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Maguindanao farmers complete 4-month farming school

AGRICULTURE • 23:30 PM Wed Jul 14, 2021
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BIO-BARMM
Thirty (30) farmers from Brgy. Liong in the town of Barira completed their Farmers’ Field School (FFS) training on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

COTABATO CITY — Local rice farmers in three towns of Maguindanao—Matanog, Barira, and Buldon—completed a 4-month long Farmers’ Field School (FFS) training organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).

On Tuesday, July 13, thirty farmers from Brgy. Liong in the town of Barira culminated their FFS training. 

The event was marked as the fifth rite for the farmer participants since its ceremonial graduations kicked off last June 29.

Participants underwent training on field preparation, planting method, pest control, and identification of best performing varieties of seeds, among others.

Funded by the Capacity Development Project for Bangsamoro – Japan International Cooperation Agency (CDPB-JICA) - Philippines, the FFS also showcased demo sites where the farmers planted 'palay' seeds applicable and suitable for the upland areas of the said towns.

According to Saudi Mangindra, chief of agriculture for operations in MAFAR-Maguindanao, the training will help farmers change their traditional farming methods and adapt to science-based techniques to improve their rice yield.

“Usually in the province of Maguindanao, the majority of our farmers are traditional farmers. This means they inherited farming skills from their ancestors. In this case, in Farmers Field School, we integrated the products of research, science, and technology,” he said.

Based on the participatory techno-demo (PTD) farm, six (6) varieties of seeds were used such as the traditional Makasapi, Kiraban, Upland Dinorado, and modern NSIC RC27, Dinorado Premium, and Sakilan.

“In our demo farm, we used traditional and modern seed varieties. And based on our observation the NSIC RC-27 can [potentially] harvest up to 4 tons per hectare, as compared to the seed variety the local farmers previously used which ranges from 1.5 - 2 tons per hectare only,” Mangindra shared.

Next year, the MAFAR and it's partner agencies targets to conduct more FFS training and seek to widen its reach up to 10-15 more municipalities across Maguindanao province.

Municipal Mayor Abdulrauf Tomawis, CDPB-JICA Cotabato Head Mary Bernadette Suarez, officials of MAFAR and PhilRice – Midsayap, and local constituents of Barira graced Tuesday’s event. (Bangsamoro Information Office)

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