In support to the implemention of the Enhanced National Greening Progam (ENGP) in the Province of Abra, one technical staff of WWRRC in the person of Mr. Diosdado A. Estigoy was tapped as resource person and facilitator during the hands-on training on bamboo propagation conducted at PENRO Abra on February 21-22, 2017. The training was attended by all the PENRO’s regular and contractual staff involved in the ENGP, which include among others NGP site Coordinators, Extension Officers, Assisting Professionals, Area Managers, as well as PENRO/CENRO Management staff. Various PO representatives such as officers and members also participated in the said training.

Gracing the occasion was PENR Officer Engr. Ernesto Aton who gave the welcome remarks and encouraged all the participants to plant and help ensure 100% survival rate of bamboo under the enhanced NGP 2017 as a way to uplift the bamboo industry in Abra. He also challenged the POs to try new ideas and initiatives for the better result of the plantation so that the next generation can still make use of it. He finally reminded all the POs, Extension Officers and Site Managers to put their hearts into it and spend more effort to ensure a successful implementation of the ENGP in the province”.

As one of the lecturers, Mr. Estigoy discussed the characteristics of a bamboo plant, its growing habits, and parts of a bamboo. He also tackled the socio-economic importance of bamboo. He cited bamboo-using industries such as agriculture and farming, food, eco-tourism, fishery, construction, landscaping/gardening, furniture and handicraft. Bamboo is a high-yielding renewable source; and it can also be an erosion-control agent because its netlike (fibrous) roots keep the soil intact.

On the hands-on selection of planting material and potting of the cuttings, additional instructions on proper culm and branch cutting selection were emphasized to the participants including the use of a sharp bow saw for cutting to avoid damaging the culm/branch. The participants were encouraged to start things right and adhere to the guidelines religiously in order to sustain the benefits of growing a bamboo plant and the effort one engages in it will eventually pay off.

Through this undertaking, it was hoped that the POs will be able to produce quality bamboo planting materials towards a successful implementation of the program. In the end, the POs and community people may achieve prosperity or at least mitigate poverty as they will harvest the benefits of more bamboo plantations in the province of Abra. Diosdado A. Estigoy, WWRRC