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Five hundred fifty-five coconut farmers during the graduation ceremony of the 20-episode radio program, “Magandang Coco-buhayan: School-on-the-Air (SOA) on Coconut Production and Processing,” in Lucena City, Quezon. (Image Credit: Crops Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD)

DOST-PCAARRD's Coconut Hybridization Program among DA-ATI’s School-on-the-Air radio program episodes

A total of 555 coconut farmers from Quezon province recently received their certificates of completion during the culmination ceremony of the 20-episode radio program, “Magandang Coco-buhayan: School-on-the-Air (SOA) on Coconut Production and Processing,” at the Quezon Convention Center, Lucena City.

The 10-week long radio program, organized by the Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) Regional Training Center CALABARZON, in partnership with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Region IV, tackled initiatives under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development (CFIDP) such as crop insurance, training programs or farm schools, and hybridization.

Dr. Juanito B. Sangalang, representing DOST-PCAARRD, receives his certificate for serving as one of the 33 radio teachers for the SOA on coconut production and processing. (Image Credit: Crops Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD)

The graduation ceremony was attended by 11 CFIDP Implementing Agencies (IAs), including the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), and other coconut industry stakeholders across CALABARZON. The IAs discussed 28 valuable lessons valuable to enhance the knowledge and capabilities of the coconut farmers to become farmer-entrepreneurs.

DOST-PCAARRD discussed coconut hybridization and the CFIDP Coconut Hybridization Program (CHP) Research Component during the 7th episode of the SOA aired on June 15, 2023.  Science and Technology (S&T) Consultant Dr. Juanito B. Sangalang, an expert on plant breeding, crop nutrition, and sustainable production systems, shared his expertise as the Council’s designated radio teacher during the said episode.

Beverly R. Leona, one of the exemplary students from General Luna, Quezon, giving her testimonial during the culminating activity of “Magandang Coco-buhayan: School-on-the-Air (SOA) on Coconut Production and Processing” radio program.  (Image Credit: Crops Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD)

CHP and Dr. Sangalang’s contribution was recognized during the culmination and graduation ceremony of the SOA program.

Ms. Beverly R. Leona, one of the exemplary farmer-students from the municipality of General Luna, encouraged other graduates to share what they had learned with other coconut farmers who were not able to attend the SOA.

PCA Region IV Regional Manager Bibiano C. Concibido Jr. extended his appreciation to the dedicated coconut farmers who completed the radio program. He also pledged PCA’s full support to assist farmers in increasing their income.

DA-ATI CALABARZON Center Director Rolando V. Maningas compared the coconut farmers and their pursuit of knowledge to coconut trees that continue to grow until they become tall, stable, and outstanding.

Launched last May 25, 2023, the SOA was aired on the official Facebook page and YouTube channel of DA-ATI CALABARZON and the radio stations of 95.1 Kiss FM, Radyo Natin Laguna 102.5 FM, Tagkawayan Teleradyo 101.7 FM, and Channel 9 Cable TV.