Cancer survivor finalist for Gawad Saka national award

>> Sunday, October 8, 2017

By Karen Gawigawen

TUBLAY, Benguet – A cancer survivor of this town is a finalist to win the top award of “National Gawad Saka high value crops farmer category” which espouses safe and effective farming.  
Rebecca R. Faustino of Nalseb, Ambassador here, being a native of Buguias town where heavy pesticide use have been reported over the years, said, she is aware of effects of pesticides to a person’s body being a cancer survivor.
It is one of the reasons why she and her workers pursued safe farming practices to get GAP certification in production of safe and quality vegetable products for consumers.
Faustino is the owner and manager of La Faustino Farm, one of the first PhilGAP registered farms in the Cordillera.
She is helped by her husband Lito and their youngest son Rex who was convinced by her mother to work full time in the farm. In cases where more manpower is required, she hires farm workers to help. They produce high value crops such as bell pepper, broccoli, tomato, lettuce, aragula, spinach, and strawberry.
Jallyne Remoquillo and Julie Solis from the Dept. of Agriculture Central Office’s high value crops and development program and  Flora A. Jarilla and Lorna Villegas from Bureau of Plant and Industries - Los Baños composed a validation team that interviewed Faustino.
They went around the farm to validate the documents submitted to them.
Among 14 regions that submitted their entries for said category, seven were shortlisted. Faustino was included as national finalist.
The team is validating shortlisted finalist up to the end of September.
The national Gawad Saka winners will be proclaimed in October.
Faustino said she wanted to share good practices they do in the farm so that other farmers will also enjoy working in their own farms.

She urged farmers to imitate their good practices so they will become partners in meeting demand of the market. The team was assisted by DA-CAR HVCDP focal person Joan Bacbac; planning, monitoring and evaluation chief Susan Balanza; APCO Gabriel Pacio of Benguet; Municipal Agriculturist Jeffrey Sotero of Tublay and committee on agriculture chairman Reynaldo Sotero of Tublay Sangguniang Bayan. 


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