Creating Dumaguete and Davao Cities in the Rural Areas

The author, at the center in green shirt, with the workshop group during a learning visit in Negros. (photo by Boyet Gabion)

Last August and September this year, I was privilege to attend separate workshops in Dumaguete and Davao Cities. I experienced the hospitality and progress of these two popular cities.  In Dumaguete City, you will be greeted by friendly and smiling people, and relatively peaceful surroundings wherever you go.  No wonder this place is kown as the “city of gentle people.”  In Davao city, you will be overwhelmed by the various varieties of fresh, cheap and delicious fruits in almost any corner of the market. Both cities are centers of education in their respective regions. They are the centers of tourism due to their natural beaches, resorts, hotels and other beauty spots.  They are the center of transportation where you can find seaports, an airport, and land transportation terminals.  Both cities are center of commerce and industry where you can find malls, markets, shopping, telecommunication and entertainment centers. Nevertheless, both areas still maintain rich agricultural economies due to their diverse products like coconuts, sugarcane, assorted fruits, vegetables, cutflowers, and fish products.

Creating Dumaguete and Davao Cities in the rural areas is the vision of agricultural or rural extension.  We aimed to see peaceful and progressive communities where there is abundant supply of food for every farm family.  Rural infrastructures like farm to market roads, bridges, irrigation systems and post harvest facilities are built to support agricultural production and development.  The farmers and fisherfolks produce, abundant, cheap, safe and good quality agricultural products not only for their consumption but also for market.

The agricultural extension workers have a great role to perform in attaining this vision.  They provide appropriate knowledge or information, skills and attitudes so that the farmers and fisherolks can develop good agricultural practices and right decision in their farming and fishing activities.  These agricultural extension workers should be supported intellectually, financially, and morally.  They should be guided by proper policies and directions and should be provided with appropriate salaries and other forms of incentives not only financially but more so with non-monetary forms.