SAMAR, PHILIPPINES—In recent up-close interviews with the OIC Provincial Agriculturist (PA) Ms. Ma. Gloria A. Borja and Acting Provincial Veterinarian of Samar Dr. Juliet T. Dayap, they revealed their experiences about SAAD Program, their aspirations, and visions for the province even after the program ends in 2022. Both were optimistic that with SAAD’s assistance to farmers and livestock raisers, there will be a “360 degree turn around” in farmers’ knowledge, skills, practices, and more importantly, increased income and productivity.
OIC PA Borja was bubbling with enthusiasm during the short tête-à-tête, 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 Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Dayap, who opined that the Program brought pure joy to livestock farmers because the grant assistance could possibly be multiplied and rolled-over to their fellow farmers. Dr. Dayap envisions Samar to be taken off the list of top three 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 have more aggressive stance 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 the Program management will not regret choosing Samar as among its recipients, as they hope that DA would grant the province with other programs or projects that will benefit the farmers in the future.
Writer: Michael F. Dabuet, DA-RFO 8 Adminstrative Officer III
Copy Editor: Ela Arciaga, SAAD NPMO PR & Communications Officer
Originally published on Peryodikit – June News Round-Up (Issue No. VII, Volume No. II Series of 2018), Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development Program (DA-SAAD) Regional Field Office VIII Official Publication