OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, May 14, 2020 – The Department of Agriculture (DA) – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program in Region 4B turned over 6 hand tractors and 470 kilograms (kgs) of mungbeans amounting to Php 1.045 million to two farmer and fisherfolk associations of indigenous communities in the municipality of Paluan.
Belonging to the Iraya community, the 77 farmer-members of Sitio Hinugasan Cassava Planters’ Association received three hand tractors worth Php 465,000.00 and 40 kgs of mungbeans worth Php 9,800.00 under 2019 funds.
The provision of farm machineries, such as hand tractors, awarded last 12 March, 2020, aims to help farmers during the laborious process of land preparation. Farm mechanization improves farming efficiency over the traditional use of carabao or water buffalo in plowing the rice fields.
Meanwhile, 60 members of Paluan-Harrison Fisherfolks’ Association (PHFA) from the same community received three hand tractors worth Php 465,000.00 and 80 kilos mungbeans worth Php 19,600.00. Early on, the said association also received a vermicomposting facility worth Php 500,000.00. Aside from fishing, the association was also engaged in vegetables and rice farming activities.
Vermicomposting allows the members of PHFA to practice organic farming. During the lean months of fishing from June to November, fisherfolks engage in other agricultural activities, such as planting vegetables. The vermicast is used as a fertilizer component for vegetable production, and in some cases, the compost is sold to provide additional income.
The remaining 350 kgs worth Php 85,750.00 of mungbeans was awarded to 25 non-member individuals of Barangay Harrison planted in at least 14 hectares.
This initiative is a response to improve DA and BFAR convergence activities, as envisioned by the current SAAD Program Director Dr. Myer G. Mula.
Dr. Mula articulated his plans of strengthening the partnership between the DA and BFAR by crafting parallel or integrated agri-fisheries interventions to uplift livelihood conditions of farmer and fisherfolk beneficiaries. ###
Writers: Marshall Louie Asis, SAAD-MiMaRoPa Information Officer
Sources: Photos by Marshall Louie Asis, SAAD-MiMaRoPa Information Officer