TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines-“Farmers and fisherfolk will feed the Philippine society now and in the future,” Department of Agriculture’s  Undersecretary for Field Operations Honorable Joel S. Rudinas exclaimed during the opening of the Agri-Aqua Fair and Exhibit  at the DA-8 Multipurpose Hall, Tacloban City in line with the Regional Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month Celebration recently.

USec. Rudinas also said that the department aims to tell the world that Filipino farmers and fisherfolk can now compete with other countries, hence the theme of this year’s celebration, “Magsasaka’t Mangingisdang Pilipino, Kaya nang Makipagsabayan sa Mundo”.

“We believe that our farmers and fisherfolk have pushed agricultural productivity forward,” USec. Rudinas further stated. He then encouraged everyone to appreciate the efforts and hardwork of farmers and fisherfolk as they transform the gifts of God into something that makes people alive.

For his part, DA-8’s Regional Executive Director Antonio G. Gerundio underscored the purpose of the three-day activity. “We want to recognize the contribution of our farmers and fisherfolk in economic development, especially on food security,” he mused.

Atty. Irene Chiu who represented Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, extended her congratulations to the department. “We recognize the importance of the farmers’ and fisherfolk’s role in the society,” she said.

After the opening of the agri-aqua fair and exhibit, the DA-8 murals, aptly entitled, “Hulagway han Agrikultura ha Rehiyon” was unveiled during the event. An exhibit of farm machinery, simultaneous with the food processing and bangus deboning demonstrations were also conducted.

The Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation-8 through Regional Manager Dominico S. Digamon also distributed indemnity checks to its farmer-clientele.

The opening program was also graced by Dr. Caesar Tado of the Philippine Rice Research Institute, President Honesto Baniqued of the National Agribusiness Corporation and Mr. Renato B. Remanes of the Agribusiness & Marketing Information Division of AMAS.

The exhibitors of the three-day agri-aqua fair and exhibit include all DA attached bureaus and agencies, the Department of Agrarian Reform-8, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-8, the Visayas State University, the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization, provincial and city agriculture offices from Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Ormoc and Tacloban.

From the private sector, Aims Agri Ventures Inc., Super Trade Machineries Global Inc., Suki Trading Corporation and RFO Metal Craft and Machineries joined in the activity. Through DA-8’s Gender and Development Program, some rural women associations in the region likewise participated in the event. (Ruby Q. Calesterio)

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