kapag ganon ang nangyari, bibilhin namin yong palay, ipapagiling namin, kukunin namin yong ipa tapos ibabalik namin yong rice back to the farmers pero hindi yong tipong lahat ibibigay sa kanila, share,” she said.

During the celebration of Agros, farmers took their off to join in games and performances. Most hard working farmers were also recognized during the day.

“Yong farmers namin dito ay lahat sila masipag pero di ba sa isang daan na masipag, may iilan talaga na sobrang sipag. Awarding them would help in motivating other farmers to do better, hindi sa sinasabing tamad yong iba pero kailangan pa na mag-exert pa ng effort para mas matulungan pa si farm,” she said.

Motivating farmers would also benefit in sustaining the operation of the farm, she said. She also said that they are also using technology to be innovative with the farm’s production.

She said that they also remind their farmers to be open with their ideas to be incorporated with the technology for farming. Farmers are also sent to seminars not just to improve their farming skills and also to lift up their self-esteem as farmers.

She stressed that continuous effort will help them for sustainability and achieving that goal will help the farmers go out of the box and explore things that could also help them augment income through innovation.