The Regional Gawad Saka Awarding Ceremony was held at Quezon Premier Hotel, Lucena City last August 29. The event was attended by delagates, including the awardees and their families, coming from all over the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.
According to Quezon Provincial Administrator, Romulo Edaño, the province of Quezon has an organized program in the field of agriculture thanks to the Provincial Agriculture Office. According to research, the average age of farmers in the region is around 58 years old. With their aging population, it is necessary to develop second liners, or a younger wave of farmers to replace the retiring ones. It is common knowledge that the wide expanse of Quezon is mostly agricultural land. Most of the province’s residents send their children to Manila or overseas either to study or work, which is why only a few replace their parents in working the farmlands.
But despite of this, there are still many farmers who give their time and effort to take care of their crops and lands. Those who were conferred awards during the Gawad Saka ceremony for their outstanding contribution in the field of Quezon’s agriculture stand to be proof of this.
Through the clear and sound direction of Governor David “Jayjay” C. Suarez, other provinces have recognized Quezon’s program in advocating organic farming. Consequently, Provincial Agriculturist Robert Gajo was invited to a provincial meeting in Surigao Del Norte to be a guest speaker in their organic agriculture conference, following Gov. Suarez’s 2nd State of the Province Address at the Quezon Convention Center last August 13, during the opening of the first-ever Niyogyugan Festival – where he announced that Quezon is the first in the country to create a participatory guarantee system for organic agriculture.
BFAR Region IV-A Director, Esmeralda Paz Manalang, DA Regional Director Vilma Dimaculangan, and PCA Regional Director Alejandro Eduardo Olanguera also served as guest speakers during the event.
Awardees hailing from the province of Quezon are as follows:Nemesio Z. Ragudo - HCVDP Farmer, Tayabas City; Gregorio N. Bautista - Corn Farmer, Sherwin E. Calvendra - Young Farmer, Latangan RIC – Mulanay; Agdangan MAFC- Agdangan; Levy E. Bataller- Fisherfolk- Fish Capture- Mauban; and Loreto Basit- Small Animal Raiser- Sariaya. (Quezon PIO)