CPAR farmers’ field days showcase corn production technologies in Region 2

3Farmers, researchers, project implementers, national and local government units, and other stakeholders gathered for the farmers’ field days in the provinces of Quirino and Cagayan, Cagayan Valley. The two-day event carried the theme, “Negosyo sa Sakahan at Pangisdaan, Laban sa Kahirapan” that aimed to share farming knowledge and experience, highlight on-farm demonstrations and technologies, while building strong farming communities through Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR).

Two projects titled “Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) on Sustainable Corn Production in Sloping Areas (SCOPSA) in Corn-based Hilly Areas in Maddela, Qurino” and “Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) on Corn-based Integrated Farming System in the Riverflood Plain in Alcala, Cagayan” carried out their farmers’ field day activities in each of the project sites.

With corn as Region 2’s primary commodity, the CPAR projects target to address common agro-climatic conditions in the province in relation to corn production. The region, with its hilly and river-flood prone areas, deals with adverse circumstances affecting farm productivity. The interventions identified by the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) 2 through CPAR include suitable land use management approaches, water conservation practices, and soil health preservation measures. In both projects, the farmer-cooperators showed positive returns from production to income.

Elvira Verzola, one of the farmer cooperators from Alcala, Cagayan, presented the results of her involvement in the CPAR project from input cost, labor cost to income generated. She provided actual results which summed up to a 47.97 percent return of investment (ROI) from 23.42 percent prior to CPAR intervention.

But more than the earnings, the CPAR farmer-cooperators learned the value of protecting the natural resources available to them. Through the SCOPSA program of DA, they were able to integrate through participatory research certain practices on conservation that, according to DA-RFO 2 Research Manager Lovelyn Gaspar, are beneficial to the corn areas in the region. “The CPAR projects we conducted in these areas served as our means in contributing to a climate resilient agriculture, where the farmers were taught to take good advantage of the available resources, without compromising them,” she said.

Ms. Salvacion Ritual, chief of the Program Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) of BAR, attended the field days. In her message, she emphasized the formula of success of CPAR saying that “CPAR has consistently proven that getting the community involved in program design and implementation helps ensure that strategies are appropriate, acceptable and effective in the community.” During the farmers’ open forum, she addressed issues encountered during project implementation while emphasizing the BAR’s continuous support in the undertaking of CPAR in the region. She also thanked the participants from the LGUs in their active involvement in the project. ### (Daryl Lou A. Battad)