ORMOC City - The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) turned over, last May 22, a half a million-peso worth of funding for an Oyster Mushroom Production project to its main implementor, the Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU). The turnover was held in the Office of the City Mayor, and was witnessed by Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, KAISAHAN, and representatives from two (2) LGU-accredited agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations.

The project, which directly benefits the Sumangga Farmers Association (SUFA) and the Aguiting Alliance Livelihood Farmers Association (AALIVEFA), is implemented under the partnership agreement among KAISAHAN and various government agencies and academic institutions. The project includes provision of materials, equipment, and technical training assistance for the ARBs.

"We really are hoping for a successful implementation of the project," said Pablo Silva, chairperson of SUFA, during the ceremony. He also added that the mushroom production project would be beneficial for their organization, most especially for the elder members who are not already capable of doing heavy farm work.

Earlier this year, members of SUFA and AALIVEFA joined a learning visit to a mushroom farm in Kananga, Leyte. They were able to participate in some hands-on activities on mushroom production which intensified their interest in having their own mushroom farm.

Pablo Silva and Evelyn Dayon were able to have first-hand experience on mushroom production (from preparation to harvest) during the learning visit.

"We are excited to start with the production," said AALIVEFA chairperson, Evelyn Dayon. "We already have a sure market for our products, thanks to the assistance of DOST and EVSU."

EVSU is already in the process of procuring the materials and equipment needed for the project. The ARBs are also preparing the areas where the production huts will be built. These areas are a portion of the land that the ARBs acquired through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).