July 18, 2024

■  Photos: Neil Clark Ongchangco & Art Tibaldo

The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera has culminated the 2024 Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month on May 30 at the Melvin Jones football grounds with various agricultural and fisheries services.

With the theme, “Preserving Heritage, Capturing Values,” the event highlighted the region’s rich agricultural heritage and acknowledges the efforts of farmers and fisherfolk as the contributors to economic growth. 

The event also emphasized the value of community support in helping local farmers as well as the possibility of farming as a curriculum for students.

It also aims to enhance the marketability of farm produce and underscore the potential for innovation, market expansion and sustainable practices in the agricultural sector particularly in improving the marketability of Cordillera produce.

DA Usec. for Rice Industry Development Engr. Christopher Morales commended the farmers and fisherfolk of the Cordillera who continuously till the lands in keeping green production at its best and navigates the waters to sustain our communities. 

He also praised the region’s heirloom rice and Arabica coffee for their superior quality and nutritional content.

The highlight of the celebration was the cooking of the Paella à la Cordillera, a dish made with ingredients from the Cordillera such as the heirloom rice (chong-ak of Pasil, Kalinga); highland vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, beans, and mushrooms; kini-ing (smoked meat); pinuneg (blood sausage); and longganisa.

The goal of preparing the dish was to create a farm-to- table experience that will directly connect restaurants owners, chefs, and patrons with farmers who grow our food while also promoting indigenous products.

The dish was prepared by close to 30 national and international chefs together with the students of the University of Baguio School of International Hotel and Tourism Management specializing in culinary arts. 

The celebration was graced by DA-CAR RED Jennilyn Dawayan, Usec. Morales, Asec. for Logistics Daniel Atayde, Kalinga Gov. James Edduba, and World Food Expo president Joel Pascual.

The event is supported by various agencies with assistance from the city government of Baguio and other offices. – Leny D. Mendoza