133 farmers from the Province of Maguindano and Lanao del Sur inspired during the Mass Graduation of Farmers Field School or FFs on Upland Rice-Based Farming Technology Transfer Program for the Bangsamoro or (URTPB) held at Camp Darapanan Gymnasium, Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao last August 28, 2018.

The said farmers successfully completed the requirements of Farmers Field Schools. 73 of them were from the Province of Maguindanao particularly in towns of Matanog, Buldon and Barira. While the remaining 60 was from the Province of Lanao del Sur particularly in towns of Balabagan, Marogong and Kapatagan. The training was started from May until December 2017.

The activity was part of the project jointly implemented by DAF-ARMM, JICA, PhilRice, BTC, BDA, BLMI and Local Government Units. It aims to improve the living standards of the Bangsamoro people through Technology Adoption in Integrated Upland Rice Farming System with Islamic Values and Leadership. The project was expected its success by the end of September 2018.

Maguindanao Provincial Agricultural Officer Dr. Daud K. Lagasi Al-haj reperesenting DAF-ARMM Regional secretary Alexander G. Alonto Jr., presents the graduates, while Executive Director of PhilRice Dr. Sailila E. Abdula accepted and confirmed the graduates.

The said event was graced by BIAF-MILF chief of Staff Mr. Sammy Al-Mansoor, Mr. Yo Ebisawa the Senior Representative of JICA Philippines and chairman of Peace Implementing Panel Mr. Mohagher Iqbal. The farmer graduates were truly inspired in their messages given.
Mr. Iqbal on his message pointed out the importance of farming in the country, especially in rice production as “Rice” is a staple food of Filipino people. He said repeatedly that among projects of JICA, FFS was the best project conducted and implemented.

He coin the term as majority of them said “You will Rise in Rice”. Conjointly, they arrived and aimed that after the training, the farmers will embrace more interest in farming and secure food for their families and improved livelihood in their community.

Meanwhile, the 1st phase of the said activity was conducted in the same place with more than 300 farmers graduated in the same course last year, headed by DA National Secretary Manny Piñol, Maguindanao Governor Toto Mangudadatu and Chairman Ebrahim Murad.