Palo Leyte – The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office No.8 (DA-RFO 8) through its High Value Crop Development Program (HVCDP) conducted an Organizational Strengthening Training to Women Farmers’ Association in Palo, Leyte on July 2-3, 2014 at the Palo Municipal Hall.

The two-day training was participated in by 27 farmers from five Women Farmers Associations in Palo, Leyte which are Cahindoc Farmers Association, Gacao Women Farmers Association, Castilla Integrated Small Farmers Association, Kalamragan Integrated Farmers Association and Anahaway Kasaganaan Fisco.

The said activity aimed to empower women farmers by training them on crop production and making their organization active in agriculture-related activities. The training also tackled topics about strategies in having high production and what high value crops to be planted, technologies used for easier farming, values formation, organizational leadership and management, organizational meeting, and rights, duties, power and responsibilities of officers and members of the organization.

The speakers include the following: Tacloban City Agriculture Office’s Institutional Development Section (IDS) in-charge Ms Jet Polidario, DA-RFO 8’s HVCDP Focal Person for Nutrition Ms Nemie B. Abalos and DA-RFO 8’s HVCDP staff Ms Jesila A. Lobos.

Meanwhile, Mr. Larry U. Sultan, DA-RFO 8’s Regional HVCDP Coordinator, gave an inspirational message to the farmers. “We want to help the farmers to have stronger, more active and more cooperative organizations,” Mr. Sultan said.

Mr. Sultan also shared secrets on how to gain money in agriculture. He told the farmers that investing time and other resources in agriculture guarantees success because of the fact that the Philippines is basically an agricultural country. “I suggest you plant black pepper because it has very high demand, easy to plant, yields more, and commands high price,” Mr. Sultan added.

He also emphasized that the activity was one way of educating the farmers. “If you have no knowledge on things, you have no good future. But if you will be given good information, you are starting to be empowered. If you wisely manage that information, it will become money in the future,” Mr. Sultan finally said. (NIZA APRIL M. PORTEZA, Intern, FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO, Chief, RAFID)