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35 Katipunan farmers accept 140 bags upland rice seeds

ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, January 29, 2021- Through the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program, the SAAD Katipunan Farmers Association (FA) in Katipunan, Zamboanga del Norte received 140 bags of upland rice seeds worth Php 391,300 to aid their rice farming activities.

In the 3rd quarter of 2020, SAAD Zamboanga del Norte also delivered Php 820,000 worth of fertilizers (1,150 bags). The livelihood support is under the program’s Upland Rice Production Project for FY 2020.

The project supports 100 members of the group, in which 65 of them engage in lowland rice farming while the others in upland rice farming.

“Indeed, farming became easier because we were provided with the capital. Last year, we each received organic and inorganic fertilizers. Imagine if we were to buy 10 bags of fertilizer which cost almost Php10,000. We are very grateful to SAAD for giving us such inputs,” said Ignacio Bagsican, member of the SAAD – Katipunan FA, who tills half a hectare of rice farm for his family.

The program initially provided them with one unit rice mill worth Php 461,000 from the FY 2018 Lowland Rice Production Project. The rice mill presently operates and caters the milling needs of the members as well as other farmers in the area. Then, in 2019, they received Php 731,650 worth of interventions composed of 35 bags of upland seeds and 330 bags fertilizers for both upland and lowland rice production.

The 35 members were from barangays Miatan, Seres, Sitog, Bulawan, Carupay, Matam and Balok, which are located in the most marginalized areas in the municipality. Considering the association has a very sizable area for farming activities, they are unable to do so because they have no means to augment capital for farming inputs.

Rice production in the province

Rice remains to be the staple food in vast majorities in Visayas and Mindanao. At the same time, rice farming is one of the major livelihoods in rural communities.

Ironically, farmers who produce staple foods are the ones who can barely provide three square meals a day for their families.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the average farm gate price of palay is Php 16.70/kg as of the first week of January 2021. With that value, farmers will continue to wallow in poverty.

One of the strategies under the ONE DA Approach for agri-fisheries transformation as mandated by Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar is the mobilization and empowerment of partners.

The packaged interventions serve as a starting capital primarily aimed at improving economic conditions and to attain DA’s twin goals of “Masaganang Ani at Mataas Na Kita”. SAAD is steadfast in its commitment to provide income opportunities to the beneficiaries, giving them training, needed inputs, and mentorship. ###

Writer:                 Aimee Lou D. Madjus, Information Officer- SAAD Zamboanga del Norte

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

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