The members of Fusina Agro-Forest Developers Association, Inc. (FAFDAI) are now enjoying the outcome of NGP implemented in Barangay Fusina, Lal-lo.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa DENR sa kanilang walang sawang pagsubaybay sa pagpapatupad ng NGP at ngayo’y matagumpay na naming narating. Malaking tulong sa amin ang benepisyo nito hindi lamang sa kinikita namin ngayon kundi sa pagpapanumbalik ng ganda ng kapaligiran sa pamamagitan ng mga punong aming itinanim,” said FAFDAI chairperson Reymund Rigon.
The 10 association members awarded with five hectares each are currently maintaining the full grown forest and fruit trees planted in the 50-hectare plantation established in 2012.
The forest and fruit trees were intercropped with high-value commercial crops to augment their reforestation needs.
Rigon has appreciated the implementation of NGP as it improved their living condition particularly in meeting their basic needs.
“Through the proceeds of our harvests, we were able to acquire an SUV car and a tractor on installment basis,” he added.
His wife, punong barangay Elizabeth Rigon, said they took the challenges they encountered at the beginning of the program. Other members resisted to continue because of the hardship in growing and maintaining the trees planted.
The Rigon family were not discouraged, instead, they set an example to others to pursue what they have started.
“Karamihan sa mga miyembro ay dating tambay, nagsusugal at umiinom ng alak. Hindi sila nakikipagtulungan. Hanggang nakita nila na lumalago na ang aming mga tanim, doon na sila nabuhayan ng loob na kaya namin basta’t may tiyaga at pagsisikap,” said the punong barangay.
She added a fire had almost hit their area but because of persistence of the members to attain success, this did not hinder them to do replanting and maintenance activities.
“Kami ay nagagalak sa pagdating ng NGP sa aming lugar. Natuto ang mga tao, lumago ang kabundukan at natustusan ang pag-aaral ng aking anak ganundin sa pamilya ng aming kasamahan sa asosasyon. May nakapagtapos na ng abogasya, accountancy at information technology sa kanilang pamilya,” she claimed.
The good harvest they are gaining from the fruit trees inspires them not only to engage more with the government efforts to rehabilitate denuded and idle areas but also to become a model in their community in environmental protection and conservation.
Truly, the challenges they conquered received gains in the end.