The Pampanga State Agricultural University’s extension project brought home on October 23, 2020, the 2020 Government Best Practice Recognition, an annual competition spearheaded by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) among government agencies with a distinct best practice. The title of the recognized best practice entry of PSAU is “Coffee-Based Agroforestry: PSAU’s Model to Promote Sustainable Co-Management of Forest Land with Informal Settlers”. Due to pandemic, the competition was held virtually via google meet from October 22-23, 2020 through DAP’s Productivity and Development Center and Center of Excellence.
There were a total of 73 entries submitted nationwide on August 2020, composed of state universities and colleges, local government units and various government agencies such as Department of Health, Department of Science and Technology XI, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Department of Labor and Employment. Out of these 73 entries, only 26 proceeded to the next stage as finalists where oral competition with question and answer before DAP’s panel of judges took place virtually on October 22-24, 2020. The PSAU president, Dr. Honorio M. Soriano Jr. along with the Director of Extension and Training, Dr. Geraldine C. Sanchez hurdled the competition together with the finalists. Out of the 26 finalists, only 10 were announced as Best Recognized Practice of this year’s 2020 Government Best Practice Recognition award of DAP. These include in no particular order namey: Pampanga State Agricultural University; University of the Philippines-Diliman; Visayas State University; Camarines Norte State College; DOST XI; LGU of Cauayan City, Isabela; Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center; LGU of General Santos City; LGU of Paranaque; and LGU of Paracale.
The PSAU’s best practice entitled: Coffee-Based Agroforestry: PSAU’s Model to Promote Sustainable Co-Management of Forest Land with Informal Settlers is an original concept of President Soriano being implemented under the Office of Extension and Training. Its innovative feature is about sustainable co-management of the forest reserve title land of the university by peacefully winning and capturing the hearts of the 30 informal settlers who engaged in the destruction of forest trees by illegal logging and charcoal making in 2011. The informal settlers were organized into a farmer’s association known as the Ayala-San Agustin Farmers Association or ASAFA duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and approved by the board of regents. To date, the ASAFA coffee farmers are very productive and profit oriented farmers engaged not only in coffee, but in other crops such as banana, tamarind, cacao, bignay, papaya and other cash crops.
Picture of Left: Development Academy of the Philippines virtual competition of best practice by various agencies with Dr. Geraldine C. Sanchez as one of the presentors. Picture on right: PSAU as Recognized Best Government Practice for its extension project.