METRO MANILA, April 12, 2020 – President Rodrigo Duterte imposed the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon and other regions in Visayas and Mindanao due to the increasing number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In this regard, the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program refocuses its 2020 activities for immediate impact to consumers amid threats of COVID-19 on accessibility.
With these restrictions, the government’s commitment to food security for every Filipino family remains. Thus, the Department of Agriculture (DA), through Secretary William Dar, initiated the implementation of the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat or ALPAS COVID-19, otherwise called the Plant, Plant, Plant program, which is the centerpiece strategy to ensure immediate and sustain food production, availability, accessibility, and affordability.
In this juncture, the SAAD program supports to refocus its activities by providing policies and guidelines to adhere to this strategy to all concerned Regional Field Offices.
SAAD funds that are intended for the procurement of high-cost (per unit) industrial crops, fruit tree seedings, agri-machinery, equipment, and post-harvest facility (such as warehouse, multi-purpose drying pavement, communal animal housing) will be reallocated to the provision of basic production inputs for crops, poultry, livestock, and fisheries (aquaculture and inland).
- Seeds (annual crops, e.g. cereals, vegetables, root crops, and legumes)
- Soil ameliorants
- Assorted hand tools
- Hand tractor, pumps & engines
Poultry and Livestock
- Small ruminants (goat, sheep, etc.)
- Poultry for broiler or layer (native chicken, free range chicken, ducks, quail, etc.)
- Feed-related inputs and biologics
- Seaweed propagules
- Feed-related inputs and biologics
- 1HP water pumps
- Fishing gears and paraphernalia
3-6-9 Prioritization Scheme
The SAAD National Program Management Office set a 3-6-9 months’ prioritization scheme work plan in response to the current and future effects of the COVID-19:
From April to June 2020, SAAD will procure and deliver the interventions for crops, livestock, poultry, and fishery production that are fast-income generating. Equipment and machinery for land preparation will be delivered before the distribution of production inputs.
The program will prioritize projects that can be harvested within the target period. Timely delivery of farm and fishery inputs that coincides with the cropping calendar will be followed. Likewise, instead of conducting training, the program will hand out Information Exchange Communication (IEC) materials.
From July to September 2020, the program will continue to deliver farm and fishery inputs. It will also prioritize the assistance for crops and fishery establishment, such as replenishment of stocks for fingerlings. By this period, all animal housing is established and feed sources are secured.
The provision of processing equipment and machinery are encouraged if they will be used within the time period provided. SAAD will also be arranged for marketing interventions if beneficiaries showed preparedness.
The activities from the 2nd three months will be continued from October to December 2020. The marketing of products will be encouraged once SAAD has assessed and assured the stability of the production.
With the reprogrammed activities, SAAD is confident in abetting the government’s commitment to provide adequate, accessible, and affordable food for every Filipino family. ###
Writer: Jhomai Canlas, SAAD Public Relations and Communications Head