SORSOGON, September 14, 2020 – More than 1.5 tons combined vegetables were gathered by Sorsoganon farmer-beneficiaries in the partial harvest of Vegetable Production and Plantation Crops Establishment Project in Region 5. The project is an initiative of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program, in hopes to provide sustainable livelihood and food production means to the remote areas in Region 5 especially during the health crisis.
Since multiple community lockdowns and travel restrictions have been declared to manage the spread of the coronavirus or CoViD-19, the program prioritized projects that will equip farmers for sustainable livelihood and self-sufficient means of food production.
One-hundred-ninety (190) identified farmer-beneficiaries from two municipalities in Sorsogon (Juban and Matnog) produced 1,564 kilograms (kg) of vegetables in August and September 2020 from their project. The said harvest acquired a combined profit amounting to Php 38,460.00 involving six farmers’ associations.
The Binanuahan Vegetable Farmers Association from Brgy. Binanuahan, Juban, Sorsogon has 30 member-beneficiaries that were able to sell 120 kg pipino in the nearby local market. The association earned Php 1,800.00 from the said harvest.
In Cabagahan, Matnog, a total of 366 kg vegetable harvest comprising upo, kalabasa, pechay, okra, sitaw, sili, talong, and kangkong were sold also in the local market by 30 beneficiaries and members of Cabagahan Farmers Association. The association earned Php 8,590.00.
Meanwhile, in Brgy. Sisigon, Matnog, 30 members of the Sisigon Farmers Association earned a total amount of Php 8,200.00 from the 352 kg vegetable harvest of sitao, upo and ampalaya.
Brgy. Sinebaran’s pechay and pipino harvest, with a weight of 60 kg provided the Sinebaran Farmers Association a Php 1,025.00 worth of earnings.
The Lajong Farmers Association with 35 farmer-beneficiaries from Brgy. Lajong, had a 300 kg harvest of ampalaya, pipino, talong and sitao, which provided their association a profit worth Php 9,375.00.
Lastly, in Brgy. Bariis, the Bariis Farmers Association with 35 farmer-beneficiaries sold a total of 366 kg weight of vegetables, comprising of sitao, pipino, talong, okra, pechay, ampalaya and upo, which obtained a profit worth Php 9,470.00.
The profit from the partial harvest of each farmers’ association is on top of their harvest apportioned for table consumption.
The SAAD Region 5 Vegetable Production Project is under the FY 2019-2020 budget. It encourages self-sufficiency and sustainability by equipping far-flung area farmers on independent food production and enterprise. Aside from vegetable seeds, organic fertilizer, and farming tools were also provided in the intervention package.
Table 1. Summary of harvest and sales in Juban and Matnog, Sorsogon
The TMD Vegetable Growers Association of Donsol
In Tres Marias Donsol, Sorsogon, the Tres Maria Drive (TMD) Vegetable Growers Association established and opened its own vegetable market stall on September 5, 2020. The opening event was led by group officials through Mr. Manuel Alim, TMD Vegetable Association chairperson.
“Usad po sa naging dahilan kung yanga naisipan namun maglagay ng pwesto sa samuyang barangay para matugunan an gating kapwa magsasaka [“Isa po sa naging dahilan kung bakit naisipan namin na maglagay ng pwesto sa aming barangay ay para matulungan ang ating kapwa magsasaka] na tulungang ma-i-market ang kanilang produkto, maging aktibo sa pagtatanim ng gulay at masolusyunan ang nutrisyunal na pangangailan ng aming barangay. Para magkaroon ng karagdagang kita ang bawat miyembro ng aming asosasyon. Sa pamamagitan ng aming adhikain ay sana mahikayat din naming ang ibang barangay na kopyahin an gaming ginagawa at tuluyang maging self sufficient ang bawat isa,” Mr. Manuel Alim shared.
The association, upon opening, had a total profit of Php 5,000.00. The group plans to open regularly during weekends. “Ito po ay isang magandang pangyayari po para sa amin dahil sa unang araw po ng aming pagbubukas ng pwesto ay nakabenta na po kami ng mahigit Php 5,000.00 pesos. Maraming salamat po sa inyong suporta at sa patuloy na pagbibigay po ng mga inputs na libre,” shared Ms. Jenny E. Pertez, TMD Secretary.
The vegetable production and enterprise initiative do not only create an impact on the farmer-beneficiaries but more importantly to the members of the community as a whole. As SAAD Program targets remote areas of the province, it enables the members of the community, farmers and consumers alike, to access a huge variety of fresh vegetables for nutritional needs at low prices.
In an interview conducted by Ms. Mary Rose Detera, SAAD Sorsogon Provincial Coordinator, a local teacher-consumer shared: “nagpapasalamat ako na meron nagtitinda ng sariwang gulay at prutas dito sa aming baryo. Lalo na po bagong harvest at mura. Sana po ay magpatuloy po ang mga ganitong activity na ginagawa po nila at susuportahan din po naming sila sa pamamagitan po ng pagbili ng kanilang mga produkto.”
The TMD officials are also thankful to SAAD for prioritizing the welfare of marginalized farmers and for the continued support they receive. “Maraming salamat po sa SAAD program sa pagsuporta po sa amin mula sa umpisa. Nakakatuwa po at nagkaroon na din po ng kaganapan at katotohanan ang aming naumpisahan. Nagkaroon na din po kami ng mapagkukunan ng pinansyal na pangsuporta para sa aming pamilya,” said Ms. Mary Ann G. Apuyan, Treasure of TMD.
Further harvests and enterprising activities are expected in the following months to come. ###
Jessamae Gabon, DA SAAD NPMO, Public Relations, and Communications Officer
Maribeth A. Mangalino, DA SAAD Region 5 Planning Officer
Ms. Maribeth A. Mangalino, DA SAAD Region 5 Planning Officer
Ms. Mary Rose Detera, SAAD-Sorsogon Provincial Coordinator
Photo courtesy of DA-SAAD Sorsogon