Social media netizen Raul Reyes commented on the recent breaking news posted on Facebook, “NEDA says SAAD contributes to Region 8’s decrease in poverty.” Here is his remark in toto:
SAAD is Tactical Agriculture. With PRRD’s (Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s) term two years more to go down the road, what the Department of Agriculture (DA) needs is Tactical Agriculture (Planning by Doing) and not Strategic Approach (Thinking and Planning). Strategy vs. Tactics: The Main Difference and How to Track Progress of both. Strategy defines long–term goals and how one plans to achieve them, while tactics are much more concrete, and are often oriented toward smaller steps and a shorter time frame along the way. Proof of this concept is SAAD Program in Region 8.
SAAD Program is grateful to Mr. Reyes for this unsolicited commentary as it validates the fact that not only direct beneficiaries and stakeholders have experienced and felt the cause that the program advances, but other non–related entities that are constantly on the watch for impactful, innovative initiatives of the government are appreciative of the efforts by the program to tilt the lives of farmers.
One of the strategies employed by the program, which relates to the concept espoused by Mr. Reyes, is the crafting of multi–year plans on a yearly basis through stratified consultations with DA–Regional Field Office 8 management, local government units (LGUs) at the provincial and municipal levels, and farmers’ associations. Discussed elaborately in the September 2019 issue of SAAD Peryodikit, the carefully laid–out plans were specific, doable, and can be realized in the short–run. Periodic monitoring is then conducted to evaluate if set goals are achieved and to sort out backlogs to implementation.
Lately, a fourth component, Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development, was appended to the original three (3) components of the program. This is congruent with the suggestion of Sec. William D. Dar long before he was appointed agriculture chief. On February 28, 2018, the Business Mirror published an article entitled, “LGUs, DA should partner to better steer, row extension service.”
In it, Sec. Dar brought up the idea of “DA and LGUs adopting the IMOD framework to set goals in developing agricultural extension services to smallholder farmers. IMOD stands for Inclusive Market–Oriented Development that builds on four principles–markets motivate growth; innovation accelerates growth; inclusiveness ensures that the poor benefit; and resiliency sustains growth.”
This smart tactical move of steering farmers towards marketing and entrepreneurship is aimed not only to provide them immediate welfare gains, but it also contributes towards achieving the short–term goals of the program.
While the government through the Department of Agriculture is still the primary force that shapes the agriculture sector, SAAD Program endeavors to make conscious contributions to alleviate the poverty situation in the countryside – as program management, planners and decision-makers, and project implementers. To discourage continuous dependency and dole out, the interventions and services are carried out in a developmental manner in order to preserve the farmers’ human worth and dignity.
Thanks to Mr. Reyes, a new catchphrase was coined: SAAD is Tactical Agriculture! ###
Writer: Michael Dabuet, SAAD RPMSO 8 Writer