DAVAO DE ORO, August 4, 2021 – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Director Myer Mula urged Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 11 to equip existing group beneficiaries with enterprise management skills to sustain their agricultural livelihood projects.
“Every year, na binibigyan natin ng (that we provide) interventions ang (the) farmer, merong (there’s going to be) improvement yan. This year and next year, (it should be) towards enterprise development na dapat yan,” Mula underlined.
Speaking to the entire SAAD Region 11 DA and BFAR teams, Mula highlighted the importance of building enterprises out of existing farmers’ associations (FA).
“Magtulungan tayo (Let’s help each other). May (We still have) one-and-a-half-year pa tayo – it will give a very big impact sa ating mga (on our) farmers and fishers. This Phase 1 — in case (there’s) may Phase 2 siya — this will open our eyes to what should be done in the extension.”
With more than Php 43 million in intervention allocation this year, SAAD Region 11 designed several of its production projects as platforms for FAs’ enterprise development efforts.
Upgraded chicken and goat production projects, for example, were directed for beneficiaries to go into egg, meat, and livestock businesses.
A month ago, 14 FAs across Davao de Oro received the upgraded native chicken project, with implements such as feeds and various biologics (dewormer, antibiotics, and multivitamins). As of writing, several of these FAs started selling brown eggs.
Goat production, on the other hand, commenced with 80 upgraded goats delivered to two FAs. One of the FAs is Mansaka-exclusive group, an indigenous peoples group in the Geographically Isolated and Disadvantage Area (GIDA) of Maco, Davao de Oro.
Thirty-two (32) FAs, both on GIDA and End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) areas are pipelined to receive the same interventions within the year.
Based on felt-needs assessment, upgraded chicken and goats were both identified as animal-based interventions because of the poultry and small ruminant’s selling potential.
For crop-based interventions, SAAD Region 11 identified banana, abaca, and lettuce.
Participatory Guarantee System
Dir. Mula also underscored the value of organic agriculture on SAAD farmers and fishers, drawing special attention to the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS).
He said, “In other areas of SAAD, meron tayong mga (we have) organic practitioners. Now, ang ganda ng (this is a great) opportunity na ito for the associations to be part of PGS.”
Based on the Republic Act 11511, PGS for organic agriculture is a quality assurance system built on trust, social networks, and exchange of knowledge. An alternative third-party certification system led by the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS), PGS was aimed to streamline certifications on organic produce.
“I need the SAAD to put focus on these things,” Dir. Mula reiterated, desiring to link the activities of SAAD and PGS regulations.
Beyond this, Dir. Mula also envisions establishing collaboration arrangements between the two programs.
“We have the intention to marry SAAD activities into organic agriculture activities (especially) when it comes to PGS,” Gerland Cammagay, Senior Science Research Specialist for BAFS said.
“Yung (the) thrust nang (of) PGS, pasok doon sa (is apt with the) target clientele of SAAD in which on the ground level yung mga farmers ang mga beneficiaries (farmers are beneficiaries). Tugma din ito sa (It’s also apt with the) target clientele ni (of) PGS,” he added.
SAAD Region 11 plans to incorporate organic agriculture in its 2022 livelihood programs through its crop- and animal-based interventions. ###
Writer: James Brian R. Flaga, SAAD RPMSO 11 Information Officer
Source: DA-SAAD Davao de Oro