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Beneficiary-led small enterprises continue to activate in Sorsogon

SORSOGON, February 22, 2021 – Sorsogon works in unison as community-led enterprise opportunities activate in different Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) – covered areas, featuring the livelihood interventions provided by the program. The emerging small enterprise is an essential manifestation of impact towards the program’s sustainability and community ownership.

Rebecca Buban, Juban, Sorgoson

From organic soap-making, the Añog Corn Farmers Association (FA), another FA from Juban sources additional income from selling homemade polvoron and pastillas using pulverized white corn (corn starch) after food processing training conducted by the SAAD Program.

Despite the pandemic, the association was organized by the SAAD Program in 2020 and was granted with corn production package consisting of white and yellow corn seeds, fertilizer, cassava stalks, and corn postharvest machines such as corn mill and a mechanical corn sheller.

In Brgy. Añog, yellow corn is usually cultivated since it is easier to sell. The planting of white corn in an approximately 12-hectare land, began shortly after its turnover in June 2020.

White corn candy-making (polvoron and pastillas) was initiated by the SAAD Program in December 2020, led by Ms. Suzette Dela Rama, SAAD Technical Staff for Corn and Cassava, the training was assisted by SAAD RPMSO and PPMSO Sorsogon. The main ingredient of the home-made powdered candies is from their milled white corn. “Di po talaga kami nagtatanim ng ganitong [puting] mais. Pero dahil sa binigay ng SAAD na mga binhi, nagtanim kami at nakapag gawa at nakabenta kami sa palengke ng pastillas at polvoron na gawa sa white corn. Nag-click naman sa palengke,” shared Rebecca Buban, a member of the Añog Corn FA.

Aside from her value-added products made from white corn, about 28 kilograms of her yellow corn harvest were milled and supplied to a fishpond owner as fish feed. However, this was discontinued due to flooding that affected the fish ponds in the area.

Adelaida Fainza, Magallanes, Sorsogon

The SAAD Program provided 20 mallard ducks to 7 beneficiaries as a start-up project after their community needs assessment in Brgy. Siuton, Magallanes. They were also provided with supplementary feeds for a period of time to sustain the livelihood project.

Minsan, namomroblema ako kung saan ako kukuha ng budget dahil nung wala pang SAAD, ang pagsasaka at pag-aalaga lang ng baboy ang pinagkukuhanan ko ng pang konsumo sa pang araw-araw na gastos sa aking pamilya. Nung dumating ang SAAD, nakatulong ito sa pandagdag income dahil sa binigay nilang itik, nakapagbenta kami ng itlog nito kaya malaking tulong ito sa amin,” said 54-year-old beneficiary Adelaida Fainza.

According to Adelaida, 270 eggs were sold every month with a value of Php 7/piece. In the course of 6 months, she earned Php 11,000 in selling salted eggs.

Another beneficiary of duck production in the same barangay, Jose Barreda, also sells eggs at Php 7 each. In two months, he earned more than Php 4,000.

Malaking tulong sa amin ang pagkakaroon ng itik dahil sa araw-araw na pag-iitlog nito, nakakapag benta kami, at dito kami nakakakuha ng budget sa pangangailangan namin araw-araw,” Jose shared.

In February, the SAAD organized-beneficiaries who received product development training conducted by the DA, led by Ms. Rosella Formento, a research assistant for the Regional Disaster Preparedness Training Centre (RDPTC) in Sorsogon developed a variety of flavored salted-egg (garlic, turmeric, and chili).  They plan to boost their production this year through the continued support of the SAAD Program for their soon-to-be registered farmers’ association. The package will include 400 head of mallard ducks, laminated sacks, duck feeds, a waterer, and a net.  The duck production package is expected to be the source of itik-eggs to be used for the flavored salted production of the association.

“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa Department of Agriculture SAAD Program dahil natuto kami gumawa ng itlog na maalat na may iba’t ibang flavor na makakadagdag kita saamin lalo na ngayong pandemya,” Jose said.

SAAD Coordinator Allen Jao plans to organize the beneficiaries into a registered farmers’ association to extend the benefits of the program to other interested residents.

The SAAD Program understands the intricacy of initiating development projects, especially in areas where access to basic services is scarce. Its logframe prescribes a series of consultations, involving agriculture experts and the grassroots communities to secure participation, and sustainability of the livelihood projects.

The framework is used for needs assessment, which also determines feasible agricultural interventions that fit the needs and resources of a particular area. ###

Writers: Sandee Guinguing; Pauline Trixia Borja, SAAD RPMSO 5 Information Officers

Editor: Beth Mangalino

Source: SAAD RPMSO 5

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