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Potential Delights

“Potential Delights” depicts the success stories of Mauswagon Sibuying Farmers Association and La Libertad Agricultural Producers Association from the municipality of La Libertad, Zamboanga del Norte province. The groups received interventions on the Sibuying Production and Processing Project and Sweet Corn Production Project.

BACKGROUND

Mauswagon Sibuying Farmers Association from La Libertad, Zamboanga del Norte

As a 5th class municipality, La Libertad is still battling the challenge of uplifting its population’s living conditions. Low-income households are in great numbers in this municipality. Lack of livelihood support is the major reason why households haven’t had enough income to sustain their families.

In 2017, the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) program started its support to marginalized farmers in the poorest provinces in the country. Later in2018,theMauswagonSibuying Farmers’ Association (FA) was one of the associations identified as a recipient of the sibuying production and processing since most farmers in Barangay Mauswagon have initial knowledge on the enterprise. The association has 24 members. The project was implemented in partnership with the local government unit of La Libertad. 

To capacitate and develop each members skills on management and sibuying processing, the association underwent a series of capability building activities through social preparation and technical training. 

DA-SAAD provided the MauswagonSibuying FA with production support components (planting materials) and processing support with shrink machines, bottles, etc. on March 8, 2019.

The members of Mauswagon Sibuying Farmers’ Association attended a training on sibuying processing

INNOVATIONS/GOOD PRACTICES

Since the distribution, the association has begun their planting of sibuying as their raw material in making sibuying pickles. Each member has their own role in the project from planting to processing and they are implementing their project with a ratified project policy.

STATUS

The MauswagonSibuyingFA is now on its 4th batch of processing sibuying pickles. With the amount of cash on hand, the association is now planning to open their own bank account to secure the funds earned by the association.

FACILITATING FACTORS/ CHALLENGES

The facilitating factor is the organization’s dedication to sustaining the sibuying industry not just in ZamboangadelNorte but in Region 9 with the support from the DA-SAAD and the LGU of La Libertad. With the association’s eagerness to expand their production and processing, the livelihood support of the government will be sustained and developed.

Sibuying pickle is a new product that is being introduced in the market. It must conduct a massive product promotion activity by focusing on the nutritional and medicinal value of the product since people nowadays are health-conscious.

Natural phenomenon like El Niño has a devastating im pact on growing sibuying. The farmer-partners’ challenge is to establish a stable source of water for irrigation. This will ensure an uninterrupted supply of raw materials for pickle production.

IMPACT

Its impact is minimal at present, but it is expected to have a far-reaching effect on the lives of farmer-partners. At this initial stage, the most visible impact on the farmer-partners is the improved community cohesion. The project has become the venue to explore, innovate, plan, and establish a better community relationship. The sharing-of-ideas sessions they hold for product development made a better appreciation of their skills and talent. This is a positive development compared to the seeming atmosphere of apathy before the livelihood project was awarded to the association.

POLICY/PROGRAMME/ COOPERATION IMPLICATION 

There is no doubt that consumers nowadays prefer healthy food. Support for sibuying production and processing should cover all aspects of the emerging enterprise. Sustained production support, upgrading of skills in pickle production, improved packaging, and marketing scheme should be extended to this fledging but promising local industry.

Written by Shelain Apolinario

BACKGROUND

La Libertad Agricultural Producers Association from La Libertad, Zamboanga del Norte

In 2013 as the new set of municipal officials entered, the office of the Municipal Agriculturist reorganized all farmers association in the municipality. A new organization was established and named La Libertad Agricultural Producers Association (LAPRODA). The Office of the Municipal Agriculturist then distributed vegetable seeds and planting materials for high-value crops and some interventions for livestock and poultry.

However, farmers still clamor for extra support to their livelihood due to low income. Being an agricultural municipality with a lack of linkages to finance institutions, marginalized farmers do not have enough capacity to earn for their family. 

In 2017, the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program started its support of different SAAD livelihood projects to marginalized farmers in the poorest provinces in the country. The LAPRODA was identified as partner-farmers for the integrated Livelihood Project (Sweet Corn and Goat Production Project). As an integrated livelihood project, it aims to help farmers in different barangays in the municipality to uplift their living conditions.

Since the project is new to the farmers, the association underwent a series of capability building activities though social preparation and technical training for both sweetcorn production and goat-raising. 

The DA-SAAD Program provided a package of support to the sweet corn production project, which includes sweet corn seeds, organic and inorganic fertilizers, two (2) units of freezer, and five units (5) of product display stand with steamer.

INNOVATIONS/GOOD PRACTICES

The sweet corn production component was given to the association on June 28, 2018, and the additional support was provided onMarch 8, 2019. LAPRODA was trained on the proper application of fertilizer, timing of harvest, and proper storage of harvested sweetcorn to preserve its sweetness. The association is implementing their project with the guidance of their organizational, financial, and project policies. 

The LAPRODAenvisionsexpanding their production area to provide quality-produced sweet corn. It also aims to be the major producer of sweet corn in the province.

STATUS

The LAPRODA is on its 4th cycle of sweet corn production. They are now selling their produce in the locality and in some neighboring municipalities and cities. 

FACILITATING FACTORS/ CHALLENGES 

Strong support from the local government unit of La Libertad and the sustained assistance from the DA-SAAD Program contributed to the success of the LAPRODA sweet corn project. 

It’s a big challenge to the association to sustain the volume of production especially during long drought season but the farmers aim to persevere.

IMPACT

The sweet corn production project helps 15 household members of LAPRODA. Each member has already received their share on the first and second cycles. They are still counting on the progress and success of their projects. 

POLICY/PROGRAMME/ COOPERATION IMPLICATION 

Through the support of the DA SAAD and the LGU La Libertad, the project will help not just the 15 members of LAPRODA but also the other members from different barangays.

The association also established its policies to ensure the sustainability of the project.

Written by Shelain Apolinario

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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