AFC Bicol celebrates silver anniversary

NABUA, Camarines Sur – Some 200 officers and members of the Agricultural and Fisheries Councils (AFC) of the Bicol region and from other regions convened at Macagang Business Center in Nabua, Camarines Sur for the 25th anniversary of RAFC Bicol and 4th Bicol AFC Summit, recently.

The activity  recognizes the vital role of the AFC organizations in the implementation of the national and local agri-fishery programs all geared towards food security, increase rural income and sustainable development. This year’s activity is anchored on the theme “AFC Dalawampu’t Limang Taong gabay ng masa, kaagapay, tinig at tulay sa paglaban sa kahirapan at pagsulong sa kaunlaran sa pangsakahan at pangisdaan .”

NAFC Executive Director Engr. Ariel T. Cayanan said that since the AFC is a private-led volunteer organization, the AFC assist in the monitoring and advocacy of agricultural programs and activities. Twenty five years is an accomplishment and with the limited resources RAFC Bicol has sustained all its activities and projects.

Through the years, it has generated the support of the LGUs with 70% of the municipalities recognized and being supported by the LGUs in its endeavors and receiving funds to sustain its projects. He also underscored the different contributions of the AFC during calamities. He particularly mentioned the LEAD projects provided to typhoon stricken provinces of the region where an initial Ps 2,500 each recipient were provided to farmers and fisherfolk to start livelihood projects.

He added that knowing the AFCs are active in their assigned task they are promoting transparency, accountability and responsibility in the implementation of the various agriculture and fishery programs not only in the region but in the country as well. For twenty five years AFC Bicol has weathered all storms and will continue with its advocacies and projects despite all odds.

RAFC Chair David Z. Canet thanked the different AFC partners in the provinces and the municipalities for their continued support to the advocacies and projects of RAFC Bicol. He acknowledge the efforts of the group in assisting the farmers and fisherfolks in the region for 25 years and urged them to continue with what has been started and be part of the government’s journey towards food sufficiency.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Regional Executive Director Jose V. Dayao said that DA recognizes the important role of the AFC as true partners in agricultural development. “For the past 25  years they were active and dedicated in their roles in monitoring and promoting DA’s programs and projects. They are also part in assessing the effectiveness of the programs and helped the agency identify problems and constraints as well as opportunities and recommend appropriate measures to address them” Dayao added. He congratulated the men and women of the AFC for the long years of dedicated and fruitful service and urged them to continue the strong partnership with the DA.

He challenged the AFCs to uphold the theme for this year’s summit which according to him is very relevant and appropriate for the agriculture sector to gain focus and right direction.
The AFC’s aggressive monitoring has greatly helped the agency attained its goals for an efficient and effective delivery of services to its clients – farmers and the fisherfolk.
With the implementation of the food staples sufficiency program the AFC will once again be tapped as one of DA’s partner in its advocacy campaign.

Highlights of the summit include: presentation and awarding of honorees that include the past RAFC chairs, government partners, the coordinators, PAFC chairs, LGU partners and NAFC partners. The sharing of valuable experiences and notable AFC accomplishments  from PAFC Nueva Viscaya and PAFC Catanduanes as National Gawad Saka Outstanding PAFCs and the awarding of AKBay livelihood checks to Balatan, Milaor and San Jose recipients.  Also present during the occasion is Catanduanes Governor Joseph C. Cua, Form RAFC Chair Leopoldo Andal; and former DA Bicol  Regional Executive Director Fe D. Laysa. Likewise, the AFCs also set up photo exhibit depicting the various activities of AFC for the past 25 years and awarded livelihood checks to AKBAY recipients.

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