MATI City, July 5, 2013—More than a thousand farmers and laborers benefited from the Agri-Fair projects spearheaded by the Ad Jesum Development Foundation Inc. (AJDFI) for the victims of Typhoon Pablo in Kinablangan, Baganga, Davao Oriental.
In partnership with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), as well as the Dept of Agriculture (DA), and the Dept of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the four times held agri event helped some 1,330 farmers and laborers.
The four trade events consisted of three Seed-Fairs and one Tools-Fair that provided farmers subsidized sales of seedlings for vegetables and corn, fertilizers, and tools for farming and carpentry.
The trade fair was held at the Kinablangan barangay hall adjacent to the Sto. Niño Parish Church.
Each event started with a Eucharistic Celebration led by Fr. Roberto A. Ombon, parish priest.
Beneficiaries who registered for the first three Seed-Fairs were given each a CRS coupon or voucher worth Php2,000 to be used as payment for any selected product or tool.
On the 4th and last Tools-Fair, participated by farm laborers, each was given a coupon worth Php800.
A DAR representative was tasked to identify the mostly CARP beneficiaries, who had also participated in the debris clearing of the 500-hectare lot, wherein each one was allotted three hectares as his own.
According to AJDFI Executive Director Sr. Bernadette “Badette” A. Dollete, CSJ some 150 farmers attended the first Agri-Fair on May 29 while the second fair held last June 10 had 265 attendees.
The third fair, held on June 20 gathered 165 attendees from San Victor Island, Kinablangan, while the fourth fair—with the largest number of participants—was held June 28-29 and assembled 750 farmers.
Farmers bought vegetable seedlings of short term crops, such as ampalaya, eggplant, beans and peas, as well as tools that are used for tilling the soil, gardening and carpentry, such as grass cutters, spade, rake, sprayer, bara de kabra, and others.
The tools were obtained from the local merchant suppliers in Baganga and Cateel in order to support them as well in their own local businesses for the good of the community.
After every Agri-Fair, the DA, CRS and AJDFI provided agricultural training by purok to the farmers to make sure that their land clearing and planting efforts would bear an abundant harvest. (Sr. Marietta Alo, OND)