Project Hagabi gets PhP1.8M funding to benefit local farmers

The project HAGABI or Harnessing Agriculture to Achieve a Bountiful Ifugao of the Ifugao State University (IFSU) will be rolled out soon after the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) approved funding of PhP 1.8 million to improve the social and economic welfare of farming households in the province.

Dr. Dinah Corazon M. Licyayo, project proponent and Vice President for Research Development, Extension and Training, shared that project HAGABI takes off from the Muntanom Ta Waday Kanon (MTWK): Response to Household Food Security program which is a component of the Emergency Response Program Against COVID-19.

“Hagabi, in essence, is a cultural material that represents wealth among the Ifugaos. The University envisions the project to serve as a practical option of farmers and fisherfolks, the most at risk groups in this current pandemic, towards food sufficiency. The HAGABI project is hoped to ensure food for the family and probably to give additional source of income,” remarked Licyayo.

Project HAGABI will expand the MTWK program to include animal production. The MTWK program initially distributed seed packs to participating households in nearby barangays of the IFSU. Adult and kid participants are on the harvesting stage this month. This is also in line with the 'Plant, Plant, Plant' program or the 'Ahon Lahat Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Laban sa COVID-19' program of the Department of Agriculture and 'Good Agri-Aqua Livelihood Initiatives Towards National Goals (GALING) PCAARRD Kontra COVID-19' program of the DOST lauched last April.

Ten (10) farmer-cooperators (for each municipality) will be selected to engage both in backyard gardening and backyard animal production. They will come from 10 towns in the province, namely: Lamut, Lagawe, Kiangan, Banaue, Hingyon, Hungduan, Mayoyao, Aguinaldo, Asipulo, and Aguinaldo.

Farmer-cooperators should first have availed of either Organic Agriculture Production Training or Agricultural Crops Production Training, and other technical trainings of the University. The farmer-cooperators must also have ample space for vegetable production that will serve as a showcase backyard farm for community people to emulate.

Participating household/family should have an area of 150-1,000 square meters for backyard gardening. For smaller areas less than 150 sq. meters, container gardening can be considered. They shall also have 100-500 sq. meters for backyard poultry production. Irrigation source is also a must for farmer-cooperators.

Project HAGABI enforces chemical-free vegetable and animal production. Hence, participating households will be trained to produce concoctions processed from plants to serve as fertilizers and pesticides for their backyard gardens. Natural-based enriched food for animals through natural-feed formulation technology will be required to avoid commercial growth hormones and other additives.

Moreover, a common community agriculture learning center (CALC) per municipality will be established for the production of natural-based agriculture inputs. The production of agricultural inputs (concoctions and feed formulation) shall be centralized in the said area. This is to ensure that training, supervision, and monitoring will be undertaken. This will also avoid contamination of the products.

For backyard vegetable production, a farmer-cooperator will receive assorted seed packs.

Under poultry production, a beneficiary will receive 4 pullets and 1 rooster (native chicken), 2 drakes, and 18 ducklings (Muscovy).

Licyayo lauded the DOST-PCAARRD for the approval of the said social action program that shall run for seven months this year.