The Department of Agriculture (DA), in partnership with BFAR, NFRDI, other attached agencies, and the Wounded Soldiers Agriculture Cooperative (WSAC), led the inauguration and turnover of Mushroom Enterprise Development projects to the wounded soldiers of Camp Rason Sitio Paliko, Brgy. Bilaran, Nasugbu, Batangas last October 12, 2021.
With the theme, “Suportang Pang-Agrikultura para sa Kabuhayan ng mga Bayaning Nasugatan sa Pakikipaglaban para sa Bayan”, the project aims to strengthen the partnership of the government agencies involved in the convergence initiative that seeks to provide a sustainable alternative and additional source of income for the wounded military men.
The project will create an entrepreneurial mushroom livelihood center in Camp Rason that will help create jobs and generate additional income for the wounded-in-action (WIA) soldiers and their communities. It will also serve as an accessible training venue for Persons with Disability (PWD), especially disabled/WIA soldiers and their dependents as well as AFP troops who are interested in this livelihood and agro-fisheries.
Through the Deed of Usufruct (DOU) between Department of National Defense (DND)-Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and WSAC, a 5-hectare portion of military reservation area was made available for the development of an agro-farm tourism site and the establishment of skills and livelihood training infrastructures for WIA soldiers and their dependents. The WSAC was created to ensure the availment of strategic interventions and extend services such as the establishment of a nucleus farm for livestock and fisheries, provision for agri-related farm management training, skills development, and certification programs.
As for fisheries, NFRDI committed 40,000 tilapia and carp fingerlings for communal stocking in the nearby river, while BFAR IV-A conducted training on fish processing.
The ribbon-cutting and the ceremonial turnover of the mushroom production facilities were the highlights of the program. The said activity was attended by Usec. Cheryl Marie N. Caballero, Agri-Industrialization and Fisheries, who represented Secretary William D. Dar; Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, Department of National Defense; 1Lt. Jerome J. Jacuba, Wounded Soldiers Agriculture Cooperative (WSAC) Chairperson; Hon. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” T. Go, and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles, who represented President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
With these, the Department of Agriculture is positive in achieving the vision of a food-secure and resilient Philippines with empowered and prosperous farmers and fisherfolk towards “Masaganang Ani, Mataas na Kita” (JCRayos)