Self-worth through DA-NIA Program Drives Farmer to Excel

Created on Wednesday, 04 June 2014

Gone are the days when farmers drool over the income of neighboring counterparts in Asia.

It just seemed impossible for us to compete with them, says Terencio Palma of Pilar, Bohol
The time devoted to farming and the resources spent just doesn’t seem to remunerate the harvest. The rustic barangay of Bayongon has been producing rice for years but the sad note is that the farm heroes never reached an excellent harvest of ten tons per harvest.

This has been the scenario for years, it takes great minds to devise great plans, and one that would give excellent results. The only way to spur production is not for the government to dole out farm inputs but to stir the ego of every farmer to move up- and that way is through competition. The spirit of competition drives every individual to shine, and psychology calls it the need for self-worth.

Wittingly conceived by the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) and the Department of Agriculture (DA RFO 7) , the Irrigation Service Fee Incentive Program (ISFIP) in Bohol, is designed to draw out the best in every farmer, where every achiever would be compensated. The region is proud to say that Region 7 is nascent to this idea and the only region who offers such incentive to the farmers.

How the ISFIP works

Every farmer will surely be enticed to join the program as more than 300 farmers in four barangays tested their abilities to outshine one another in order to unfetter themselves of the service fee set by the National Irrigation Authority (NIA).

For every farmer who can produce 5-6.99 tons per hectare, they will be given a 50% discount and for those who produce 7-9 tons per hectare, they will be totally freed of the service obligation.

For Terencio, a service fee worth around P4, 000 is a big chunk of the farm expense that he could save for his family, so he aimed to hit the highest goal. In the wet season cropping in 2013, Terencio, got the biggest blow in his life, when he reached the ten tons per hectare harvest- a unique distinction that sets him apart from the rest.

Terencio’s Secret

A common factor of the farmers in Barangay Bayongan, Capayas, Malinao and Talibon, is the use of hybrid seeds and their access to irrigation. But what sets him apart is the training he had as a seedgrower. The training program gave him the opportunity to undergo the rigid requirements in rice seed production, which he implemented in his farm.

The need for self-worth was realized through the DA-NIA program and it pole-vaulted his production from 6 -10 tons per hectare, an achievement of a lifetime. Now he wants other farmers to stir that ego inside and achieve the same success he experienced.