TALAKAG, Bukidnon, July 9 — “We’re happy because we won’t be bothering our neighbors anymore,” one of the farmer-beneficiaries shared as he blissfully holds his new farm gear.
It was a warm Tuesday, but 20 farmers and residents of a remote village in Talakag, Bukidnon endured the scorching heat and lined up under the booth of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Bukidnon to receive their much-awaited knapsack sprayers as beneficiaries of the Livelihood Seeding Program-Pangkabuhayan sa Pagbangon at Ginhawa (LSP-PBG).
Like most of the residents in the community, farming has been the way of life for these beneficiaries.
“Sukad pa sauna, pananom, mao na ang panarbaho (Even before, farming has been our work).” One farmer-beneficiary shared shyly before he made a quick exit after receiving his knapsack sprayer.
Cassava, sweet potato, string beans and bitter gourd were just among the fresh produce they have been cultivating not just for their own consumption but also for sale in neighboring barangays, including Talakag public market.
While this may look like a comfortable routine, the farmers have their own setbacks with lack of fertilizer as the main issue. This limits their farming activity, leading them to rent knapsack sprayers from their neighbors for P100 per day to help curb their concern.
“Usahay dili pahulam. Dili pa-abang (Sometimes they won’t let us borrow. Sometimes they won’t let us rent it),” a farmer shared.
Their patience and continuous dedication of their farming livelihood eventually paid off as the twenty beneficiaries received their own knapsack sprayers from DTI Bukidnon during the regional launching of the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster (PRLEC) in Sitio Kibulag, Barangay Lantud, Talakag, Bukidnon on June 30, 2020.
PRLEC is a cluster formed under the government’s Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (TF-ELCAC) in order to achieve the whole-of-nation approach to end insurgency, which is stipulated in Executive Order No. 70 of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Aside from receiving the farm equipment, the beneficiaries also underwent an entrepreneurship seminar.
Another batch of beneficiaries are scheduled to undergo an entrepreneurial mind-setting and organic farming seminar to be conducted by DTI provincial office in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-Bukidnon to increase their knowledge on new farming techniques and technologies.
The remaining beneficiaries will also be provided with livelihood starter kits after the series of seminars. (DTI 10/PIA Bukidnon)