SORSOGON CITY, Oct. 27 (PNA) -- The Department of Agriculture regional office has formally turned over to the provincial government of Sorsogon the PHP7-million worth Farmers Technology and Manpower Development Center here.
It will serve as a venue for training, capability building, meetings and conferences for the agricultural clients, extension workers and development partners and stakeholders.
The training aimed at enhancing or leveling up the capabilities of the farmers and enhancing the delivery of extension services for agriculture and fishery clients and stakeholders.
Constructed adjacent to the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, the two-storey center has a function hall and a dormitory and is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including digital audio-visual and sound systems and other information, communication and technology (ICT) gadgets and other training paraphernalia.
The center is one the ten projects proposed by the provincial government under the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Pamana).
Robert Lee–Rodrigueza, provincial administrator, received the facility in behalf of the PLGU and Governor Raul Lee from DA Regional Exec. Dir. Abelardo Bragas, who also represented DA Secretary Proceso Alcala during the turnover late last week.
For his part, Bragas suggested that the center could also be used as an agribusiness or trading center where farmers can be assisted in linking with markets and buyers for their produce.
He said the DA is not only concerned with production but also with the whole value chain.
The DA official said the agency is also assisting farmers to engage in processing and value adding.
“We are helping in stabilizing prices of agricultural commodities so that farmers would not be on the losing end,” he said, adding that Sorsogon is strategically located that it can have as its markets Region 8, Region 7, Region 6, Calabarzon and the rest of Region 4.
Having come from Region 4, Bragas said the food sufficiency level there is only about 25 percent and Bicol can fill the gap.
Paul Escober, Pamana Bicol coordinating officer who represented Assistant Secretary Howard Cafugauan of the Office of the President–Pamana national office, underscored that the turnover of the project was not just a symbolic rite of completing a tangible project.
He said it is more significant to implement and make successful the objectives of Pamana to capacitate, empower, institutionalize the participation of the public and uplift their lives and pursue transparency and accountability in project implementation.
He said the challenge now is to sustain the gains. (PNA) JMC/FGS/CBD