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This farm owner is helping soldiers become ‘green’ warriors 

By PAOLA NAVARETTE

Dexter Villamin and AFP conducts an inspection of MDT Goat Park Resort Farm in Tanay, Rizal. Photos courtesy of Dexter Villamin

Dexter Villamin and AFP conducts an inspection of MDT Goat Park Resort Farm in Tanay, Rizal. Photos courtesy of Dexter Villamin

As the coronavirus pandemic shuts down businesses globally, the disruptions are threatening to cut off supply chains and increase food insecurity.

Border closures and movement restrictions have made it harder for us to continue food production and transport goods locally—placing cities with few alternative food sources at high risk.

Our complex food supply chains will nonetheless face mounting risks as the disease persists. But this threat, however, can be transformed into an opportunity to make our country, especially the food-producing population, resilient and stronger through forward-looking reform measures.

Aside from empowering the country’s frontliners in agriculture and fisheries, another way of keeping the food chain alive is by conducting projects that will boost domestic food and agricultural production.

With this in mind, almost two hectares of an army camp in Tanay, Rizal will be converted to farmlands to prevent a looming food crisis.

This initiative will be done in partnership with DV Boer International Farms Corporation, a commercial stud farm company, which has 20 farms located across Region 4A.

Under the partnership, the farms will provide technical assistance in livestock raising, crop production, and food processing to the soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division.

“This crisis highlights the vulnerability of our food system and I believe that food security should be ensured so that greater problems such as hunger and civil disobedience can be prevented,” said Dexter Villamin, the president and chief executive officer of DV Boer Farms. “Now, we feel that it is our social responsibility to provide healthy food and give our people a means of living while most of the industries are shut down.”

He said the group of farms will provide free board and lodging to the soldiers while they are being trained in actual food production until the time they are ready to share the knowledge to their fellow soldiers.

“Our goal is to encourage more people to consider farming opportunities in order to create self-sustaining communities,” Villamin said.

Volunteers from the community and paramilitary forces, he said, will be tapped to augment the manpower of private farms that will be converted into quarantine farm camps, which are projected to produce 32 tons of farm-fresh food in eight to 10 months.

“We open our farms to families during this period so you may participate in our daily farming routine for a week or two, and learn about livestock raising and other important practical lessons in agriculture that you may find useful as a source of livelihood,” Villamin said.

About 65 percent of the total food production will be donated to the needy to serve as one of the local government’s sources of relief for the constituents, he said.

As the pandemic limits access to food, moving forward, Villamin said that the company will adopt chevon meat canning technology developed by Isabela State University and Department of Science and Technology.

“To augment food supply within areas where DV Boer Farm and its subsidiaries operate, 10,000 pieces of easy-open tin cans will soon be filled with three variants of delectable chevon meat products,” he added.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://lifestyle.mb.com.ph/2020/04/22/this-farm-owner-is-helping-soldiers-become-green-warriors/)

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