SULU, April 16, 2020 – The Department of Agriculture (DA) – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program farmers in the province and barangay officials of Barangay Laum Suah in the municipality of Parang strengthened their partnership through an agreement to purchase the farmers’ agricultural products during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The partnership was led by the association president, Nurhashim M. Abubakar, and the barangay chairman, Shariff M. Abubakar, and was facilitated by SAAD Area Coordinator Alkhartemar C. Sangkula.
The harvested goods are eggs and cassava, which were part of the relief goods to be given to the residents of the said barangay. Egg is a good source of protein while cassava is one of the Tausug’s staple food and a famous alternative to rice in the province.
The farmers’ association agreed to lower the price of their harvest for the benefit of the community. Since April 3, SAAD farmers have been providing table eggs to the village. As of April 16, 200 trays of eggs were sold for Php 230/tray with total sales amounting to Php 46,000.
Meanwhile, 350 pieces of pressed cassava (processed using a cassava grating machine) were sold since April 14 with total sales of Php 24,500. They were sold for Php 70 per 4 kilogram (kg).
The current market price of eggs per tray in the province during ECQ range from Php 240-280, while the packed pressed cassava is sold at Php 90 per 4 kg depending on the location.
The sales from their production is used to purchase essential items for the replanting of their crops and for the egg production. The project also provide additional income to pay for their families’ expenses.
SAAD Implementation in Sulu
Barangay Laum Suah is one of the recipients of DA-SAAD in the Municipality of Parang. During the first year of program implementation in 2018, the farmers in the barangay received agricultural inputs worth Php 1,786,433 for 50 beneficiaries. Another Php 1,639,585.75 was given to 55 beneficiaries in 2019. The intervention received by the group is an integrated agricultural project composed of cassava, corn, peanut, banana (Lakatan variety), vegetable, goat, native chicken, and layer chicken egg production.
The DA-SAAD program is still implemented in the province of Sulu through the DA Region 9, under the leadership of Regional Executive Director Rad Donn L. Cedeňo, in partnership with Provincial Agriculture Officer Mercyan A. Aspi of Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR). ###
Writer: Jeffrey Salih, SAAD Sulu Provincial Coordinator
Editor: Natalianne Marie O. Delos Reyes, SAAD PR & Communications Officer