It’s no longer business as usual at the Department of Agriculture (DA). Under the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program, farmers from the poorest provinces, whom the government serves the least, will be given special attention.
The SAAD Program, as envisioned by DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, is one of the key programs that will address the lingering poverty situation in the countryside. It will help poor communities in increasing food production, thereby contributing to the growth of family income as well.
In Zamboanga Del Norte, the SAAD Program intends to build basic farming communities that will play important role in transforming villages into vibrant productive areas. The basic agriculture communities will be the launching pad for SAAD intervention in the area.
In partnership with the local government units, civil society organizations, state universities and colleges, as well as private businesses, the program will vigorously pursue building institutions to manage community livelihood projects.
The focus shall be on strengthening people’s resolve to free them from the economic morass. Activities, which aim to show them the enormous potential of their areas to produce food not only for themselves but also for the bigger community, were conducted.
Training on natural farming and other organic means of producing food livestock and poultry management, the integrated farming system, and forage management were also done as part of the capacity-building component of the program.
Series of learning sessions were carried out to enhance knowledge and skills in food production, value-adding activities, and enterprise development.
Partnership with local government units in the province has proven to be one of the best practices. 500 farmer-partners from the most remote village of Diwan in Dipolog City have been trained under the TESDA NC II program for Organic Farming. These SAAD farmer-partners have become advocates of organic farming. They now serve as resource persons on the natural farming system.
In Salug municipality, the once sleepy villages of Pacuhan and Liguac are now teeming with livelihood activities. The layer chicken project implemented in these villages has awakened the spirit of the community to further engage in other productive endeavors. They are now engaged in vegetable farming as well.
The project has rekindled the spirit of the community.
People now have the sense of belongingness.
They are a community reborn.
They now commit themselves to transform their towns into the “fresh egg basket” of the province. ###
Writer: Ronilo Dusaban, SAAD Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Coordinator
Lead Editor: Jhomai Canlas, SAAD PR & Communications Officer