Harvest Festival In Dinagat

Harvest Festival In Dinagat
Dr. Wilfredo Tiu and a banana with sucker.

Harvest festivals are an effective means of disseminating useful farming information and techniques, not only to farmers but also to children, local government officials and policymakers.

And that is the good reason why Dr. Wilfredo Tiu and his staff at the R.E.Ecleo Sr. Polytechnic College (REESPC) in Cagdianao, Dinagat Province, have been undertaking an annual harvest festival since four years ago.
  
This year, the harvest festival was held last July 15-16 at the Justiniana Edera Elementary School and at the sloping farm in the mountain of the same barangay that is being developed as a model farm. The harvest festival was also in tandem with the celebration of the Nutrition Month as well as the 10th anniversary of the REESPC. It was also a time for a reunion of the alumni of the first trainees of the school.
  
REESPC is an educational institution under TESDA that is well focused on agriculture and fisheries education. And Dr. Tiu, who is the superintendent, said that he is very thankful to TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva for his full support to the agri-fisheries thrust of the school.
 
The sloping farm that is being transformed into something productive used to be a logged over area where native ferns and other weeds had taken over before the project was started. To make the farm suitable for crop production, terraces were made along the contours. That’s one way of showing to visitors how to prevent erosion. Hedges of napier which is used to feed goats and sheep are planted at the edges of the terraces.
 
Today one can observe the fruit trees that are doing well like jackfruit, avocado, dragon fruit, guava, papaya and a few durian trees. Bananas are thriving very well. In the terraces, they are growing favorite vegetables like eggplant, squash, cucumber, pepper, camote and others.
 
Incidentally, the school has acquired 19 varieties of camote from the Philippine Root Crops Institute at the Visayas State University for trial. Previously, researchers of REESPC have also experimented on different varieties of peanuts.
 
The good thing about the sloping farm is that there is a source of water from a spring which is potable. The water also goes to a fishpond for raising fish.
 
There are many other innovative ideas that Dr. Tiu would like to try in the experimental farm if only more funds could be provided by the local government as well as the national government.

In the meantime, he has been tapping the voluntary services of retired agricultural experts. Just recently two Dutch experts attended the festival and also provided expert advice on water management and horticulture. They are Gerrik Jan Struik, horticulture expert, and Arie Bons, an irrigation and water management expert.

Harvest Festival In Dinagat
Squash grows very well in the sloping farm
Harvest Festival In Dinagat
A view of the terraced farm from afar.
Harvest Festival In Dinagat
Rollie Arellano and kangkong at the Harvest Festival.
Harvest Festival In Dinagat
Visitors selecting avocado for sale at 3 pieces for P10.
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