Quezon Governor David “Jayjay” C. Suarez along with 3rd District Board Member Victor Reyes, Provincial Agriculturist Roberto Gajo and the residents of the town of Sariaya, led by Loreto Basit (third from left), who received recognition as Outstanding Small Animal Raiser in the province, one of the seven awards received by Quezon in the Regional Gawad Saka 2011-2012. (Quezon PIO)
As a part of the first-ever Niyogyugan Festival, the Araw ng Pamilyang Magsasaka was celebrated by the province of Quezon last August 15 by fun and games at the Quezon Convention Center, Lucena City.
Farmers and fisher folk, along with their families, joined the creative contests which were mostly agriculture/aquaculture themed:“Tapas Mo,Kayod Ko”, Crab Racing, RIC Duet Singing Contest, and the “Pinaka”Contest.
According to Quezon Governor David “Jayjay” C. Suarez, the celebration of the first Niyogyugan Festival is an important historical and memorable event. The festivity not only gathered people together for fun, but it also showcased the rich art, culture, history, and natural resources to be found in the different municipalities that make up the beautiful province of Quezon.
He also added that farmers and fisher folk should be honored and appreciated, not only because 70% of the province’s population make a living this way, but since without them, there will be no source of food for anyone.
On the other hand, a Farmers Enhancement Productivity Program is set to be put into motion by the Provincial Government in order focus on the livelihood of farmers and fishermen. As observed by Gov. Suarez, though the level of production in the province is increasing, the social and economic situation of farmers and fishermen remain the same. The Provincial Government aims to focus on helping them improve their income, thus elevating the living standards of our everyday heroes through the program.
On average, farmers in Quezon are mostly around the age of 58 years old. Because of this, it was decided that – for the following year – the Serbisyong Suarez Scholarship Program would make the children of these farmers priority, and urge them towards taking a course centering on agriculture.
Seven farmers and fisher folk were also given distinction during the event. For the GawadSaka Award, the following were awarded and recognized:Levy Battaller, Outstanding Fisherfolk fromthe town of Mauban;Sherwin E. Calvendra, Outstanding Young Farmer from Tayabas City;NemesioRagudo, Outstanding High Value Crops Farmer from Tayabas City; Gregorio Bautista, Outstanding Corn Farmer also from Tayabas City;Latangan Rural Improvement Club, Outstanding RIC from the town of Mulanay;Agdangan MAFC, Outstanding Agriculture and Fishery Council from the town Agdangan; andLoreto Basit, Outstanding Small Animal Raiser who came from the town of Sariaya.
The guest speakers from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Region IV-A in the person of Assistant Reg. Director Leah Villanueva, and Department of Agriculture Region IV-A represented by OIC, Administrative Division Ms. Diana Cabanding expressed their joy at the activeness of Quezon when it comes to farming and fishing. They also commended the province’s smart move to combine agriculture and tourism, because of its positive effect in improving the economy.
Provincial Agriculturist Roberto Gajo thanked those who actively participated in the activities during the Arawng Pamilyang Magsasaka. He said that it is proof that the farmers and fisher folk in the province are truly experiencing and benefiting from the Provincial Government’s Serbisyong Suarez in the field of Agriculture.
The town of Agdangan placed first in the crab racing, followed by Infanta and Calaug at second and third. First prize received 5,000 pesos, second place received 3,000 pesos, and third place received 2,000 pesos.
For the “Pinaka” Contest, Gumaca, Quezon won the distinction of having their produce named “Pinaka-kaiba”. The town of Calauag won also gained distinction from their seaweed products at saba variety of bananas; Atimonan for their jackfruit; Mauban for their squash, milkfish, and bananas; Dolores for their tilapia; Tiaong for their eggplant; Sampaloc for their pineapple; Unisan for their bitter gourd; and Pollilo for their coconut.
For the “Tapas Mo, Kayod Ko,” 17 municipalities participated in the lively game. (QUEZON PIO)