Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija – To augment the income of farmers, a one-day mushroom production seminar was conducted in favor of three (3) farmer groups of Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija on November 10, 2019 at the Covered Court of Barangay San Antonio, Said town.
The 69th Infantry (Cougar) Battalion thru their Community Support Program (CSP) team, in coordination and partnership with the Municipal Agriculture Office of Cuyapo, facilitated the seminar.
Said farmer group beneficiaries were the United Farmers Association (UFA), Samahang Manggagawang Bukid ng San Antonio (SMBSA) and Cuyapo Farmers League (CFL) composed of more or less 150 members.
The seminar was an immediate response to the prevailing issues identified during the Needs Assessment Survey (NAS) conducted by 69IB in the area, among which is the lack of livelihood due to farm mechanization or introduction of farm machines which render manual labor among farmers obsolete and resulted to the lost of job among farmers who used to be hired for variety of farm works.
This has become the main issue exploited by CPP-NPA affiliated organizations that led to the establishment of the Liga ng Mangagawang Bukid (LMB), a CNT-affected Mass Organization connected to the Alyansang Magbubukid ng Gitnang Luzon (AMGL).
Fortunately, with the efforts exerted by the unit in educating the group, LMB was dismantled and members were enlightened.
With the conduct of the seminars, the farmer groups now have knowledge and skills on mushroom production that the participants can use to start their own livelihood and have additional means to support their needs and expenses.
“As we call for our brothers in the armed-struggle to return to the government fold, we are also creating the best avenues, for those who have already surrendered, to have a source of income and start a new life. In collaboration with the different agencies, we also respond to the needs of our poor farmers so that they will no longer be used by the NPA to create chaos and confusion in communities. Together with the local government units and other agencies, we will enhance the delivery of basic social services and help uplift their lives. Again, this is the ‘whole-of-nation approach’ that has all of us working together to bring an end to the local communist armed struggle,” stated Major General Lenard T. Agustin, Commander of the 7th Infantry (Kaugnay) Division, mother unit of the 69IB.
“As facilitators of peace and development, it is a must to deliver the services of the government to those in need. The efforts of the CSP team in San Antonio, Cuyapo is a manifestation of the commitment of the Philippine Army to contribute to nation-building. We will continue to support the farmers in our own capacity because we want them to believe that the government cares for them,” Lieutenant Colonel Arcadio S. Posada, Commanding Officer of the 69IB, said, supporting Major General Agustin’s previous statement.