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DAVAO CITY – Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso J. Alcala awarded a total of P 2.2 million worth farm grants to the School on-the-air (SOA) graduates on Wednesday here.

The grants include 450 sacks of certified seeds worth P612, 000; 10 heads of carabao with comb harrow and plow worth P 450,000; 2 units of rice reaper worth P36, 000; 3 units of mechanized thresher worth P266, 664; 450 pieces of laminated sacks worth P 250, 875; 2 units of hand tractor with trailer worth P104,937 and 30 pieces of knapsack sprayer worth P 234,000.

From two months of basic agricultural lessons on air which focuses on rice production, 450 farmer graduates from various towns in Davao region composed of 250 graduates from Davao del Norte, 99 from Compostela Valley, 20 from Davao Oriental and five from Davao del Sur availed themselves of grants from the DA.

 “These grants are DA’s way of commending you [farmers] for the cooperation and dedication you showed in our programs and projects. These projects are always intended to uplift your living conditions”, Alcala said.

Alcala also promised to provide 450 transistor radios to the farmer graduates for them to listen and learn technologies in agriculture.

Meanwhile, Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food who also graced the graduation ceremony underscored the need for farmers to undergo trainings not only in farming but also on farm mechanization.

 “If we provide farmers agri-machinery and equipment, we need to train them not only in operating the machines but also on its repair and maintenance to sustain farm mechanization,” Villar said.

“There is a lot of good news for the Davao region farmers as numerous assistance and support have been pouring in, so the momentum for growth and development is here and so make the most of it,” Villar added.

SOA is a training course on agricultural crops and commodities wherein a farmer will graduate after their participation and learning through radio focuses directly benefitting thousands of farmers in the region.  

DA 11’s SOA airs over DXRD 711 kHz, Sonshine Radio from 4:00am-5:00 am every Mondays to Saturdays. (Lucille Bocado DA-11)