SORSOGON, March 23, 2020 – The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of Bicol Region visited the Binanuahan Vegetable Farmers’ Association managed by Fe Guardian at barangay Binanuahan in Juban.
The very strict enforcement of quarantine checkpoints and very limited option for transportation hinder the farmers to market their farm produce. This is one of the current woes of the farmers, particularly in the far-flung areas of the region.
“Nakakapag-ani nga kami pero kung hindi mabenta ay mabubulok lang” lamented Aling Fe, the guardian of barangay Binanuahan.
“Mahirap din lalo sa tulad kong walang sasakyan dahil hindi ako pwedeng kumuha ng Food Pass sa DA kung walang sasakyan” she added.
Aling Fe is one of the two hundred forty-three (243) individual beneficiaries of SAAD Program for FY 2019. Her group has 45 members, who are also beneficiaries of the program.
She received vegetable seeds, organic fertilizer, drums, garden tools, plastic tray, HDPC pipes, wheelbarrow, UV treatment plastic, grafted mango, grafted cacao, budded calamansi, and root crops cuttings in 2019 from the program.
On the 23rd of March, a team from SAAD Sorsogon visited Aling Fe’s farm and bought all her produce. This is led by Dolores Ricafranca, the Superintendent of the Regional Dairy Production and Technology Center (RDPTC).
Aling Fe was able to sell 363 kilograms (kgs) of watermelon at Php 20/kg; 3.75 kgs of pole sitao at Php 40/kg; 8 kgs of raddish at Php 30/kg; and 5 kgs of pechay at Php 30/kg. That day, Aling Fe earned a total amount of Php 7,800.
The said products were displayed the following day at the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita post in the RDPTC. KADIWA or “Katuwang sa Diwa at Gawa para sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita” is a marketing strategy of the DA which directly connects the food producers to the consumers whereby the cost of goods are having low-price.
Ms. Ricafranca reported that all agricultural products were sold out. She also added that the SAAD team will do their daily rounds in the whole province of Sorsogon and buy the farmers’ produce until all of them will be given access to markets and buyers in this trying time.
Following Secretary Dar’s directive to help farmers by buying their produce, DA 5 Regional Executive Director (RED) Rodel P. Tornilla instructed the Research Outreach Stations (ROSes) to put up a KADIWA post in each of the six (6) provinces, and also in the Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) at DA 5 regional office in San Agustin, Pili, Camarines Sur. These stores will serve as drop-off points or depository of the agricultural products from the farmers on a consignment basis. ###
Writer: Lovella P. Guarin, Information Officer, DA Region 5
Editor: Jennifer A. Valcobero, SAAD NPMO Public Relations and Communications Officer
Photo by: SAAD Sorsogon