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Laoag symposium inspires farmers to become ‘agripreneurs’

Photo courtesy of PNA

LAOAG CITY, Aug. 3 — Stakeholders from the agriculture and fisheries sector gathered here for a two-day symposium that hopes to bring positive changes in the lives of farmers.

Hosted by the state-run Mariano Marcos State University and held at the Teatro Ilocandia on August 2-3, the fourth Region 1 Agriculture and Fisheries Extension Network (RAFEN) aims to harmonize and complement all activities in extension services and discourage duplication of projects by the different government agencies and institutions.

Adopting at least one village considered as the poorest of the poor in every province in Region 1, Dr. Rogelio C. Evangelista, Center Director of the Agriculture Training Institute-Regional Training Center 1, said all the support services, training and livelihood needed in the said community shall be provided to the farmers, promoting best innovative extension practices on agriculture and fisheries.

With this year’s theme: “Norturing future agripreneurs,” the symposium highlights the best extension practices; provides an avenue for the promotion of extension services and programs from the different extension service providers (ESPs); and develops stronger camaraderie and collaboration among extension service providers and stakeholders in Region 1.

“Kailangan natin na pag-isahin at i-complement ang isa’t-isa para siguraduhin na ang resources ng gobierno ay magagamit sa talagang nangangailangan at hindi sila mahihilo at makikita natin na mayroon tayong iisang direction na patutungohan,” Evangelista said.

According to Evangelista, a pioneering program of RAFEN 1 dubbed as, “Timpuyog idiay away, dur-as ti inna iburay, (Unity brings progress in local communities) continues to produce positive results as they hope to sustain more activities such as this to inspire more end-users or beneficiaries to become resilient and sustainable in the future.

Another highlight of the symposium is a display of quality products from public and private partners in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan attended by Governor Ma. Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos.

In her speech, Marcos recognized the hardworking farmers of Region 1 who need most help and attention at this time of climate change.

With the convergence initiative, Marcos urged all sectors to come up with more innovations to develop more farmer-entrepreneurs or “agripreneurs” engaged in the production, processing and marketing of their own products and services.

Senator Cynthia Villar, in her capacity as chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture, was expected to grace the event but she cancelled due to bad weather.(Leilanie G. Adriano/PNA)

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