Department of Lands and Natural Resources acting secretary Manny Pangelinan called on the community to recognize the importance of people behind the local agriculture industry—farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and even backyard planters.
He made the statement during last Saturday’s 33rd Annual Saipan and Northern Islands Agricultural Fair, which had the theme “Farmers and Ranchers Bring Life to Our Islands,” at the Garapan Fishing Base beside the Garapan Public Market.
Pangelinan said the Agricultural Fair has been one of the longest events on Saipan aside from the annual Saipan Fishing Derby.
“It has been celebrated for three decades and we continue to celebrate it every year to recognize, appreciate, and showcase the best locally grown crops. To exhibit the finest cattle, hogs, and other farm animals that are raised locally,” Pangelinan said.
He added that their job is not at all easy but the products they produce are beneficial to the community. “Agriculture is part of our culture and way of living. It is not an easy task but the animals you raise and the products you reap are the benefits we all enjoy.”
“The farmers and ranchers continue to play an important role in our community and in our economy. It is nothing more rewarding than to enjoy local products,” said Pangelinan.
He encouraged all farmers and ranchers to continue their hard work since the administration of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog are committed in strengthening the local agriculture sector.
Tim Kock, the Northern Marianas College-Cooperative Research Extension and Education Service dean, said in his brief speech that those working in the agriculture sector—farmers, fishermen, ranchers, and backyard planters—need support coming from the community.
“Farming is no different today than it was done more than 100 years ago. It is important for the people to know where their food comes from. The farmers, fishermen, and ranchers are the people who provide food for you so let’s support those who provide for us.”
Reina Camacho, who hosted the event, also echoed the same sentiment especially now that it is more challenging for farmers and ranchers this time. “Farmers and ranchers, working in our lands and livestock, they endure various challenges so they need our continued support.
Camacho, who is also the Saipan and Northern Islands Fair Association public information officer, also thanked Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang and the DLNR for their assistance every year.
Chelsea Lorenzo (youth division plants), Edward Deleon Guerrero (adult division vegetables and fruits), and Greg Camacho (livestock) were the contest winners.