A young farmer from Barangay Guiljungan, Cauayan, Negros Occidental, was one of the three finalists in the search for Gawad Saka 2011 under the young farmer and fisherfolk category, a government press release said.
Finalist Vito Binondo, 24, promotes sustainable lifestyle and organic agriculture.
He practices integrated pest management and mulching technology on vegetables and likewise collects seeds of fruits, forest trees and vegetables and grows seedlings which are planted by the school children and distributed to barangay officials, the press release said.
Binondo is a member of the 4-H Club and currently the vice president of the provincial federation.
He is tapped by other towns to demonstrate how to make organic fertilizer. He paid for his expenses in college from his income in his farm.
While a student at the Negros State College of Agriculture in Kabankalan City, where he graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, the school provided him an area for him to grow rice and vegetables and to raise poultry and livestock.
The national technical committee of the Gawad Saka of the Department of Agriculture is slated to evaluate his projects and interview him on June 23-24.
The Gawad Saka is conducted every year to recognize the exemplary contribution of farmers and fisherfolk in agriculture and fisheries, the press release said.
National winners are awarded with cash, a trophy and a chance to visit outstanding agricultural projects in the country, it added.*