NORTH COTABATO — The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of North Cotabato, distributed 3,960 bags of fertilizers to corn farmers of Magpet, North Cotabato last January 4, 2018. Each farmer received two bags of complete fertilizer (14-14-14), one bag of urea (46-0-0), one bag of potassium (0-0-60), and 25 kilograms of diammonium phosphate (18-46-0).
Engr. Milagros C. Casis, DA-RFO XII Regional Executive Director, spearheaded the mass distribution together with Mr. Edgardo Linsag, the Municipal Agriculturist of Magpet, Engr. Jupiter Rubino, the Municipal Administrator of Magpet, and SAAD North Cotabato staff.
Mr. Edgardo Linsag, emphasized three things for a person to become a proper farmer. He dubbed it as “ATM” which stands for Area, Time, and Money. According to him, a farmer must have a land to till, a time to work on the farm, and money to finance farm activities. He also stressed out to properly utilize what the government has given.
In line with this message, Engr. Jupiter Rubino, expressed the all-out support of Magpet LGU headed by Hon. Florenito Gonzaga due to the fact that the father of Magpet is also a farmer. He thanked the present administration and the Department of Agriculture for the interventions Magpet has received especially that it has received the largest chunk of the 2016 first tranche budget of SAAD amounting to 11.6M pesos.
In this momentous event, Engr. Milagros C. Casis related to the real problems of farmers having served as a government employee from the time of Secretary Emmanuel Piñol’s governorship until now that he moved up the ranks as a cabinet member. Director Casis recalled that Secretary Piñol designed a program to help the farmers of North Cotabato during his time as governor. Now that he became Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), this program was revived and expanded nationwide in what is now known as the SAAD Program which strives to deliver livelihood programs to the marginalized farmers and fisherfolks in the poorest provinces in the country.
Director Casis also shared the success of SAAD Sarangani. Through the full support of the Department, the upland rice products of Sarangani is now being promoted through some media channels. As a result, Sarangani had to expand upland rice production to meet the increasing demand. She also highlighted the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) Program of the Department of Agriculture which aims to help legitimate farmers in financing their farm operations. This is a non-collateral loan assistance program with a minimal 6% interest annually and the interest will go to the farmer organizations in the form of savings.
Director Casis also urged farmers and stakeholders not to hesitate in approaching the Department of Agriculture through different SAAD Area Coordinators (ACs) for any agricultural concerns. She also left a message to nurture and treasure all interventions from the government.
Writer: Jemiema Arro, SAAD Communications Officer