In recognition of the major role of farmers in La Trinidad, Benguet, the municipal council passed the Farmers’ Month Ordinance to be observed every month of May.
The ordinance will cover all farmers who grow crops including fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals and those raising livestock, fish, mushrooms and those into beekeeping.
“The livelihood of majority of the municipality’s populace is farming. Farmers abound in the valley part of the town but more so in the surrounding mountain barangays,” the ordinance stated.
The ordinance noted that agriculture contributes to a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product and generates about 40 percent of the country’s export revenues.
The ordinance localizes Presidential Proclamation 393, s. 1989 declaring May as Farmers’ and Fisherfolks’ Month.
For its implementation, a steering committee shall be created with the municipal mayor as chairperson, the municipal agriculturist as vice chairperson, with members from the chair of the Municipal Agriculture and Fisheries Council, and the chair of the committee on agriculture.
Members of the committee shall include representatives from strawberry growers and processors organizations or cooperatives, vegetable farmers’ organization or cooperatives, cutflower and ornamental farmers organization or cooperatives, livestock raisers and fisherfolk organization or cooperatives, rice, mushroom and apiculture organizations or cooperatives, coffee and cacao growers organizations or cooperatives, and fruit farmers organizations or cooperatives.
The committee will convene as early as January to prepare and conduct activities in observance of Farmers’ Month.
The activities include farmers forum where stakeholders will have an avenue to present and ventilate issues affecting the overall landscape of agriculture in the locality directly to concerned government agencies.
The forum aims to provide solutions or assistance directly to farmers with the help of concerned national agencies, private institutions, and non-government organizations.
Agri-tech expos where agricultural tools, research, equipment farm inputs and other farmer friendly technologies will be displayed where technicians are available to present the features of the new products that are to be publicly marketed or sold at the booths where these products will be displayed and sold at factory promotional prizes.
For its implementation, a budget of P500,000 shall be included in the annual appropriations under the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist. – Ofelia C. Empian