By Ali G. Macabalang
A young Talaandig farmer here has been adjudged “Carrot King” 2020 for producing in three months from his one-hectare farm at least 20.5-metric tons “best quality” carrots valued at.1-million pesos at current prices, according to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
Ryan Danio, an Agronomy graduate from the Central Mindanao University in this province, was one of two members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Community who bagged major prizes in the recent Mindanao Vegetable Derby organized by the MinDA, agency Chairman Manny Pinol announced on Monday.
Danio, whose father is a Talaandig tribal leader here, is the president of the Miarayon Highland Farmers Association engaged in many agricultural ventures by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in 2017 when Piñol was DA chief.
In 2019, Piñol said, Danio joined the Potato Development Program of the DA in partnership with the Universal Robina Corporation which donated planting materials of potato from Canada.
After a season-long trial in his farm, Danio posted the highest harvest of potato in the country recorded at 50-metric tons which had a market value of P2.5-million, the MinDA chairman recalled in a social media post on Monday.
The MinDA started assessing vegetable productions in Mindanao last July, and concluded the assessment in a three-day awarding festival that lasted on Saturday, Dec. 12, Piñol said.
He said the activity constituted an opening salvo of the Vegetable Derby organized by the MinDA to introduce new farming technologies, good seeds and market linkage to the high value crop farmers in the four vegetable growing towns of Bukidnon – Impasug-ong, Talakag, Sumilao and Lantapan or IMTASULA Complex.
At Saturday’s awarding rites, Igorot woman-farmer Beatriz Homonlay of Sumilao was crowned Mindanao Cabbage Queen, while farmer Rey Resullar of Impasug-ong romped off with the title as Mindanao Ombok King, Piñol said.
He said Raul Jamito of Lantapan was honored as the outstanding farmer for the Champion Crops for consistently producing quality Carrots, Cabbage and Chinese cabbage.
Seed companies participated in the activity and partnered with local farmers in establishing demonstration farms supervised by technicians provided by the companies.
At the end of the season, the farmers’ produce were evaluated to determine which seeds grow well in pilot locations and what farming practices were adaptable to the area to produce quality vegetables.
The Mindanao Vegetable Derby was supported by Bukidnon Governor Jose Ma. Zubiri and the mayors of the towns of Talakag, Impasug-ong, Sumilao and Lantapan, the Department of Agriculture, private seed and vegetable firms and non-government organizations.
The 2nd Mindanao Vegetable Derby will again be held at the same time next year, Piñol said. (AGM)