57 Barili farmers complete training program

WOMEN composed majority of the graduates in the recently concluded Farmer Scientists Training Program in Barili town.

Noticing a decline in the number of male farmers, Barili Mayor Marlon Garcia said he will encourage his male constituents working as construction workers in Metro Cebu to go back to farming.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Hilario Davide III is one of the guests at the graduation of the Farmer Scientist Training Program (FSTP) in Barili, where 42 out of 57 graduates are women.

During the three-month training period, the farmers were taught how to prepare their land for farming.

They were also taught integrated nutrient management, the agronomic characteristics of corn, corn seed selection, integrated pest management, pollination control, post-harvest technology and farm record keeping.

One of the graduates from Barangay Balao, 60-year-old Efrena Carazo, said she can still control a carabao to plow the field. But when the animal moves rather fast, “hangoson ko,” she said.

Serafina Quezon, 53, still opts to plant corn even if her husband already has a job at the Municipal Hall.

With the new technology introduced by Capitol through its consultant Dr. Romulo Davide, corn production increased in towns where the technology is already being used.

Garcia said that from 900 kilos per hectare, production in Barili is now at three tons per hectare.

The mayor said, though, that some of the male farmers prefer to work in construction sites in the city as it pays more than what they get from selling their harvest.

“I think it’s not only in Barili where the farmers now are mostly women, it’s no longer their husbands who work in the fields,” says Garcia, whose town hosts the biggest livestock market in Cebu.

He said that farmers usually have to wait three to four months for the corn to grow and bear fruits before they can harvest.

“While waiting until they can harvest, the husbands work as construction workers and just go home to their farms on weekends,” he said.

But with the success of the new farming technology, Garcia said it will be easier for them to convince the men to return to farming.
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