FORTY-FIVE persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Negros Occidental have availed of the free training on mushroom production and value adding by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas.
The "Agri-Forum and Technology Demonstration on Oyster Mushroom Production and Value-Added Products" held at the Nature's Village Resort in Talisay City on Thursday was part of the agency's celebration of the 41st National Disability Prevention Rehabilitation Week.
The participating PWDs are from cities of Kabankalan and Cadiz, and town of E.B. Magalona.
Jenito Balairos, agricultural provincial coordinating officer for Negros Occidental, said the DA is committed in providing suitable services and interventions to all sectors and stakeholders including PWDs.
"With the booming mushroom industry, the participants will have an easy access to additional training, market linkages and availability of materials needed for mushroom production," he added.
DA-Western Visayas Elderly and PWD Program Alternate Focal Person Jenny Babe Gigato, who was also at the training, encouraged all participants to actively participate in the activity.
Gigato said that the regional line agency, through the Local Operations Management Section, conducts trainings intended for PWDs and senior citizens every year.
Eden Panisales, one of the speakers, discussed the technologies and opportunities in mushroom production.
Panisales presented successful mushroom growers in Western Visayas. He also demonstrated two products from oyster mushrooms such as crispy mushroom and ice cream.
Growing mushroom is easy and very applicable to PWDs because it requires less movement and space, he added.
Joel dela Peña, a PWD from Cadiz City, challenged other participants to replicate the technologies presented at the training.
"The government cannot accommodate all of us to work in their offices, therefore, we have to make ways in order to provide for ourselves," he said, adding that "this is one way to support our needs."
Meanwhile, each participant received three mushroom fruiting bags and information materials on mushroom production.