DIPOLOG CITY, ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE – The Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Office IX launched the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Saga 2019 at the Convention Center, Estaka, Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte (ZDN) on July 19, 2019.
SAAD Program Director Bernadette San Juan described the event as “mga kuwento ng pagpupunyagi” as it is a forum featuring the success stories and project management strategies of the exceptional farmer-partners of the program.
Eleven (11) farmers’ organizations participated in the event, wherein they presented their stories and showcased their livelihood products to 500 visitors.
Among the 11 associations, the Bacong Fishermen and Farmers’ Association from Salug was awarded “Best Managed Enterprise” for their Layer Chicken Egg Production while the Macasing Consumers Cooperative from Siayan was granted the “Fast-Growing Enterpise” award for their Banana Lakatan Production.
The rest of the associations were given “Best Emerging Enterprise” awards. They are the Suisayan Indigenous People’s Association of Manukan, Iwag sa Mananagat Association of Pres Manuel Roxas, & Newland Women’s Association of Mutia for their Layer Chicken Egg Production; Matunoy Multipurpose Farmers’ Cooperative of Gutalac for their Lowland Rice Production; Minlasag Farfish Association of Sibutad for their Organic Mushroom Production; Kauswagan Farmers’ Association of Baliguian for their Swine Production; Mauswagon Sibuyig Farmers’ Association of La Libertad for their Sibuying Production and Processing; La Libertad Agricultural Producers Association of La Libertad for their Sweet Corn and Goat Production; and Gabu Farmers’ Association of Labason for their White Corn Production.
During the open forum, Dipolog City Vice Mayor Horacio Velasco suggested for better marketing and packaging of the farmers’ products, especially the organic mushrooms. He also said that the farmers are welcome to tap establishments like hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets in the city.
Aside from the local government office of Dipolog, other agencies and commercial partners such as the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Agricultural Training Institute, Department of Trade and Industry, Ta-ala Farms, Lee Plaza, and Dipolog Supermart also declared their support and commitments to the SAAD farmer-partners.
The SAAD partner-farmers deeply thanked the SAAD Program. The president of the Kauswagan Farmers’ Association got emotional when she expressed her gratitude for their Swine Production project which gave them hope to be lifted out from poverty.
One of the farmer-partners also said, “I used to think that SAAD is just a mere promise but now that it is finally realized, I believe this is a success that is worth sharing.”
The SAAD Saga 2019 was attended by DA Assistant Secretary for Special Projects Lerey Panes, SAAD Program Director Bernadette San Juan, DA RFO 9 Regional Technical Director Ferdinand Gamorot, and Dipolog City Vice Mayor Horacio Velasco. It was also supported by the Municipal Mayors, Municipal Agriculturists & Technicians, SAAD Area Coordinators, and some local businessmen. ###
Writer: Jhomai Canlas, SAAD PR & Communications Officer