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DA-Calabarzon expands tech program on land cultivation

MANILA: The Department of Agriculture in Calabarzon (DA-4A) announced that it is expanding the coverage of a food security program that targets to help farmers boost their productivity through new technologies in land cultivation.

In an interview on Friday, Dr. Dario Huelgas, project leader of the Sustainable Community-based Action R4DE for Livelihood Enhancement, Upliftment, and Prosperity (SCALE UP) program, said the department’s latest initiative is not only to address immediate agricultural challenges but also to lay the foundation for long-term sustainable development in the targeted municipalities.

He said the technology transfer will be made available to farmers who will sign up for the SCALE UP program, urging land tillers throughout the five-province region to contact their local DA offices so they can also have access to agricultural innovation and sustainable practices.

‘The emphasis on efficient nutrient management is expected to rejuvenate the soil, ensuring sustainable agricultural practices.
Furthermore, the program’s commitment to empowering local farmers through comprehensive capacity-building and livelihood training initiatives aligns with the broader vision of fostering self-sufficiency and prosperity within the community,’ the DA official told the Philippine News Agency.

The program has been successfully piloted in several towns in Quezon province and his office is set to take it region-wide, particularly targeting agricultural communities with relatively low yields and marginal soil quality.

Huelgas said the program has been demonstrated in the towns of Atimonan, Plaridel, and Lopez in Quezon, where the focus of SCALE UP technicians was on imparting know-how on soil nutrient management and various production technologies of cacao, rice, and vegetables.

He noted that SCALE UP’s soft launch phase was especially successful in Plaridel town because of the involvement and support of Mayor Jose Saavedra and the Municipal Agricultural Office.

‘We extend our sincere gratitude to local farmers,
agriculture practitioners, MLGUs (municipal local government units) and others who actively participated in the SCALE UP program, contributing to its success and smooth implementation. The program remains steadfast in providing the utmost service and expertise to address the challenges in the agriculture sector,’ Huelgas said.

Future SCALE UP participants can expect to learn about proper planting techniques, correct application of appropriate fertilizer, pest and disease control, and processing of harvested products, he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency