CATANDUANES, July 25, 2020 – Abundant vegetable harvest capped off the second quarter for eight farmers’ associations of the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program in Region 5’s Vegetable Production Project, accumulating a total profit of Php 119,785.00 solely for the month of June.
The “whole of society” approach has been intensively utilized as the current health crisis jeopardizes food security and livelihood to many Filipinos. DA-SAAD Region 5, with the provincial and local government units, works unceasingly together with the farmer-beneficiaries in the continuous advancement of food production and enterprise in the province.
The project was initially awarded to Catanduanes in 2019 worth Php 4,288,300.00 and in 2020 with Php 4,373,000.00 both benefitting 481 members of 8 established farmer-groups from the municipalities of Baras, Bagamanoc, Gigmoto, Bato, and Panganiban.
The associations are (1) San Miguel Vegetable Farmers Association of Brgy. San Miguel in Baras (80 members); (2) Suchan Vegetable Farmers Association of Brgy. Suchan in Bagamanoc (48 members); (3) Sioron High-Value Crop Farmers Association of Brgy. Sioron (47 members); (4) San Pedro Farmers Association (SPFA) of Brgy. San Pedro (99 members); (5) Gigmoto San Vicente Special Area for Agricultural Development Farmers Association (GSVSAADFA) of Brgy. San Vicente (40 members) in the municipality of Gigmoto; the (6) High-Value Crops Growers Association of Brgy. Cagraray (55 members); (7) San Roque Vegetable Association (SRVA) of Brgy. San Roque (56 members) from Bato City; and (8) San Miguel Farm Workers Association of Brgy. San Miguel (56 members) in Panganiban City.
Aside from vegetable seeds, the intervention package is comprised of organic fertilizer, drums, garden tools, plastic trays, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, wheelbarrow, plastic mulch, knapsack sprayer, and planting materials (rambutan and lemon seedlings, sweet potato cuttings, and cassava seed pieces).
The program made sure to provide crops/vegetables commonly consumed in the community, such as okra, patola, ampalaya, kalabasa, talong, sitao, beans, among others, to aid food supply within the municipality.
The cultivation and harvest, which occurred in the five aforementioned municipalities in Catanduanes, had two harvest periods in June 2020 with total sales amounting to Php 55,390.00 (June 1-15) and Php 64,395.00 (June 16-26).
In the field interviews conducted by Ms. Melrose Bernal (SAAD Catanduanes Provincial Coordinator), members of the associations extended gratitude to the SAAD Program.
“Maraming salamat po sa DA SAAD, napakalaking tulong po sa amin ang mga binigay niyo pong kagamitan at pangtanim na gulay. Dakurong kaogmahan namo dahil nung panahon ng kasagsagan ng pandemic meron po kaming pinagkakaabalahan at pinagkakakitaan”, Salvacion Royol, SAAD Suchan Vegetable Farmers Association member, said.
According to Dr. Mary Grace Rodriguez, SAAD Program Coordinator in Bicol, the program serves to provide sustainable livelihood support to the SAAD beneficiaries in the remote areas of the island of Catanduanes. It helps to increase their income through vegetable production and involvement in enterprise development as supplementary livelihood resources during the crisis.
In addition, community vegetable-production as a component of the wider food production system encourages food self-sufficiency, sustainability, and security. ###
Jessamae Gabon, DA SAAD NPMO Public Relations, and Communications Officer
Maribeth A. Mangalino, DA SAAD Region 5 Planning Officer
Ms. Melrose Bernal, SAAD-Catanduanes Provincial Coordinator
Ms. Lovella P. Guarin, DA SAAD 5 Regional Technical Working Group Member
Photo source: DA-SAAD RFO 5