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The Dampalan Farmers' Association (FA) received 125 bags of unshelled peanuts and 300 bags of organic fertilizer from the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IX- Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program as part of the FY 2020 Corn and Peanut Production in Zamboanga del Norte. More than 200 rice and vegetable farmer-beneficiaries of the DA SAAD in MiMaRoPa have been granted with agricultural machines and planting materials to increase agricultural productivity and efficiency in the province. Fourteen (14) San Andres fisherfolk-beneficiaries have been granted livelihood support from BFAR-SAAD Catanduanes. Fourteen (14) new barangays in Kalinga were added to the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program’s implementation in three covered municipalities – Pinukpuk, Balbalan, and Lubuagan. The local government units (LGUs) actively participated in the social preparation activities conducted by the program from October 7 to 16, 2020. Seventy (70) individual farmer-beneficiaries from Barangay Poblacion and Barangay Pendulonan in Poona Piagapo received vegetable gardening materials worth Php 2.1 million under the Integrated Agricultural Livelihood Project of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program for FY 2019. One hundred thirty-seven (137) sheep composed of 125 ewes and 12 rams were distributed to five farmer’s associations in the municipality of Pudtol. The Sheep Production project is valued at Php 2,601,650.00. In pursuit of inclusive development, the DA-SAAD Region 4B turned over Php 3.2 M worth of agri assistance to 6 Buhid-Mangyan farmer-organizations in Occidental Mindoro, enhancing further existing agricultural livelihood projects. Three farmers' associations in Zamboanga del Norte produced and sold Php 810,630.00 worth dressed chicken through the assistance of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region 9 –Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program amid challenges in marketing and transportation. The chickens were from the Broiler Chicken Raising Livelihood Project. Seventy-two-year-old woman farmer Felicidad Dela Cruz and also a member of the Upstream Livelihood Farmer’s Association sold three rams in her neighborhood at Brgy. Dagupan, Luna, Apayao with total collectibles of Php 13,000.00 on October 1, 2020. The National Program Management Office (NPMO) of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program had organizational restructuring to improve its management effectiveness and efficiency leading to better project implementation. The three books namely: The Beginning, The Deliverance, and The Adherence, are scenes of the SAAD program which started in 2017 till 2019, on how the program grows in time which provide a chronological compilation of activities and events for the upward mobility of the SAAD Program’s mission and vision. As a means of alternative livelihood, a farmers' association in Brgy. Calawag, Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro received a 2-day training on mushroom production and value-adding activities. The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Region 7 helped 67 fisherfolks through a Pond Culture Technology project worth Php 600,000.00 in the town of Lazi. Mr. Sikal Wadja is one of the Department of Agriculture- Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program's beneficiaries who received inputs from the FY 2018 Diversified Crops and Livestock Production Project in Sulu. Forty-one (41) members of the Culiram SAAD Abaca Farmers Association (CUSAFA) in Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, received four stripping machines from the FY 2019 Abaca Production Project (worth Php 1.9 million) implemented by the Department of Agriculture- Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program in Region 13. In this article, Mr. Gil Gabales explains the income potential of machine-stripped abaca fiber. In support of the government’s thrust in agricultural mechanization and modernization in the countryside, the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) MIMAROPA distributed farm machinery amounting to Php 1,286,000.00 to indigenous farming communities of Brgy. Monteclaro, San Jose. Community participation is essential in development initiatives implementation, as locals transform from beneficiaries to partners for inclusive development. Here's a closer look at SAAD-Catanduanes' participatory governance. The Department of Agriculture (DA) – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program in Western Visayas completed the distribution of 1,440 free-range native chickens worth Php 979,200.00 to 24 farmers’ associations (FAs) in the provinces of Antique and Negros Occidental. Seventy-two (72) individual fisherfolks from Pres. Carlos P. Garcia benefited from the Php 1.7 million worth of livelihood assistance under the FY 2019 of Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 7 - Bohol Provincial Fishery Office (PFO). The project aims to reduce the cost of fishing operation, and intends to help alleviate poverty status of the fishermen. With its continuous action in assuring full assistance to farmers' necessities, even at times of global health crisis, the Department of Agriculture (DA) - Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program ensures to achieve its goal. A total Php 930,520.00 for FY 2020 under the Integrated Corn Production with Poultry and Vegetable Production Project were distributed to five farmers’ associations in the municipality of Antipas. The Cancavan Corn Growers Association (CCGA) is a Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program-funded farmers’ group in Carmen, Surigao del Sur. The Native Chicken Production Project has proven useful to the group as an alternative source of income while waiting for their rice and corn harvest. Thirteen farmers associations from 3 municipalities in Zamboanga del Norte received 240 bags of feeds from the Department of Agriculture Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Region 9 in support to the Layer Chicken with Fabricated Cage Project of FY 2019 . In Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro, farmers are taking the lead towards sustainable and further development, from program maintenance to planning by investing in association utilities, initiating enterprise plans, and informative training. One hundred six (106) individual farmers in Linamon received Php 954,000.00 worth of garden tools with cacao seedlings from the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program under the Integrated Livelihood Project of FY 2019. The Department of Agriculture (DA) - Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Region 12 always tries to fulfill its mission to uplift the farmers’ lives from poverty with livelihood programs, despite the pandemic people are facing nowadays. They conducted distribution of livelihood project interventions for goat, duck, and corn production for FYs 2019 and 2020 in the municipalities of Banisilan and Kabacan.

The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) is a locally-funded program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), intended to help alleviate poverty among the marginalized sectors on agriculture and fishery.

Coined after the Visayan word “saad” which means promise, the SAAD Program is a breakthrough of former DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol as part of the thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte to increase food production and reduce poverty in the Philippines.

Through the SAAD program, a total of 30 priority provinces with high poverty incidence rate among families have been given assistance in both agriculture and fisheries since year 2017.

In the midst of 2019, Piñol’s former administration was turned over to now DA Secretary William D. Dar.

Secretary Dar brought with him his New Thinking for Agriculture geared towards a food-secure Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk.

His eight paradigms of “New Thinking” for Agriculture paved the way to continue and strengthen the SAAD Program implementation in his leadership to realize his twin goals of increasing productivity and making farmers and fishers prosperous or his term’s battlecry, “Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita”.

The SAAD Program, headed by Director Myer G. Mula, aims to give agricultural interventions on animals, crops, and fisheries (capture fishery and aquaculture) to identified beneficiaries with the help of corresponding offices in the regional and provincial levels.

The SAAD Program is composed of four major components – 1) Program Management, 2) Social Preparation, 3) Production and Livelihood Interventions, and 4) Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development.

Program Management

The Program Management component comprises activities that are operational and preparatory in nature to ensure efficient and effective program implementation. It also includes monitoring and evaluation to draw relevant inputs to enhance practices and policies.

Production and Livelihood Interventions

The Production and Livelihood Interventions component, on the other hand, will entail the livelihood projects to be given based on the assessed needs of the recipients. Interventions given to selected beneficiaries are animals, crops, fisheries production and post-production inputs, tools, machinery, facilities, and equipment to improve their farm and fish production practices and productivity.

Social Preparation

The Social Preparation component will encompass a series of training (including needs assessments) in order to ensure readiness and empowerment of the SAAD beneficiaries in accepting and managing the program. It also includes coordinating with partner-agencies and organizations for possible collaboration.

Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development

The Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development component corresponds to the program’s initiatives to help communities create enterprises by establishing market linkages and providing technical assistance and logistic support.


By 2022, SAAD will be the leading agricultural development program and resource mobilization service of the Department of Agriculture, undertaking intensified social venture initiatives to increase food production and alleviate identified farmers and fisherfolk from poverty.



We contribute to the poverty alleviation of 30 priority provinces with high poverty incidences and areas covered by Executive Order No. 70 (series of 2018) through:

  • Social Preparation that empowers marginalized Farmers and Fisherfolk;
  • Intensified Production and Livelihood Interventions responsive to assessed needs; and
  • Partnerships with the local government units, private sector, and other government agencies and stakeholders.
SAAD Program Framework

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Republic of the Philippines

William D. Dar, Ph. D.
Secretary, Department of Agriculture

Myer G. Mula, Ph. D.
Program Director


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