BAGUIO CITY, May 28, 2021 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) conducted pilot validation and monitoring for the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) in Apayao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province from May 18 to 28.
SAAD-DA (Agriculture Sector)
There are 107 farmers’ associations in the region, 38 each from Kalinga and Apayao as well as 31 in Mountain Province.
The onsite monitoring and evaluation of areas targeted multiple sites per province is to gauge the impact of rolled-out programs and accomplishments in a bid to determine and address gaps for a seamless implementation of 2021 projects.
The validation team was led by SAAD national staff Mr. Darwin Pamatmat, Mr. Randy Ocampo, Ms. Abigail Dela Cruz, and Mr. Kit Gopela, supported and guided by the SAAD regional and provincial staff.
The team reached out to the beneficiaries through group discussions aiming to improve the program implementation to achieve its goals of contributing to poverty alleviation and spurring economic enterprises.
For Mountain Province, the Channeg Farmers Association composed of women elders and mothers in Dalican town attested to a sustainable livelihood in the DA-SAAD quail egg production project with a daily production of 250 eggs and sold locally.
In total, the province has 2,755 beneficiaries under 52 livelihood projects scattered in 36 barangays.
Meanwhile, the sheep or “karnero” project in Luna, Apayao has been effective to aid beneficiaries during the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The livelihood is managed by 158 members of the Upstream Livelihood Farmers’ Association which is ready to elevate the project into a multiplier farm this year, enabling the organization to produce more sheep and supply adjoining areas.
In Conner, the Calaoan Livelihood and Farmers Association – DA-SAAD beneficiaries since 2016 composed of women founded an enterprise in backyard vegetable farming – reaped the benefits of agriculture. They sell talong, pechay, kamatis, upo, squash, sili, and patola.
SAAD Apayao covers 31 groups with 1,669 beneficiaries under 51 livelihood projects covering 59 barangays.
Furthermore, the Bawac, Darulog, Allubaggan, and Pagugo Farmers Association in Kalinga succeeded in their table egg production project as seen in the sales and harvest from their chicken multiplier farm in Tanudan.
The group received a startup livelihood enterprise through the establishment of Free-range Chicken Multiplier Farm Project in April worth Php 550,000.
The project aims to develop skills and provide additional income to the 112 members by establishing an enterprise focusing on the production of quality breeds of poultry and serving as suppliers in the locality and nearby areas.
The project includes 500 Dekalb pullets and cockerels as well as 50 bags of layer feeds. It can provide an estimated total beneficiary profit of Php 6.5 million for the first year from eggs and chicken produce.
SAAD Kalinga houses 38 associations with 2,580 beneficiaries under 45 livelihood projects which covers 31 barangays.
CAR covers SAAD projects including the production of corn, rice, fruit trees, livestock, and poultry to empower communities to achieve sustainable enterprises to alleviate poverty.
After the 11-day validation, DA Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey with SAAD Program Director Dr. Myer Mula facilitated a discussion of crucial observations of projects for the region in a resolve to address concerns for an anticipated improvement of services.
A leveling up of skills through specialized training and capacity building has been requested by the FA to further improve their organizations as well as additional equipment and support facilities to be able to achieve success in becoming an economic enterprise.
SAAD-BFAR (Fish Sector)
Emerging and potential livelihood in hatchery and loach projects of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) CAR have also been identified in the three provinces.
Guided by BFAR-SAAD Focal Person, Ms. Michelle Peralta, the 3-year livelihood provisions plan for Cordilleran farmers and fisherfolk under the bureau concludes in 2019, but assistance through BFAR funds sustain projects awarded throughout the project.
Part of sustainability of the aquaculture projects includes the establishment of BFAR hatchery stations which continuously provide fingerlings to the beneficiaries.
Livelihood projects visited include aquaculture projects for rice-fish, tilapia, and hito in ponds, tilapia culture in cages, and loach culture in Apayao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province.
The monitoring group visited 12 sites throughout the region, which house more than a thousand individual beneficiaries.
BFAR is still distributing inputs in Kalinga while in the Mountain Province, 396 projects were already provided.
Meanwhile, training in aquaculture, postharvest, enterprise development, values formation, and market matching have been carried out for beneficiaries at the start of the year.
In Kalinga, the Tadian Farmers, Fisherfolk and Irrigators Association [TAFFIA] and the Tanglag Fisherfolk Association [TAFA] requested more fish varieties to propagate. Both organizations have 360 and 500 members each, respectively.
Issues on water source, mortality of fingerlings due to transportation and source limitations, stock enhancement, and intentions on production expansion arose and were consulted with the planning officers. Resolutions were formulated through focused group discussions.
BFAR beneficiary Eliazar Tino of EJ Farms at Balinciagao, Pasil, Kalinga, boasts of a thriving hatchery jumpstarted by the BFAR and expanded using profits made.
The bureau pledges for continued aid to SAAD beneficiaries through the establishment of village-level hatcheries, training, infrastructure building assistance, and provision of farm input to ensure that the projects remain operational and thriving to expand from consumption to enterprise development. ###
Writer: Maria Elena Catajan, DA SAAD CAR Information Officer 1
Sources and Contributors:
Ms. Michelle Peralta, BFAR-SAAD CAR, Regional Focal Person
Kit Jasper Gopela, NPMO, PME Focal for Fisheries
Photo Courtesy of DA-SAAD CAR