Sen. Cynthia Villar welcomed 30 farmers at the newly-inaugurated Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance (Villar SIPAG) Farm School in San Miguel, Iloilo.
The farmers who came from Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, and Negros province were participants to the training program on Production of High-Quality Inbred Rice and Seeds and Farm Mechanization sponsored by Villar SIPAG and the Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training VI.
“Sigurado kami na malaki ang maitutulong ng inyong mga matututunan sa training na ito sa pag-improve ng production sa inyong mga rice farms at maituturo rin ninyo sa inyong mga respective communities, cooperatives, farm schools at iba pa. That is our goal, why we prioritize trainers like yourselves, so you can pass on your learnings,” Villar said in her remarks.
The farm school in Iloilo is the first school established by Villar SIPAG outside of Luzon. Villar said a rice school in Iloilo, which is among the Top 5 rice producing provinces in the country will help capacitate more farmer-trainers who will then teach farmers how to increase their yield and incomes through modern farming techniques.
The two-week training program is held also in partnership with the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PHILRICE), the Philippine Center for Post-Harvest Development and Mechanization (PHILMECH), and the Technical Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Farmer-trainers will be trained how to operate and maintain farm equipment and machineries which will help bring down the cost of production. They will also learn from the experts in producing high-quality inbred seeds which will increase their yield by 50 percent.
“Inspired by the success of our training initiatives in our farm schools in Las Pinas and in Bulacan, we are now building more farm schools in the Visayas and Mindanao to replicate this feat and to bring these free training programs closer to the communities,” Villar said.
Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture & Food, also stressed the need to “invest in our people through free and extensive training programs,” which is mandated under Republic Act 11203 or the law creating the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund. (senate.gov.ph)