PROVINCE OF SULU, September 10, 2020 – The Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IX, through the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program, delivered interventions to 7 municipalities worth Php 8,335,578.00 under the 2020 budget.
The agri-inputs, consisting of 60 modules egg machine (layer chicken with cage), 4,980 kilograms unshelled peanut, 416 rolls of barbed wire, and 1,704 rolls of hog wire, arrived in Jolo Port from August 11 to 31, 2020. They were completely delivered in the barangays, notwithstanding the peace and order situation in the province, on September 10, 2020.
Egg Production Project
The 60 modules of egg machine (Php 3,563,100.00) were additional inputs to support the existing Egg Production Projects in Talipao, Parang, Panamao, and Maimbung. Each municipality was given 15 modules with 48 chickens per module, totaling to 2,880 chickens delivered to the beneficiaries.
The project benefited 11 established farmers’ associations (FAs) and a newly organized FA with combined members of 405 Tausug farmers located in 12 barangays.
There were 40 modules of egg machines existing per municipality from the 2018 – 2019 program implementation in the province. Due to the positive feedback from the field, the beneficiaries were given additional modules of egg machine under SAAD FY 2020 budget, increasing the number of units to 55 modules per municipality.
The monitoring done in the last 2 weeks of June 2020 showed that four municipalities have a total production of 76,971 eggs in 15 days. However, the production of eggs is decreasing due to unstable supply of feeds during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) caused by COVID-19.
Steady harvest is expected in the coming months with the delivery of additional modules as well as the return of the regular schedule of shipping lines.
The association is projected to have a minimum monthly gross sale of Php 64,800.00 to Php 97,200.00 if sold at Php 180.00 per tray or maximum gross sale of Php 79,200.00 to Php 118,800.00 if sold at 220 per tray. The price per tray during the implementation of ECQ went up to Php 250.00 to Php 300.00 due to the limited entry of poultry supply and feeds in the province.
Cassava-Corn-Peanut Integrated Farming
Consisting of fence materials, farm tools, corn seeds, unshelled peanuts, and cassava stalks, an additional 137 modules under the Integrated Farming Project were provided to 6 municipalities.
The initial inputs to be delivered for the livelihood package were the 4,980 kilograms unshelled peanuts worth Php 904,542.00, 416 rolls barbed wire worth Php 643,968.00, and 1,704 rolls hog wire worth Php 3,223,968.00 from August 10 to 31, 2020. The remaining inputs will be delivered within the month of September 2020.
The inputs were distributed to Talipao (60 bags of unshelled peanut, 240 rolls hog wire, and 80 rolls barbed wire), Parang (48 bags unshelled peanut, 300 rolls hog wire, and 80 rolls barbed wire), Maimbung (30 bags unshelled peanut, 288 rolls hog wire, and 96 rolls barbed wire), Panamao (360 rolls hog wire, and 120 rolls barbed wire), Luuk (48 bags unshelled peanut, 276 rolls hog wire, and 40 rolls barbed wire), and Indanan (60 bags unshelled peanut and 240 rolls hog wire).
The inclusion of hog wire and barbed wire in the livelihood package is to protect the farm from stray animals. Cow, goat, and wild boar are usually the cause of the farmers’ production loss.
The barbed wires represent 75% of the total cost for the integrated farming project. However, the results are impressive according to the feedback of the beneficiaries who received the same inputs during the FYs 2018-2019 program implementation.
During the regular monitoring of projects in Talipao, three members of Barangay Tiis Kasangayan FA showed that they have average earnings per cycle of Php 42,300.00 for cassava (10 months/cycle), Php 16,600 for corn (6 months/cycle), and Php 48,000 for peanut in (6 months/cycle).
For the Suluanos, cassava is also a staple food and can be a substitute for rice. During the implementation of extended community quarantine in which the supply of rice was halted and the price went up, a barangay local government unit (BLGU) in Parang bought Laum Suah FA’s cassava produce and turned them into pressed cassava to be distributed to their constituents. Similar narratives also took place in other municipalities, where the SAAD beneficiaries contributed to food security during the implementation of the ECQ.
With a module covering at least a hectare of farm land, the delivery of 137 modules will increase the total production area of the Cassava-Corn-Peanut Integrated Farming Project in the province from 200 hectares to 337 hectares.
Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and Unstable Peace and Order Situation in Sulu
The DA-SAAD Region IX, under the leadership of Regional Director Rad Donn L. Cedeño, is determined to render quality service for the Tausug farmers despite the ongoing crisis in the country.
With a total budget of Php 10,652,460.00 for the Province of Sulu under FY 2020 budget, the DA-SAAD implemented integrated agricultural projects for poultry, high-value crops, vegetables, and rice.
The delivery of the said agricultural projects in the province was made possible, despite the ongoing pandemic and the recent twin bombing in Jolo town, through the effort of SAAD Sulu staff spearheaded by its Action Officer Alrashid S. Salim. The area coordinators assisted the suppliers and worked with the local partners, especially the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) – Sulu Municipal Local Government Unit, to facilitate the transportation of the agricultural inputs.
Sulu SAAD staff has undergone quarantine for two weeks in MAFAR-Sulu facilities two weeks before the arrival of inputs for health purposes. Under the leadership of Mrs. Mercyan A. Aspi, MAFAR-Sulu has been the main partner of DA-SAAD IX in program implementation since 2018 up to the pandemic period. ###
Writer: Shara Malaica Ussam, Information Officer- SAAD Sulu
Copy editor: Natalianne Marie Delos Reyes, PR & Comms Officer- SAAD NPMO