November 4, 2022 – Department of Science and Technology (DOST) VI inks partnership with Central Philippines State University – College of Agriculture and Forestry (CPSU - CAF) for the implementation of the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) Program known as “Pandayan ng Bayan” in Negros Occidental.
With a total allocated budget of P5,089,814.40 funded under the DOST’s CEST Program, the prime goal of this community-based farm tools fabrication is to empower the “poorest of the poor” communities by providing various S&T interventions. Other partner agencies in this initiative are CHMSU, TUP Visayas, RU Foundry, NONESCOST, and PNU Visayas.
The target is to establish one “pandayan” farmers’ association in every district of the Province of Negros Occidental as beneficiaries in the said program. They will also be given six (6) computer units with STARBOOKS, six (6) VISSER starter kits and 24 sets of 3D printer with desktop computer and to conduct related trainings.
Part of this program is the conduct of twelve health and nutrition related seminars, forum on solid waste management, and symposium on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Climate Change Adaptation.
Geared towards uplifting the lives of men and women farmers and strengthening the rural industrialization in the Province, this initiative aims to satisfy the following components: Economic Development, Health and Nutrition, Human Resource Development, Environmental Protection and Conservation, and Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation.
As the implementing agency, CPSU will lead in facilitating the project’s efficient implementation, which includes hands-on training and coaching on the fabrication and manufacturing of agricultural tools and equipment to beneficiaries in various legislative districts.
Dr. Aladino Moraca, CPSU president stated that embarking on this project will be a huge help to the local communities whose livelihood mostly depend on agriculture and farming. This will likewise address areas in the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in terms of creating sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and life on land.
“This is the creation of wealth at the local level. The relevance and timeliness of this project will respond to our farmers’ immediate needs, as well as strengthen the government’s advocacy in addressing agricultural mechanization and economic security. It will also serve as a well-spring for employment opportunities for them and their families,” Dr. Moraca added.
With the CEST Program, farmer beneficiaries are expected to be capacitated in the manufacture and fabrication, repair and maintenance, and replacement of parts of simple agricultural tools and equipment, as well as be adept in designing and assembly of appropriate tools and equipment needed in the agricultural sector. Additionally, this is seen to increase students’ interest in science and technology leading to more students pursuing S&T careers.
Source: M. Pedrosa
By J.A. Emoy