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Tausug farmers see bright future in banana production

SULU, January 22, 2021- Four Tausug farmers’ associations of the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program from Sulu expect additional income from their banana plantation in the 1st quarter as the crop reached 65- 85% survival rate.

Five group beneficiaries from the municipalities of Maimbung, Talipao, Indanan, Panamao, and Parang were given 2,000 banana plantlets (Lakatan) each, which is good for a 1-hectare (ha) demo farm.

By December 2020, the survival rates of the bananas recorded 85% in barangay Tubod, Talipao and barangay Anak Jati, Maimbung, 75% in Bangalan, Indanan, and 65% in Lupah Abu, Parang.


Table 1. SAAD Sulu Banana Production- Demo Farm (Lakatan)

Location Group/No. of Beneficiaries Date of Planting
Banana Survival Rate Expected/ Actual Date of first harvest (Month)
Tubod, Talipao Kasambuhan Sin Barangay Tubod Farmers’ Association (20) Jan – Feb 2020 85% Feb 2021
Anak Jati, Maimbung, Anak Jati Farmers’ Association (20) June – Jul 2020 85% Mar 2021
Bangalan, Indanan Pasil Farmers’ Association (20) June – Jul 2020 75% Mar 2021
Lupah Abu, Parang Lupah Abu Farmer’s Association (20) Feb – Mar 2020 65% Feb 2021
Suuh, Panamao Anak Miskin Farmers Association (10) Feb – Mar 2020 30% Dec 2020

The Kasambuhan Sin Barangay Tubod Farmers’ Association and Lupah Abu Farmer’s Association expects to harvest the bananas in February while Anak Jati Farmers’ Association and Pasil Farmers’ Association in March.

“A lot of our brethren also eat bananas as a second option (staple) from cassava,” said Talipao Area Coordinator Analisa Dauring.

Unfortunately, the Anak Miskin Farmers Association experienced low survival rate due to poor soil condition.

The groups received the demo farm project worth Php 1,263,850 in 2020. Aside from the 10,000 banana plantlets, SAAD, with the assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), delivered grass cutters, inorganic fertilizers, power sprayers, and perforated bags.

“Scarcity of water is one of the causes that farmers become hesitant to plant bananas. But with the demo farms SAAD has established, we can prove to them that this too can be a good source of income”, said Analisa.

While the Tausugs remain committed to their superstitious belief – that collecting banana suckers for replanting are forbidden unless they have already harvested from it – the SAAD Area Coordinators patiently and continuously educate and explain to them the science in banana production. ###


Writer:               Shara Malaica Ussam, Information Officer- SAAD Sulu

Copy-editor:      Natalianne Marie O. Delos Reyes, PR and Comms Officer- SAAD NPMO

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