CATANDUANES, July 14, 2021 – Catanduanes farmers harvested 82.35 metric tons (mt) of rice in their first cropping season of the year after months of agricultural rehabilitation through the assistance of the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program.
Rainfed Island Rice Growers Association (RIRGA) in Bagamanoc with 15 members and the San Roque Palay Association (SAROPA) with 50 members in Bato and Gigmoto harvested a combined total of 2,058.75 sacks equivalent to 82.35mt.
Tilling a total area of 36.60 hectares (ha), the 65 farmers from said associations cultivated the palay seeds allocated to the province for rice production under FY 2020.
Farmers harvested 20,120kg in Bagamanoc, 30,540kg in Bato, and 31,690kg in Gigmoto from April to May.
“Mula po sa natanggap ko na isang sako ng palay at isang sako na abono na binigay ng DA-SAAD, ako po ay nakapag-ani ng 47 na sako ng palay. Lubos po akong nagpapasalamat sa DA-SAAD dahil talagang nakakatulong po sa amin itong mga binibigay ninyo, at nakakatipid na din po kami kahit papaano. Napakalaking bagay na po ito para sa isang tulad kong magsasaka na nakatira pa sa isla,” shared Mr. Jose Villasana, a member of RIRGA from Bagamanoc.
[From a sack of palay seeds with fertilizers granted by the DA-SAAD, I harvested 47 sacks. I am truly grateful to the DA-SAAD because the interventions served us exceedingly, plus, we can save money from it. We appreciate the assistance especially for a farmer like me, living on a far-flung island.]
Most of the farmers’ harvests were allocated for food consumption. Some sell their harvest to the National Food Authority (NFA) at Php19/kg, while others sell it as well-milled rice priced at Php50/kg.
From the 82,350kg harvest, only 2,910kg or roughly 3.5% of the total harvest were sold.
Table 1. Data on Palay Production of SAAD Rice Famers for the First Cropping Season
While some farmers had bountiful harvests, some SAAD farmers were not successful this cropping season because of the natural calamities hitting the province, causing damages to the crops and resulting in low or no yield at all.
To address this, the beneficiaries received 100 sacks of palay seeds (40kg per sack), complete fertilizer (50kg per bag), other farming materials such as laminated sheets, and empty sacks that are allocated for FY2021.
Table 2. Data on Distribution of Rice Production Inputs for FY 2021
Note: SAAD farmers are not beneficiaries of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF)
The SAROPA members mentioned that the distribution is very timely as they are starting to prepare their rice fields for the second cropping in September. The free palay seeds and other farming materials are start-ups for rice production assistance so SAAD farmers can allocate their savings on other farming needs such as tractor rental, labor fees, etc.
By August, the rice farmers will undertake SAAD’s training on rice production. The training will introduce the farmers to efficient techniques to successfully produce palay, develop marketing strategies geared towards enterprise development. ###
Writer: Sarah Jane C. Taway, DA SAAD Catanduanes – Information Officer
Sources: PPMO Catanduanes
Photo Sources: PPMO Catanduanes