March 2, 2024

A total of 150 farmers graduated from the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera’s School-on-Air (SOA) program on agroforestry.
The farmer-graduates composed of 51 females and 99 males came from Conner, Apayao (15); and Tabuk City, (27); Balbalan (21); Pinukpuk (26); Lubuagan (15); Pasil (21), and Tanudan (25), all in Kalinga.
The farmers were taught on agroforestry-related topics such as new technologies and recent farming trends to enhance and maximize agricultural land use in the province while promoting environmental conservation and sustainability.
With the terrain and fragile nature of most areas in the region, agroforestry is seen as the best farming option.
“We can now give back and help our community by sharing our knowledge gained from the SOA. Let us help other farmers so that we can become competitive and productive,” said SOA graduate Crispin Gayagay from Tabuk City.
Provincial Agriculturist Domingo Bakilan also challenged the graduates to increase their coffee production by applying the skills and knowledge they gained from the program, particularly on rejuvenation of coffee trees.
Coffee rejuvenation is among the universally-known best practices in terms of coffee production enhancement which involves the cutting of vertical branches and stems of old trees to stimulate the sprouting of new branches.
“Hopefully, you will nurture and take care of your coffee trees to improve our production here in Kalinga. Ever since, coffee is the ‘talk of the town’ because of its potential but the challenge is limited production,” Bakilan said.
The SOA program is implemented in partnership with the provincial government of Kalinga and Kalinga State University, which provided technical assistance and subject matter specialists during the broadcast program. The SOA on Agroforestry was aired via DZRK-Radyo Pilipinas from September to December 2019. – Janice B. Agrifino