MAGSAYSAY, OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, May 25, 2020 – In line with the initiative “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra sa COVID-19,” popularly known as the Plant, Plant, Plant Program (4Ps) of the Department of Agriculture, the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program Region 4B kicked-off distribution of agricultural assistance to two farmer-beneficiary associations in Occidental Mindoro.
The 4Ps aims to boost the country’s agriculture and fisheries production by intensified use of quality seeds, appropriate inputs, and modern technologies to increase levels of productivity across all commodities, therefore ensuring food productivity, availability, accessibility, adequacy and affordability in the midst of pandemic.
A total of 89 individuals from 2 farmer-groups (51 from Laste Vegetable Group and 38 from Cagulayan Farmers Association) from the municipality of Magsaysay are the first set to receive the Vegetable Production Project utilizing funds from FY 2020 budget, with a total cost of PhP 162,220.00 (Php 76,000.00 for vegetable seeds and Php 86,220.00 for farm tools).
Around 2,700 packs of vegetables were turned-over to the two farmers’ groups wherein each organization received 1,350 packs of assorted vegetable seeds namely ampalaya, okra, eggplant, pole sitao, patola, upo, squash, sili panigang, and upland kangkong. Further, each group also received 10 sets of farm tools (asarol, pala, kalaykay, piko, spading fork, sprinkler, and wheel barrow). Yields are expected two months after cultivation.
Prior to the turnover, the SAAD team consulted the beneficiaries to identify their needs last year in alignment with the government’s “Gulayan sa Bakuran” or backyard vegetable garden project.
Ms. Hilda Masangkay, Chairwoman of Cagulayan Farmers Association, expressed her gratitude to SAAD for the assistance received by their organization. “Ako po ay nagpapasalamat sa programa ng SAAD, at ang matagal na naming hinihintay na kaganapan sa aming barangay ay nandito na at amin nang matatanggap ngayon. Nagpapasalamat po ako at ang lahat ng mga members ay puwede nang magtanim ng buto, at tuloy ay may magagamit kami sa paggawa ng backyard gardening. Ito po ay malaking tulong sa aming pamilya na kung saan kapag gumanda po ang aming pananim, hindi na kami bibili ng mga gulay kundi kami pa ang puwedeng mamigay sa ibang bahay o kaya ay maipagbili rin kung gumanda na ang mga bunga nito. Patuloy po kami sa pangangalaga ng mga pananim. Alam namin na ito po ay malaking tulong para po sa aming pamilya.”
The seeds given to them will be used as materials for their backyard garden which will hopefully provide them with additional food supply and income for their families while reducing the malnutrition and poverty incidence in their community.
Meanwhile, Laste Vegetable Group chairperson, Norma Zurita, thanked the SAAD program for the agriculture interventions provided to the members of their association. “Maraming salamat po sa programa ng SAAD para makatulong sa aming barangay sa paghahalaman ng bawat pamayanan. Bawat sektor po nagpapasalamat sa inyo na nagkaroon ng gardening ang bawat isa sa kanila. Inaasahan po namin na makakatulong ito sa aming hanapbuhay at pangaraw-araw na kinikita, at sa pangangailangan ng aming pamilya. Maraming maraming salamat po,” said Masangkay.
SAAD staff namely Ms. Vilmar Robes, Mr. Mario Paz, and Mr. Jouriel Tolosa facilitated the distribution of agricultural interventions, in cooperation with the staff from the Municipal Agriculturist Office of Magsaysay, Ms. Emily Tanedo and Mr. Justine Carl Ventura, ensuring fair distribution and social distancing protocols. ###
Marshall Louie Asis, DA-SAAD Region 4B – Information Officer
Josephine de Sales, DA-SAAD Planning Officer
Vilmar Robes, DA-SAAD Area Coordinator
Photo courtesy of DA-SAAD MiMaRopa