A whole day event “Corn Harvest Festival” was celebrated by Glamang Communal Irrigators Association (GCIA) on July 23, 2015 in partnership with FREEDOM and DAR in Polomolok, South Cotabato.

The program was held in honor of the completion of the Farmer Field School (FFS) conducted by FREEDOM in Brgy. Glamang, Polomolok, as part of the Department of Agrarian Reform’s Agricultural Extension Services under its Community, Connectivity, and Economic Support Services Program (DAR-AES ARCCESS) Program. Among those who attended include FREEDOM’s Team, DAR SoCot Representatives, ISEDI’s PPM staff, various corn seed companies’ technical experts (EVO GENE Seeds Corp, Alliance Hybrid Seed Genetics Inc., SYNGENTA Phils Inc., Bioseeds), and GCIA’s farmer-participants and technicians including the Board of Directors and their members.

FREEDOM’s Senior Agriculturist/Team Leader Reynaldo H. Legaste spearheaded the AES Trainings and FFS on corn. The event consisted of discussions on the ARCCESS Program’s rationale as well as the actual testimonies, learnings, and insights of the participants on the FFS. One of the participants shared her testimony, specifically on the pest management and identification portion of the AES’ FFS, and quoted, “I have come to realize the importance of deeper learning even in pest identification and control especially when it has something to do with what you do to sustain you and your family.” (Translated to English)

The overall goal of the AES ARCCESS Program is to increase and strengthen farmers’ yield and productivity, income, social well-being, and organization. FREEDOM as professional service provider for the program was able to deliver the services with utmost competence as testified by GCIA’s BOD and farmer-technicians/participants.

A total of two (2) tractors were also delivered to GCIA for their agri-business and CSF operations. GCIA expressed their gratitude to DAR for their delivery and to FREEDOM for its exceptional role in the training of handling the CSFEs as well as other related concerns for the development of their ARBO.

FREEDOM’s Executive Director Antonio S. Peralta also expressed his gratitude for the participation of the farmers in this project’s undertaking as well as their willingness to be trained under FREEDOM’s leadership. The concerns on AFTA, Climate Change, and Farmer DRRM were also brought up by Mr. Peralta in his thanksgiving speech and were taken by the joint assembly in greatest consideration.

By the end of the day, the participants were thankful for everyone’s joint effort in making this project a success. Negotiations are still ongoing between FREEDOM and DAR throughout this project.

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