The City, Municipal, and Provincial Agriculturists and the Agricultural Extension Workers (AEWs) in Zamboanga Peninsula gathered during the 2nd Regional Agricultural Extension Workers Congress hosted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) at Grand Astoria Hotel, Zamboanga City recently.

This year’s theme: “Working together towards a productive agriculture and rural development” depicted the unity and teamwork of the extension workers wherein 600 participants arrived to join the regional congress.

“We hold this annual congress to ientify and assess the concerns and issues in extension support system commonly experienced by Local Government Units (LGUS) and to assess the LGUs different extension activities with regard to implementing Department of Agriculture (DA), Research and Development, and Regulatory programs and activities,” DA9 Regional Director Constancio G. Alama expound in his message.

“This is a great venue to discuss and resolve the main issues and concerns of the AEWs with help the national government to further determine the logistical and technical needs of the extension support system in the region. Here, we also provide and accept recommendations for an effective and efficient delivery of the extension support that will further enhance our extension support and services to our farmers, fisherfolk, and stakeholders,” Director Alama added.

Dr. Dennis H. Palabrica, DA9 Assistant Director for Operations, Maria Melba B. Wee, DA9 Assistant Director for Research, Reynaldo Campomanes, Field Operations Chief, Evelyn Academia, Regional Rice Focal Person, Engr. Tessie Montano, Regional Corn Focal Person, Dr. Darwin Lloyd Sulay, Regional Livestock Coordinator were present to boost the participation of the extension workers.

Present to give updates during the congress were Arthur R. Baria, National President of the Philippine Association of Agriculturists (PAA), Nora Siason, Senior Profession Regulation Officer of Profession Regulation Commission (PRC), Angelito R. Casinillo Administration Division Chief of the Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Management, Boyet Delos Reyes and PDO Charles Dulay, Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) and Regional Manager Charlito O. Brilleta, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC).

Moreover, Apple Caburnay – Pepito, and Visminda Bernardo with the supervision of Dr. Marie France Jalao, Chief of the Regulatory Division provided updates on Philippine Good Agricultural Practices and Good Animal Husbandry Practices. Dr. Catherine Lojera, staff of Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) supervised by her Chief, Dr. Josephine Datoy gave some helpful tips in raising and breeding safe, healthy and quality animals and livestock.

Under the new administration’s thrust, the DA aims self – sufficiency in crop and fishery sectors. In order to realize this goal, DA also aims to intensify the agriculture extension services alongside with its main programs of efficient crop production and reducing production costs strategies.

Further, DA’s partnership with the LGU also hopes to further enhance extension work and services to boost crop production towards self – sufficiency and rural development. (ICabeguin/DA-RFO9).

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