May 23, 2024

BALBALAN, Kalinga – Farmers in this town are seen to become more competitive with the institutionalization by the local government unit of the Gawad Saka Award, a program of the Department of Agriculture.

Through the ordinance authored by sangguniang bayan members Cerilo Tega, Bernabe Basingan, Abraham Aromin, and Rex Dulansi, the program is assured of regular funding for its sustained implementation.

The Gawad Saka Award is an annual search that “aims to recognize the achievements of local farmers, fisherfolk, agricultural scientists, and researchers, as well as farm-based organizations.”

Under the program, local farmers are invited to register entries for exemplary performance in agricultural production in the use of their farmlands. 

The idea governing the competition lies on the optimized highest production performance of diversified agricultural products.

The most productive farmers with the highest cultivation in production of rice, vegetables, fruit trees, as well as poultry, domesticated animals, and fisheries will be declared winners.

Qualified entries are those whose farmlands (to include pastureland and kaingin cultivation) should not be greater than five hectares.

The limitation of the land area is specifically stated to accommodate those who have less than a hectare the chance to win.

Farmers should have been engaged in agricultural production for a minimum of five years and that their main source of livelihood is farming.

The evaluation of performance is taken as a whole from their diversified approach of production.

 The limit of entries is one per barangay, which means those who will compete in the Gawad Saka must pass the evaluation of performance by their respective barangay councils which should endorse them.

Prizes are agricultural tools and equipment like portable rice mills, grass cutters, insecticide sprayers, shovels, and freezers, of which cash equivalent should not be higher than P50,000 for the first prize.

Winners will be announced every year during the celebration of the town’s founding anniversary. – Peter A. Balocnit