“With Filipino farmers and fishermen among the poorest in the country, and climate change and a growing population threatening food security, government needs to put farmers and fishermen first,” words of Senator Francis Pangilinan, published by Pia Ranada in the business sector of Rappler.com.

Many national leaders have expressed the same sentiment with Senator Pangilinan on the decreasing population of farming and fishing communities. This downward trend is also true for the younger generation’s interest to take fisheries, forestry, and agriculture-related courses. If this continues, it will destabilize three vital sectors for food production.

Good thing, universities and colleges have initiated ways to show that fisheries, forestry and agriculture matter like all the other “in demand” courses today.

One is through creating a lively and competitive arena for the students under the mentioned programs where they can exhibit their skills and learning. Eight schools in the region participated in the 8th Regional Convention of the Council of Deans for Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery Education (CDAFFE) XI. top3

The event was hosted by Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology in Mati City, Davao Oriental last November 24 – 26, 2016. The convention featured technical contests in agriculture like grafting and budding, weed, feed, fertilizer, insect pest and disease identification, and many more. The events gave spectators assurance that future farmers would know what to do and what materials to choose to improve crop production. top4

Since Davao del Norte State College has no agricultural program offering, the college was able to join only the Fisheries (where DNSC ranked 2nd place overall) and General Events (3rd place overall). DNSC contingent were declared champions in Parliamentary Procedures which proved the students’ high-level team decision-making capability and creativity in finding solutions to common situational problems.
DNSC also bagged 1st place prizes in Fisheries Quiz Bee and Pond Lay-out.

The result was proof that students could excel both in theories and applications. 2nd place winners were college representatives for Bangus Deboning, Net Mending, Fish Identification, Public Speaking, and Technology Presentation. While DNSC’s Vocal Soloist Princess Bastes finished 5th and Modern Dancers got the 4th spot in the final tally.

DNSC was even prouder that Renarose Balneg was crowned as Ms. CEDAFFE XI who rightfully represented the college with grace, confidence and wit. The pageant night was one of the highlights of the activity that didn’t just let the beauty of the contestants radiate, but also their potentials to be advocate for the cause of forestry, agriculture and fisheries. top5

On the final day of the convention, participants went to Guang-guang and Dahican Beach Resort for a Clean-up Drive and Mangrove Planting activities. The schools made sure that they didn’t just stop in displaying their students’ skills but had also led them to take action on protecting natural resources.

It was a sigh of relief that the 8th CDAFFE XI, alongside with Davao del Norte State College, other SUCs and participating schools, had taken the roles to be avenues for molding future knowledgeable farmers, fishers, and entrepreneurs. (end,CNL)