Eastern Samar farmers show great progress on their SAAD interventions

GENERAL MACARTHUR, EASTERN SAMAR – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program farmer-beneficiaries from General MacArthur, Eastern Samar show great progress on their rice and swine interventions during the SAAD National Program Management Office (NPMO) staff’s monitoring, together with SAAD regional and provincial staff, on the 7th of March 2018.

Fifty-one-year-old farmer Alfredo Amoyan from Barangay San Isidro in the municipality of General MacArthur was given one sack of certified rice seeds, six sacks of organic fertilizer, two sacks of complete fertilizer, two sacks of urea, and one sack of muriate of potash. He shared that his rice plants – sowed in a 1.5-hectare land – are now in their reproductive stage-panicle initiation.

Despite the successive typhoons that affected Amoyan’s crops, he said that they are healthy. He added that the complete fertilization helped the plants survive.

Amoyan said that an estimated 60 sacks of rice from SAAD will be added more to another 50 sacks of harvests in March 2018. His usual income of P10,000.00 per harvest, which happens every three months, is expected to increase to P20,000.00 to P30,000.00.

Meanwhile, 35-year-old farmer Glenelyn Borja from Barangay Binalay, who was given three piglets for fattening on the 12th of January 2018, shared that her animals are already medium-sized, weighing around 60kg. She added, “Ok sila. Malalaki na. Sabi ko nga, malapit na sila kumbagang ma-harvest. So makakatulong siya lalo na ngayon na magpapasukan.” After being given 4.5 bags starter feeds and 6 bags grower feeds in December 2017, she is still set to receive more bags of grower feeds this month for supplementation.

Borja is one of the lucky residents of General MacArthur that was given a chance to become a SAAD beneficiary. “Kaya ako nakasali kasi, meron nagmimiting sa plaza habang nagtitinda ako ng gulay, mga cosmetics. Nalaman ko na may nagbibigayan daw ng baboy. Sabi ko, mabuti pa sila nandun sa listahan. Tapos one time, may pumunta… nung nakita ang kalagayan namin, isa ako sa mga nabigyan nila. Napakasarap”, she said.

As consulted with the Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office (DA-RFO) 8 marketing group, Borja can sell her hogs after they have gained 80-110kg live weight.

Both Amoyan and Borja are thankful for the little help they’ve had from SAAD Eastern Samar but that doesn’t end with that. The SAAD Program doesn’t only give agricultural assistance, it also educates farmers to fully hone their skills and knowledge. SAAD Eastern Samar also conducted various trainings, some incorporated climate-smart agriculture which aims to teach climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

With the learnings Amoyan acquired from SAAD Eastern Samar’s Farmers Field School Training, he is happy that he can now save a lot of his seedlings. He said, “Noon, yung pagtatanim ng palay namin ay random. Ngayon, nalaman namin na mas mabuti na gamitan ng marker, 20×20. Noon, three sacks of seedlings sinasabod namin, ngayon isang sako na lang.”

Although Borja hasn’t participated in any capacity enhancement activities yet, she is willing to attend and learn about swine production and fattening technology.

With the small help that the SAAD Program gave them, Borja and Amoyan are happy and grateful to the implementers for providing them agricultural inputs without cost. Borja said, “Sa SAAD na tumutulong sa mga mahihirap, salamat dahil isa siya na programa na talagang tumutulong sa mga mahihirap na kagaya ko. Sana mas malawak pa ang kanilang matutulungan.” ###

Writer: Jhomai S. Canlas, SAAD PR & Communications Officer