Ilocos Norte top-awarded province in 2018 Reg'l Gawad Saka

Nov 13, 2018 ...

A total of 10 local stakeholders from the agriculture and fishery sectors of the province were recognized at the 2018 Regional Gawad Saka last October 12, making Ilocos Norte as the top-awarded province in the Ilocos Region.

Mr. Romeo Ganiron and his son John Lei Ganiron from the City of Batac won the Outstanding Rice Farmer and Outstanding Young Farmer awards, respectively. They led all the awardees during the program held at San Fernando City, La Union, and at the Provincial Recognition Program at the Provincial Capitol last November 8.

The younger Ganiron is a licensed electronics engineer who worked in telecommunications before he was slowly inspired by his father to delve into agriculture.

Other awardees were Mr. and Mrs. Dominador Ignacio of Laoag City as Outstanding Farm Family; Domingo La Torre of Pasuquin as Outstanding Fisherfolk; Edita Dacuycuy of Burgos as Outstanding Agricultural Entrepreneur; Gilbert Pasion of Solsona as Outstanding Large Animal Raiser; Liza Domingo of Solsona as Outstanding Extension Worker; and Lolita Agluba of San Nicolas as Outstanding Rural Woman.

Moreover, the Bagumbayan Multipurpose Cooperative in Laoag City was recognized as Outstanding Small Farmer Organization. San Nicolas Town also garnered the Outstanding Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Council award.

"Farming is a way of life"

"While working, nakita ko si papa – kung gaano siya ka-passionate when it comes to agriculture, specifically sa organic agriculture. I attended series of seminars until such time na na-develop ko yung commitment ko sa agriculture," he explained.

Ganiron added that farming gives him a sense of fulfillment that was missing from his corporate job and said: "Dito, hawak ko yung sariling oras ko, wala akong iniisip na deadlines. I do not see farming as a job. For me, it is a way of life, so sinasabuhay ko."

He further challenged the people of Ilocos Norte, especially the youth and his fellow farmers and said: "Sa mga ka kabataang kagaya ko, let us not see farming as a dirty job. Hindi dapat minamaliit ang farming or agriculture in general kasi it is the backbone of our country.

"We should enrich and help promote agriculture as a way of life para lahat tayo ay maka-achieve ng inclusive growth. To my fellow farmers, continue with the legacy of being a farmer, you should consider yourselves as modern-day heroes kasi kung wala tayo, walang kakainin ang mundo."

Gawad Saka is an annual activity of the Department of Agriculture (DA). The program acknowledges farmers and fisher-folk, as well as other distinguished individuals and groups that have demonstrated exemplary performance and made significant contributions in the development of the agriculture and fishery sectors.

by Stewart Ocampo

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