Tagum’s farmers empowerment beneficiary wins national plum

The City Government of Tagum is now reaping its reward after years of extending its services and programs to its constituents in the agrarian communities and supporting the rice farmers in all means possible, City Agriculturist Harold S. Dawa said.

Engr. Dawa, who heads the City Agriculture Office, is among the delegation who represented the city government, including Mayor Allan Rellon and Councilor Ronald Eliot, in the recently concluded National Rice Achievers Awards held in Pasay City, Manila, where a Tagum-based farmers-irrigators group won a national accolade and a million-peso cash prize.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) declared Pagsabangan Tagum Farmers Irrigators Association (PATAFIA), Inc. as one of the Philippines’ Most Outstanding Irrigators Associations for 2016, having adjudged its innovative style of management and the function it played in supporting the achievement of rice sufficiency in the country.

Besting some 5,200 irrigators association, PATAFIA received a plaque of recognition and a check amounting to Php 1 Million.

The city government prides itself over the fact that PATAFIA is a beneficiary of its Tagumpay Agrivolving Fund under the Farmers Empowerment And Sustainable Agriculture Program (FESAP), which helped the group recovered strong in 2013 after being devastated by Typhoon Bopha or “Bagyong Pablo”.

The program also enabled the association to establish an in-house credit system in which the farmer-members may avail of, with low interest rates, that precluded them from going to outside lenders or worst loan sharks in seeking financial assistance, thereby allowing them to fully enjoy their harvests and later on become self-dependent and empowered.

Through the EAGLE WINGS Development Agenda, the Rellon Administration stands confident in the discharge of its programs anchored on providing every farmer in the city equal opportunities with other lines of work as a way of recognizing their significant contribution to the continued rise of Tagum City especially with their role in the attainment of food security.

The National Rice Achievers Awards, meanwhile, is conducted annually by DA under its National Rice Program to recognize local government units, irrigators associations, and local farm technicians, among others, in their significant contribution to the Philippine rice industry, particularly in self-sufficiency. Roy Banias/CIO Tagum

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