FIVE soldiers completed a course on scientific crop production and livestock raising in Batangas on Monday.
The three-day training on farming was held at Lian town’s DV Boer Farms, one of the top agri-businesses in the country.
Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, Commander of the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division, said t the undertaking was part of the military’s partnership with Dexter Villamin, the President and CEO of DV Boer Farms which is also known as “The People’s Farm”, who earlier emphasized the importance of ensuring food security to prevent hunger and civil disobedience that might arise as the order for Enhanced Community Quarantine remains in place.
“Filipinos, coming from a country that is primarily agricultural, has a natural skill for farming, on top of our innate resiliency. What we are doing is merely going back to the basics, tapping our strengths and heritage to survive this very challenging phase of our lives”, said Mr Villamin.
Aside from the proper way of planting and growing various crops, the soldiers were given first-hand training on the scientific methods of caring, raising and mass producing poultry, goats and rabbits whose ability to quickly multiply is seen as one of the means to ensure adequate food supply for every Filipino.
It can be recalled that the Jungle Fighter Division took the lead in addressing food security when Maj Gen Burgos ordered the conversion of almost two hectares of this camp’s idle land to farmlands as his unit’s proactive measure to prevent a looming food crisis which is seen as one of the collateral effects of the deadly corona virus.
The clamor to increase the Philippines’ self-sufficiency in producing food has since grown stronger and gained momentum as the call for people to return to the provinces and engage in farming became more active both in the private and public sectors.
Incidentally, Sen Bong Go proposed the “Balik Probinsya” program on April 25 that seeks to decongest Metro Manila once the pandemic has been controlled.
Sen Go said that “this proposal is about equitable distribution of the gains of our fast-developing economy, balanced development of the urban and rural areas and poverty alleviation.”
Maj Gen Burgos said his “soldiers are happy knowing that many of our countrymen were moved to action by one of our humble innovations in defending our people” while serving as a template of President Duterte’s call for a whole of nation approach in solving problems of the society since “the project is a collaboration between and among the local government units through their mayors, the business sector and the military.”
He added that the five soldiers who have undergone the training will take the lead in performing “food security-related missions” and will be required to echo and share what they learned with their fellow soldiers who will be working under their supervision.
“This is part of our deliberate approach in responding to a foreseen problem during this crisis which we intend to address without prejudice to our primary mandate of defeating the few remaining NPA terrorists who are now suffering from hunger in the hinterlands and have already sent numerous surrender feelers to the RTF ELCAC’s local peace negotiating team”, ended Maj Gen Burgos.