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LEARNING TOUR. A group of farmers from Zamboanga del Norte, accompanied by officials of the provincial government, started a two-day learning tour to several farms in Cotabato and Davao del Sur which started Thursday (July 9). The said tour is part of the program to address the very high poverty incidence in Zamboanga del Norte by improving agriculture.

DAVAO CITY - A group of farmers from Zamboanga del Norte, accompanied by officials of the provincial government, started a two-day learning tour of several farms in Cotabato and Davao del Sur which started Thursday (July 9).

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the learning tour is supported by their agency and the Zamboanga del Norte provincial government.

The said tour is part of the program to address the very high poverty incidence in Zamboanga del Norte by improving agriculture.

“Today, the team, led by Provincial Coordinator Joey Bernad and provincial agriculturist Maybel Bustaliño, visited my farm in Kidapawan City where I personally showed them my free-range chicken breeding, my start-up goat raising, the Sorghum demo area, Abuyog Sweet Jackfruits and Lanzones intercropped with rubber trees,” he said.

On the second day of the tour, the group will visit the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center, also known as Mt. Carmel, and the Lao Farm owned by Outstanding Coconut Farmer Ben Lao, both in Bansalan, Davao del Sur.

He added that the farmers, along with the provincial agriculturist and the provincial veterinarian, showed keen interest in the breeding of Manok Pinoy, the free-range chicken strain which he started breeding 10 years ago.

“I gave them a walking lecture on all facets of free-range poultry breeding and raising, knowledge which I gained from actual farm experience. Personally, I saw the thirst of the farmers for greater knowledge shared by a fellow farmer,” he said.

Piñol added that even the provincial vetrinarian , Dr. Sunday Dawn Bagatna, appeared amazed by the practical lessons he shared.

"I learned a lot from you today, things which were not taught in school," she said

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