MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon, April 24, 2020 – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 10 through DOST Bukidnon bought assorted vegetables from the local IP farmers of Brgy. Imbayao, mostly beneficiaries of the PCAARRD project, Science for the Convergence and Agriculture and Tourism (SciCAT) at Mt. Kitanglad Agri Tourism Farm (MKATF). Total harvest for the season amounting to P100 Thousand was bought at DA-set price to the great appreciation of the farmers.
Harvests of the Barangay farmers such as squash, chayote, sweet pepper, cabbage, and potatoes were bought by DOST X as an initiative pursuant to RA 11469 or Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. The vegetables were turnover to the City Mayor and immediately brought to the Malaybalay City Agriculture Office for packing and distribution to front liners in quarantine checkpoints, health workers, waste management workers, and the most in need in this time of crisis.
“We should add vegetables to provide healthier food options to the people as well as help our farmers through buying their produce at a fair price within the price freeze ceiling, providing convenience and higher profitability to the farmers,” Engr. Naomie Delos Reyes of Malaybalay City Agriculture Office said. It’s a double edge sword or hitting two birds with one stone; giving higher income opportunity to farmers while giving healthy food to the people.
Despite the situation, the owner of the MKATF, Magsasaka Siyentista Benjamin Maputi Sr. expressed his positivity that there will be sufficient food for Bukidnon if the farmers will continue working. He added that this is also high time to learn backyard gardening for food security.
“Bisan magtanom lang gud ug pechay, hulatan rana nimo ug pila ka semana unya ma harvest na,” (“Planting pechay will only take a few weeks for you to harvest.”) Maputi said.
Brgy. Captain Jean T. Maputi, said that Barangay Imbayao farmers still regularly deliver vegetables to different markets within and outside Bukidnon. She added that they are not experiencing too much difficulty in transporting and selling their crops as long as they have permits to pass and they abide with the prices prescribed by the Department of Agriculture.
“We receive food packs and services from the Government. So, we also share our vegetables,” She said while mentioning the free vegetables their Barangay also gives to the LGU.
“In addition to our prayers, DOST fights COVID 19 through Science and Technology and supports our front liners through our attempts in helping them to stay healthy as they fight this disease. These are not limited to our health workers, but includes our garbage collectors, security guards, and other workforces who continue their day to day heroism during this calamity,” Virgilio Fuertes, Provincial Science & Technology Director of DOST Bukidnon, said. (Rashia Mae Paano, DOST-X)
PHOTO: SciCAT_Image1: DOST X, thru PSTD Virgilio M. Fuertes (center) turning-over the vegetables to the City Agriculture Office lead by Engr. Naomie H. Delos Reyes (right) on April 23, 2020.