An agriculturist from Negros Occidental bested other candidates from provinces in the Philippines and directors of state universities in the Philippines for the Outstanding Local Government Unit Extentionist award of the Philippine Extension Worker Inc., during the 4th Agriculture, Fisheries, and Natural Resources Extension Symposium in Banga, Aklan recently.
Melba Bañares, agriculturist II of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist assigned in Kabankalan City, also received the Rice Achievers’ Award for the Agricultural Extension Workers category of Department of Agriculture in 2011.
Dina Genzola, OPA senior agriculturist said, Bañares has shared her innovative and creative strategies and expertise in the implementation of agricultural extension programs that have resulted in the production growth and farm income of farmers in Kabankalan City.
Genzola, who nominated Bañares for the award, described her as a worker who looks at problems as opportunities and her commitment to public service paid off when one of the farmer-clusters she organized was acknowledged as one of the best performing people’s organizations in Negros Occidental.
Bañares started as an extension worker in 1984 and was assigned in Candoni where she was caught in a crossfire between the rebel groups and the military during the time of unstable peace and order in the town, she said.
Other awards Bañares received was as Outstanding Technician of Candoni (1986), Outstanding Integrated Pest Management Worker (1986-1990), Outstanding Technician of Negros Occidental (1990), and Best Project Implementer of IPM (1994).
She also received P10,000 cash. *LTG