SAMAR – In recent close–in interviews with Samar Officer-In-Charge Provincial Agriculturist (OIC PA) Ma. Gloria A. Borja and Samar Acting Provincial Veterinarian (PVet) Juliet T. Dayap, they revealed their experiences about the SAAD Program, their aspirations, and visions for the province even after the program terminates in 2022. Both were optimistic that with SAAD’s assistance to farmers and livestock raisers, there will be a “360° turnaround” in farmers’ knowledge, skills, practices, and more importantly, increased income and productivity.
OIC PA Borja was bubbling with enthusiasm during the short tete–a–tete, saying that choosing her province as recipient of the program is both an opportunity and responsibility to convert the province from a “sleeping dragon” to a new, productive, and progressive Samar with developed farmers embracing, imbibing, and enjoying modern, inclusive, market-oriented, and climate–resilient agricultural growth and development.
This sentiment was more or less echoed by Acting PVet Dayap, who opined that the program brought pure joy to livestock farmers because of the grant assistance which could possibly be multiplied and rolled over to their fellow farmers. Dr. Dayap envisions Samar to be taken off the list of top 10 poorest provinces in the country by 2022. Moreover, the livestock raisers aside from being empowered should have by then developed their marketing and entrepreneurial skills.
To quote Ms. Borja, “Katumanan na ine nga SAAD Program han mga hingyap han mga parag–uma nga maalsa an ira kabutangan.” (This is a fulfillment of the farmers’ aspirations to alleviate their sorry condition.) From marginal or subsistence farmers, with small farm lots, practicing traditional farming methods, and who lack capital for farm inputs and labor, her dream is for farmers to be more aggressive towards progress, cooperative, responsive, and united for a more developed agricultural economy. Hence, she appealed to them, “Higugmaon ngan ugopan naton an programa.” (Let us love and value SAAD Program.)
For her part, Dr. Dayap urged livestock raisers to take good care of the animals for sustainability, so program management will not regret in choosing Samar as among the first recipients. He also hopes DA would grant the province in the future with other programs/projects that will benefit the farmers.
Writer: Michael Dabuet, SAAD Region 8