Group of Bombon visitors
Mayor Lorna Mae Vero (2nd from right, 2nd row) together with her barangay chairmen

Since its establishment 23 years ago, the farm has served not only as a training centre but also a resource centre in appropriate farming technologies and best practices in organic agriculture. In 2013, the Department of Agriculture (DA) tapped the farm as one of its technology-demonstration partners under the National Organic Agriculture Programme.

For the last three years, the farm has had more than 1,700 visitors including farmers, students, partners from the government and academe, teachers, and military personnel from different regions. In 2014, one of the visitors was Mayor Lorna Mae Vero of Llanera, Nueva Ecija. The DA Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers' Awardee for 2011 and 2012 spearheaded the municipality into winning the top-performing municipality in the 2013 Organic Agriculture Local Government Unit Awards. She used part of the prize money to bring her 21 barangay chairmen to Bombon for them to learn the farm’s integrated operations utilizing organic technologies. “I decided to bring our leaders here because this is the only farm I know where almost all organic technologies in crops, livestock, and aquaculture are present,” she remarked.

Meanwhile, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Bulacan ¬Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer I Marcy Ballesteros led her team of 24 personnel and leaders of various farmer-cooperatives from Bulacan in looking at the farm’s organic way of growing vegetable, rice, swine, as well as other organic fertilizer methods. She marvelled at how swine production can be odour-free. She said, “All your modules here are must-see for farmers.”

In 2015, more than 600 farmers and would-be farmers were trained by STF-Bombon personnel in Integrated Farming Bio-Systems (IFBS) and other related modules. Most of them were DAR farmers from Region 5. This year, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Camarines Sur also added to its roster of partners STF-Bombon to provide agriculture training to its beneficiaries under their Sustainable Livelihood Programme.

Recommending the farm to be one of Region 5’s agritourism destinations, DA Regional Director, Engr. Abelardo Bragas, said, “For those who value the importance and sustainability of agriculture and are committed to protecting and conserving the fragile environment and rich agricultural resources, the Shell Training Farm is one of the best places to be.”
 

By Maria Pamela Castro
Article published on PSFI news magazine October 2016 issue

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