PLAIN AND SIMPLE| A DATE with farmers  

IMAGINE our life without the farmers.

So of late, I wrote about the farmers, they who provide us with food on our table. It is my tribute to them because we owe them so much. I wanted to honor them with this column. It may be so insignificant, but it is my way of paying tribute to them.

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce is greatly doing its share to focus on the farmers – to help them in whatever way it can. On Sept. 22 to 24, 2016, the Davao Agri-Trade Expo will be held at the SMX Convention Center SM Lanang.

Now on its 18th year, the Davao Agri-Trade Expo focuses on the development of the golden crops( corn, rice, cacao, coffee, coconut, and cassava). DATE 2016 wants to give emphasis on the agri sector of the Davao region.

DCCCI vice president for agri-business Teresita M. Pascual, chairperson of DATE 2016, said this affair will highlight agri-trade exhibits, agri-marketing congress, technical seminars, and business matching. It will feature, Pascual said, exhibitors coming from agritrade, agri-industrial equipment, fertilizers. Crop science, and disease management of the golden crops.

She said the business matching service will be on Sept. 22 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This is designed, Pascual said, to assist buyers and sellers in finding potential business partners and facilitate one-on-one meetings. This will give them the opportunity to maximize their networking opportunities.

DATE is Pascual’s brainchild. This was an offshoot of her trip in Utrecht, Netherland in 1992 where she and her team attended a similar agri fair. When she came back to Davao, she organized the first Philippine Livestock Exhibit dubbed Piglink 94.

This is a very laudable project of DCCCI as this would help farmers and sellers. We hope that small farmers will be helped by this fair. The small farmers need all the help since they need the technical expertise for production and the capital to expand their farms.

After seeing three farms in Davao region, we realized farming needs a lot of technical know-how and the capital. What with farm inputs and other technical support, let alone the industry that farmers have.

DCCCI and its agri team headed by VP Pscual are doing their share in developing the agricultural sector.

About time, government does its biggest share.

This is the greatest and biggest challenge for Secretary Manny Pinol, the new DA secretary. We hope and pray he can make a great difference among our small farmers.

–o0o—

We are a bit sad that only a few of our young people are interested in the farm. Even in the region, we do not have an agricultural school that focuses on developing young farmers.

We know one school in Visayas that does it – the Visayan State University in Baybay City, Southern Leyte. We do not know the number of enrollees in that university though. This was used to be named VISCA.

There is one in Kabacan, North Cotabato – the USM Kabacan. One time we were invited by the Bureau of Fisheries in Cotabato to give a seminar on community organizing. We held it inside the compound of USM. Such a huge campus, and yes, it is really a farm campus.

We do not know if the university has produced students who love the farm or students who still wanted to work in offices.

This truth makes me salute my good friend Ben Lao for loving the farm and farming and for dedicating his life to helping farmers. We can only write about Ben, but we are sure we cannot be like him. He serves as inspiration to farmers though. And that is enough gift he gives to people in this lifetime.

Posted in Opinion