P24M training center for farmers to rise-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – A P25-million worth three-storey Farmer’s Training Center will soon rise here to cater to trainings of local and national irrigators associations.
Antonio Nangel, of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) administrator, led the burying of the time capsule bearing the plans for the facility aimed at updating farmers of the latest technologies and good agricultural practices for the improvement of the country’s agricultural production.
The three-storey building will be built in a 984-square-meter lot inside the NIA-Cordillera compound. The facility is a first-class training center, which includes a conference hall with 150-person seating capacity, a canteen and lodging rooms for stay-in trainees, farmers and irrigators associations.
Nangel said irrigators associations are their partners in ensuring farm lands have ample water supply even during the summer months.
Nangel together with Governor Nestor Fongwan, Department of Agriculture Regional Technical Director Danilo Daguio, NIA-CAR manager John Socalo and officers of the Benguet Farmers Federation of Irrigators Association led by its Chairman Domingo Awas and members who joined the groundbreaking ceremonies of the training center that is projected to be completed this year.
The activity kicked-off the two-day General Assembly Meeting and Convention from January 9 to 10 of the Benguet Farmers’ Federation of Irrigators’ Association (BFFIA) at the NIA regional office grounds.
This year’s convention revolves around the theme “Ti napigsa nga Irrigators’ Association ket naaywan ti padanum, naurnos ken nalawag nga libro para iti panagkikinaawatan ti miembro.”
Activities lined up for the convention include Bureau of Internal Revenue updates on tax exemption for irrigators associations as well as discussions from the Securities and Exchange Commission that will give updates on annual reports submission and fines and penalties, ratification of bylaws and election of new set of officers.
Governor Nestor Fongwan said they are grateful for the various projects initiated by the agriculture department particularly NIA that has been expanding coverage areas for irrigation in the province this year.
Benguet Farmers’ Federation of Irrigators’ Association vice-chairman Lorenzo Balag-ey said the association was conceived and organized on March 24, 1988 having an initial membership of 45 irrigators associations.
At present, the BFFIA has more than 120 associations.
Nangel said the Aquino administration has rolled out billions of pesos in budget for the expansion and rehabilitation of irrigation coverage areas not only in the Cordilleras but in all provinces in the country.
He added the renewed focus on irrigation is important in reaching the Agriculture Department’s goal for 100 percent Food Staple Sufficiency this year.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 10, 2013.