MASBATE, PHILIPPINES—If dog is man’s best friend, the carabao is the small farmer’s best buddy as it helps ease farm works and also helps transport farm produce through all kinds of terrain. Thus, the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) granted the requests of some of the farmer-partners of the program to have their own draft animal.
As of October 30, 2018, the SAAD Program has distributed a total of forty (40) carabaos (native caraheifers) to forty (40) individual farmer-partners in the municipalities of Balud, Mandaon, Esperanza, and Pio V. Corpuz—all in Masbate. Meanwhile, in Sorsogon, ten (10) carabaos were distributed to ten (10) interested farmer-partners.
The farmer-partners of SAAD in Masbate were very grateful for the carabaos they received as they really need draft animals in cultivating their lands especially now that they could scarcely afford the petroleum necessary in operating a tractor.
Most of the beneficiaries are living in remote areas which are not passable to public utility vehicles. Transporting goods from their farms to the market centers have long been a problem. With the carabao’s heavy built, it can travel in all kinds of terrain and can carry their produce, sometimes their children, if they wish to.
Other interventions were already distributed to the farmer-partners in the provinces of Masbate, Catanduanes, and Sorsogon. These included native goats, native pigs, native chicken, and ducks; white corn seeds and upland rice seeds with complete fertilizer; and packets of vegetable seeds such as okra, pechay, bush and pole sitao, as well as ampalaya, organic fertilizers, drums, garden tools, plastic trays, wheelbarrows, UV treated plastic for greenhouse, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes.
A number of trainings have been conducted in coordination with the DA – Regional Field Office (RFO) 5 banner programs to prepare the mindset of the beneficiaries and equip them with the necessary skills to sustain the project.
Writer: Lovella P. Guarin, Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Division (RAFID)
Copy-Editor: Ela Arciaga, SAAD NPMO PR & Communications Officer