MS: A catalyst or catastrophe? 1st Wide-Island MS Congress

img_7869_400          The Samahan ng Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) ng Techno Gabay Program of Region III in collaboration with Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), organized and hosted the 1st Luzon-wide MS Congress at Travelers Hotel and Event Center, Subic, Zambales on June 17-19.

        The MS is an outstanding farmer who is successful in his/her use of science and technology-based and indigenous technologies. In other words, he/she serves as a farmer model/consultant to his fellow farmers in undertaking agricultural concerns.

         With the theme “The MS: A catalyst towards sustainable agricultural development through science and technology-based farming,” this congress was participated in by various MSs , FITS center staff, local government unit officials, and guests from various consortia, SUCs, and other government agencies from regions 1, 2, 3, 4A, 4B, 5, and CAR. This activity was conducted not only to highlight the success of various MSs in the development of their own farms but also to promote their good agricultural practices and farming technologies in various commodities.

           Dr. Asterio P. Saliot, executive director of ATI, served as the keynote speaker of the said event. In his message, he recognized the significance of the said gathering in keeping pace with the advance technologies straight from MS and generate new ideas in addressing various concerns in agriculture sector. He further said that through this empowering efforts the MSs in Luzon will be encouraged to intensify their commitment in advancing agricultural and economic development in the country especially in the hinterlands.

         Dr. Arturo S. Argañosa, a retired official of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) where Techno Gabay Program (TGP) was conceptualized and implemented, and the so called “father of the TGP” also graced the occasion. He presented, during the opening program, the milestone of MS as an organization and overview of the turnover of TGP to ATI.

        This congress ushered farmers into a more confident and assertive players in agricultural development of Luzon, and the country in general, through collaboration, partnership/linkages and exposure.

         Furthermore, various MSs from the said participating regions presented their farming technologies in their respective commodities during the lecture-demo. Among other presenters were from Region 1 like MS Edita Dacuycuy of FITS OPAG-Ilocos Norte and MS Anselmo Dionio of FITS Laoac with their topics on dragon fruit production and fruit wine processing. Among other topics presented by various MSs are the following: Changing the Farm Landscape (MS Ronald Costales); Aerobic Rice Technology (MS Nemesio J. Concepcion); Cutflower/Chrysanthemum Production (MS Andy Colte); Organic Rice Production (MS Maura Ilagan); Pili Production/Processing (MS Jose Navarro); Arabica Coffee (MS Osenio Lay-os); Integrated Farming (MS Renato Belen); Choco Mango/Vinegar Mango Processing (MS Ma. Lourdes Francia); Bamboo Production and Processing (MS Roderico Unas); Biopesticides (MS Dewey Albufera); Cashew Nuts Processing (MS Prudencio Caabay); and Malapapaya Production (MS Edilberto Marino).