BATANES, PHILIPPINES —The Department of Trade and Industry Batanes joined the Local Government Unit of Ivana, the Provincial Government of Batanes (PGB), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of Interior and Local Governance (DILG), and the Office of the Congressional District of Batanes for Ivana’s Mega Field Day and the launch of the Agri-Tourism Farm and Garlic Information Caravan.

Held at the Payaman Agri Tourism site, the event marked a significant collaboration between government agencies and LGUs that aimed to bolster food security and boost agricultural productivity in the Province of Batanes. 

Serving as one of the top garlic producers in the region, the DA pledged support to the garlic industry by securing 71.5 metric tons of said agri-produce from Batanes, and providing the PGB with seed money amounting to PHP 4.2M intended for purchase of garlic harvest from farmers next year.   

In addition, the agency through the Agricultural Training Institute, and the Bureau of Plant Industry will ensure that the garlic farmers of Itbayat will be accredited as certified seed garlic growers. Additionally, a tractor and 102,159 kilograms of organic fertilizer will be distributed to farmers within the year.

The DTI will assist these endeavors through the preparation of project proposals and conduct of entrepreneurial seminars and training on marketing strategies. 

In collaboration with the Department of Agriculture – Batanes Experiment Station (DA-BES), the DTI presented a project proposal that targets to strengthen the development of the beef cattle industry in the province.

This effort culminated in the DA-BES’s allocation of Php 167,000-worth of live weight weighing scales for large ruminants each to the Municipalities of Basco, Ivana, and Itbayat—propelling these municipalities towards a robust and sustainable beef cattle industry.

Meanwhile, the Mega Field Day also featured the Kadiwa ng Pangulo, another collaborative undertaking of the DA, PGB, DTI, DILG, DSWD, and DOLE that aims to empower local farmers and fisherfolks, and MSMEs by establishing direct market connections.

This allows them to sell their produce directly to consumers, eliminating multiple market layers and intermediaries, thus increasing their profits.

Further, Ivana Mayor Hon. Celso B. Batallones recognized the invaluable role that agriculture plays in shaping the identity of the Ivatan community.

“This event serves as a testament to our unwavering dedication to honoring and preserving this vital aspect of our heritage. This is not just about agriculture. It is also about our vibrant community and the diversity of our cultures that enrich our lives,” he said.

Batanes Governor Marilou Horlina Cayco congratulated the Municipality of Ivana and committed continued support for their initiatives. She also thanked the DA for their pledge assistance, and lauded garlic farmers for their dedication. ♦

Date of release: 02 May 2024