KALINGA, July 04, 2021 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Kalinga completed its social preparation activities for 14 expansion barangays for 2021 covering a total of 1,189 additional beneficiaries. SAAD Kalinga will implement projects on fruit trees and high-value crops, poultry, and livestock projects for the new beneficiaries.
Social preparation is among the components of the SAAD Program which aims to empower key persons involved like farmers, fisherfolk, and local government units (LGUs) through a series of meetings and training.
After establishing partnerships and coordinating with the LGUs for the long list of prospective beneficiaries for the program’s 2021 projects in the last quarter of 2020, the second phase of social preparation which is profiling eligible beneficiaries was completed.
Profiling, according to Community Development Officer Mowanah Marie Jovellanos, is the most time-consuming and challenging phase of social preparation. It took 6 months for SAAD Kalinga staff to complete data collection and geotagging for eligible beneficiaries.
In this phase, each beneficiary is recorded for validation to come up with additional 1,189 target beneficiaries.
“I am currently handling three expansion barangays, aside from one 2020 barangay-beneficiary, and the simultaneous distribution of 2020 interventions, profiling, and training added to the challenge of completing our tasks. Nevertheless, accomplishing these tasks that can help our farmers is the most fulfilling feeling,” Ms. Jovellanos shared.
In the social preparation phase, the need and risk assessment where a selection of suitable livelihood interventions for the beneficiaries comprises the third phase of the social preparation process and was done in coordination with partner-LGUs and beneficiaries.
The fourth phase of the process is the formation of a farmers’ association where SAAD staff assigned in the area assisted beneficiaries in establishing their group and securing accreditation as an organization.
The Provincial Program Management Office (PPMO) conducted Organizational Development and Management (ODM) Training for people’s organizations to establish leadership and organization by-laws. Fourteen (14) groups out of 1,189 new beneficiaries were established where two groups already gained the Department of Labor and Employment and DA accreditations.
Farmers also receive fundamentals on project management, basic accounting, and bookkeeping to provide them with initial knowledge in managing their funds.
Ms. Mary Jane Bacodong of Nambucayan, Tabuk City thanked the program for providing free training for farmers like her.
“Agyaman kami iti panang-conduct yu iti daytuy nga training ken iti panang-imbitaryu kanyami. Nu kuma iti sabali ket adda bayad na dagituy nga pa-training ta makatulong nga talaga daytuy ti maysa nga organisasyon tapnu agtuluy-tuloy latta iti operasyon na,” said Ms. Bacodong, SAAD 2021 new beneficiary.[We are thankful for having us on this training. Such training isn’t free from other groups since these are really essential in keeping an organization running.]
As the program waits for the approval of operation extension from the lower house, SAAD-CAR continues to expand and implement agricultural projects as planned until its conclusion.
According to SAAD-CAR Planning Officer Ms. Leah E. Mon, the region anticipates the beneficiaries’ independence in case the program’s proposed extension is disapproved after strengthening and equipping the farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) with the necessary skills for their projected enterprise.
For FCAs that may not be able to come up with an enterprise at the end of 2022, a sustainable plan will be prepared by SAAD staff with respective municipal local government units for them to continue with their project. ###
Writer: Sheena Phine B. Pisco-Dayagon, Information Officer – Kalinga
MG Mula, UJ Lustria, Jr., and IKM Sevilla. 2021. SAAD Social Preparation Guidebook. Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program. Department of Agriculture. 175 pp. ISBN 978-971-704-056-1/978-971-704-05-7-8.