agriculture, farm, philippines
Photo: J.R. Bellemore/Pexels

On May 14 to 17, 2024, the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE) held a workshop to improve agricultural production and infrastructure in Camarines Norte. Key stakeholders gathered to develop the Agricultural and Fishery Mechanization Plan (AFMech) and the Farm-to-Market Road Network Plan (FMRNP) for 2023-2028, paving the way for a more efficient and sustainable agricultural industry in the province.

The workshop, organized by BAFE’s Programs and Projects Management Division (PPMD) in collaboration with the Special Engineering Programs and Project Division (SEPPD) and the Camarines Norte Provincial Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Office (PABEO), sought to address important issues and develop detailed plans to improve mechanization and infrastructure.

Agricultural advancement and sustainability in Camarines Norte

Engr. Ariodear C. Rico, underlining the relevance of Section 76 of RA 7160 (Local Government Code), championed for the establishment of Municipal Agricultural and Biosystems Engineer jobs within local government units (LGUs). “These positions are crucial for ensuring the effective implementation of our plans and the sustainability of agricultural advancements,” stated Dir. Rico. The workshop also provided updates on the funding status for these important positions, highlighting ongoing efforts to acquire the needed resources.

Participants, including Municipal Agriculturist, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineers, technicians, Municipal Planning and Development Officers, as well as Human Resource and Budget Officers from various municipalities in Camarines Norte, engaged in practical activities such as uploading and encoding proposed FMR projects into the Geographic Information System for Agricultural and Fisheries Machinery and Infrastructure (GEOAGRI) and reviewing sample Local Agricultural and Fishery Mechanization Plans (LAFMP) for the province and its municipalities.

“The workshop was highly informative, and I am confident that the strategies we discussed will significantly benefit our local farmers,” shared Engr. Jomar Balce, one of the participants.

Local leaders and participants were optimistic about the collaborative approach. “The support and resources provided by DA-BAFE are invaluable for our community. We are committed to implementing these plans to improve our agricultural infrastructure,” said Engr. Harold R. Gestiada, OIC- Chief of Provincial Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering Office (PABEO).

The need for continued collaboration and commitment

The workshop highlighted the critical need for funding to support these initiatives. The immediate next steps include finalizing the detailed plans and securing additional funding for the implementation phase. BAFE staff members, including Engr. Emer-Rose Asug and Mr. Kevin Remorosa, emphasized the importance of continued collaboration to achieve these goals.

The workshop concluded with a call to action for continued collaboration and commitment to transforming the agricultural sector of Camarines Norte. “We are dedicated to providing the necessary support and resources to ensure the success of these plans, which are vital for the economic growth and sustainability of our communities,” said Engr. Gestiada, who reiterated his support.

The DA-BAFE workshop was a key step in increasing the level of agricultural and fishery mechanization and improving infrastructure in Camarines Norte. With a well-defined implementation timeline and coordinated efforts, the province is projected to achieve better efficiency and sustainability in its agricultural sector. The workshop finished with a unanimous commitment to carrying out these initiatives, in the interest of ensuring a brighter future for Camarines Norte’s agricultural community.—Press release from DA-BAFE/MF

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