The City Agriculture Office in partnership with the City Agriculture and Fishery Council (CAFC) held the 18th Congress on November 12 to 14, 2019 at Barangay San Jose Covered Court, Malaybalay City with the theme “The Role of Agripreneurs towards Agri Tourism Development.”

The annual event was aimed at giving honor and recognition to the efforts and valuable contributions of the farmers in the City.

The 3-day activity started with the 4H Achievement Day with the theme “Upbringing Innovation Development in Agriculture through 4H Clubs”. It was participated by 81 youths and volunteer leaders from various barangays of Malaybalay.

Young Farmer awardee Ralph Julius Y. Paje graced the activity, and in his speech, shared inspiring and motivational points on farming opportunities to the attendees.

City Councilor Niko P. Aldeguer also graced the event and encouraged the youth to go into farming and processing as the City Government of Malaybalay is supportive of such undertaking.

In the afternoon, simultaneous activities were held, namely, Search for Mr. and Ms. 4H, OPM singing and dish gardening contests.

On the second day, activity focused on Rural Improvement Club (RIC) Achievement Day with the theme “Empowering Rural Women in Sustainable Agriculture”. This was participated by 101 RIC members.

Imelda P. Mendoza, RIC provincial and regional federation president, graced the event as the guest speaker. City Vice Mayor Jay Warren R. Pabillaran and Councilor Christopher B. Soria were also present. Both officials urged the RIC members to develop and promote their products. Later that day, different contests were held and provided entertainment to everyone. Members and others took part in the dance, singing, video, and product display competitions.

“Tapok Mag-uuma 2019,” was successfully culminated on November 14, 2019, starting with a motorcade from the Capitol to the venue. The gathering marked 380 participants composed of barangay officials, prime players in crops, irrigation, fisheries, RIC, agripreneurs, and Aggie employees of the City. Also present were government agencies with involvement in the City’s agricultural programs, such as the Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Training Institute (ATI), National Food Authority (NFA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

During the program, Mayor Florencio T. Flores, Jr. commended the organizers for making the activity happen, and he stressed his gratitude to the farmers for their dedication and commitment to tilling the land. Mayor Flores also pledged to support all agricultural programs to attain increase in productivity.

On the other hand, Vice Mayor Pabillaran also imparted his message for the continuous support in making policies and resolutions to push through different programs implementation for agricultural development.

Mr. Decius L. Esmedalla, Supervising Tourism Operations Officer represented Dir. Elaine Marie S. Unchuan, Regional Director of Department of Tourism Region X as resource speaker. He urged and inspired farmers to connect their farms to tourism. Esmedalla further emphasized the essence of farm tourist destinations through enhance farm to market roads (FMR) and suggested to link with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to access funds for FMR rehabilitation and construction projects implementation. He also encouraged exercising farm to table practices so that the farmers have the opportunity to market their products through helping them improve their income.

Manuel Sicalan III, representing Congressman Jonathan Keith T. Flores, Jr., also gave updates on farm to market roads for the 2nd District of Bukidnon particularly Malaybalay City.

Councilor Boni Valiente stressed the important role of agri-tourism to the economic growth of the City. For her part, Engr. Delaiza T. Camaro extended congratulations to the City for garnering this year’s Corn Quality Awards.

Also conducted was the oath taking of newly- elected officers of the City Agriculture and Fishery Council (CAFC), and awarding of agripreneurs.

Various farm inputs like 100 bags rice seeds, 100 bags corn seeds, 46 crates and 1,000 packs vegetable seeds were drawn and given to farmers. Farm equipment and tools such as knapsack sprayers, plastic drums, crates, and fermentation boxes were also turned over to 39 vegetable growers associations, organic agriculture practitioners and learning sites.

Written by: Gecel A. Quinquiño

With report: Juvee Lyne P. Timay