CARAGA, July 13-15, 2020– True to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s call to increase the country’s food supply at the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (CoViD-19), the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Region 13 distributed corn seeds to 7 associations in Agusan del Sur (ADS) and Surigao del Sur (SDS) funded through the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program.
The associations received hybrid yellow corn seeds (33 bags), OPV white corn seeds (115 bags), and OPV yellow corn seeds (20 bags) worth Php 426,700 which will cover about 168 hectares of corn fields. The interventions will benefit a total of 265 individual farmers who will start planting this August 2020.
In ADS, OPV white corn (registered seeds) were distributed among four associations including San Luis’ Cecelia Abaca Corn Planters’ Association (21 bags for 100 members); Veruela’s Caigangan Abaca Farmers’ Association (25 bags for 50 members), Candiis SAAD Farmers Association (25 bags for 30 members); and Rosario’s Cosep People Organization (44 bags for 25 members).
Meanwhile in SDS, the 33 bags of yellow hybrid corn seeds were divided among Carmen’s Chicken Raisers’ Association of Burboanan (3 bags for 20 members); Goat Raisers’ Association of Mabog (10 bags for 20 members); and Cancavan Corn Growers’ Association (20 bags for 20 members) aside from receiving additional 20 bags of OPV yellow corn seeds.
Enabling the vulnerable groups
The threats of CoViD-19 are unparalleled. Equally important with safety protocols is food security alongside financial stability, especially among the vulnerable groups of people.
This, however, is not new to DA-SAAD. Since 2019, the program has been providing income-generating interventions to farmers’ groups in ADS and SDS. They are people belonging to areas in Region 13 that are classified by the Philippine Statistics Authority (2015) with the highest poverty incidence.
In 2019, the same associations in ADS received abaca and cacao production projects, while native chicken and goat production were funded in SDS.
While some of these projects have been generating relative income, abaca, cacao and goat production will take years before producing marketable goods. As such, this intervention is relevant, especially as a response to the threat of the pandemic.
This year alone, the program allotted Php 9.4 million worth of interventions to include corn seeds. Other agricultural inputs, animals, and relevant Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials will be distributed later this year.
Regional Executive Director Abel James I. Monteagudo, in a statement, assured that the department will “heighten its support to its partners for agricultural development, especially in this trying time”.
“We, the workforce of DA – Caraga, duly recognize the need of our farmers—our very own partners for change. On our end, we commit to provide all the support they need not only to fulfill the target of DA-SAAD, but also to ease the burden of having to look for money somewhere else just to support their day-to-day needs,” Director Monteagudo said.
Since the regional lockdown in March, access to food sources has been limited. This initiative of DA-SAAD echoes the indispensable call to mitigate the impact of the pandemic by addressing food security. ###
Writer: Mark Angelo C. Pineda, Information Officer – SAAD Region 13
Copy editor: Natalianne Marie O. Delos Reyes, Public Relations and Communications Officer – SAAD NPMO