Farmers in the mountain barangays of Cebu City who excelled in their craft were awarded by the city agriculture department at the Crown Regency in Barangay Guadalupe last Tuesday.
This is the sixth annual search for the Ten Outstanding Farmers in Cebu City where the awardees were chosen based on eight categories.
The outstanding farmers were Robin Borres (north district) and Catalino Panaginip (south district) as outstanding vegetable growers, Rolando Bontilao as outstanding corn grower, Wilfredo Labay as outstanding mango grower, Jupiter Ibonalo as outstanding livestock grower, Aracele Cadudut (north district) and Alma Gacayan (south district) as outstanding cutflower growers, Josefa Saga as outstanding rice grower, Reynante Baculta as outstanding agri-entrepreneur, and Marifi Englatera as outstanding ornamental grower.
Each of the awardees received a plaque and P10,000 cash from the city government.
City Agriculture Department head Apple Tribunalo said the search encourages other farmers in the city to strive hard to improve their livelihood.
Tribunalo said farmers should not just look into the quality of the products, but they should also know how to market their products. “They really have to treat farming as an enterprise. It’s not only more on production but on the marketing aspect. The agri-entrepreneurial aspect sa farmer makalambo sa ilang pag-uma,” she said.
The nominations were conducted at the barangay level. A nominee must be a resident of Cebu City and has a minimum farm area of 2,500 square meters.
Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said the city is planning to support the agricultural industry in the city for export in the Korean market.
The city will support the local farmers in growing fruit bearing trees such as apples, lychees and pears.
“We are going to be experimenting and growing fruits and vegetables for the Korean market. And we have some of the best technologies for that. We just want to know their demands for fruits and vegetables, which we will plant in our mountain barangays,” he said.
“Of course 99 percent will die, I’m just looking for the one percent that will survive. Like sa ilang gibuhat sa Thailand kung aslom ang fruit tree ilang putlon, kung naay tam-is they will multiply that 10,000 times. We will do that here,” the mayor said.
While agriculture has been contributing to the city’s economy, the mayor said institutionalizing the program would at the same time, give more income to the farmers.
“We have bigger challenges ahead sa atong mga mag-uuma. We have many big challenges and we are going to implement many programs that have never been done before,” he said.