By Connie Destura
LEGAZPI CITY --- The regional office of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Bicol recently honored the ten 2017 Gawad Saka regional winners during the annual recognition ceremonies held recently at The Tent, Avenue Plaza Hotel in Naga City.
Of the ten 2017 Gawad Saka regional awards, five went to the province of Albay.
For the individual categories, Valentin L. Lopez of Daraga, Albay is Outstanding High Value Crops Farmer; Edgar A. Pesebre of Polangui, Albay is Outstanding Rice Farmer; Joji A. Belodo of Oas, Albay is Outstanding Young Farmer and HML Foods Corporation owned by Heriberto and Annie Llaguno of Daraga, Albay is Outstanding Agri-Entrepreneur.
Each received P50,000 cash award and plaque of recognition.
For the group category, the Kaburunyugang kabakaihan of Manito, Albay and LGU-operated Barangay Food Terminal is outstanding BFT, with P75,000 cash award and a plaque of recognition.
Aloha Gigi I. Bañaria, Gawad Saka focal person, said all the regional winners are qualified finalists in the national search.
Gawad Saka is considered the most prestigious award being given by the DA to individuals and groups in farming communities that excel in their respective fields leading to exemplary contributions to the realization of food security and sufficiency.