BARAS, CATANDUANES, February 10, 2021 – Rehabilitative efforts continue as members of the San Miguel Special Area for Agricultural Development Vegetable Farmer’s Association (SAADVFA) in Brgy. San Miguel, Baras, Catanduanes harvest from their vegetable gardens after SAAD Program’s post-calamity interventions.
Super Typhoon (ST) Rolly, along with other typhoons – Siony, Tonio, and Ulysses – hit Catanduanes in succession in November 2020, leaving a great agricultural loss to the province.
The high-value crops garden plots of farmers from the area belong to the list of damages incurred from the series of calamity. San Miguel SAADVFA chairperson Lucia Obo mentioned that their communal gardens were flooded and the majority of the crops did not survive.
The damaged vegetable project turned over in October 2020 was on its vegetative and flowering stage before the typhoons battered the province.
As part of SAAD’s disaster response, vegetable seeds were immediately provided to the beneficiaries for recovery efforts. The group replanted vegetables in a 1.5-hectare area.
San Miguel SAADVFA member Rolando Vargas shared, “Mahirap ang buhay namin noong pagkatapos ng bagyo, sinabayan pa ng pandemic. Bilang isang senior citizen na bawal pang lumabas, ang tanging magagawa ko na lamang ay tumulong sa pagtatanim ng gulay. Malaking tulong sa amin ang binibigay na asistensya ng SAAD tulad ng mga seeds at mga garden tools na sobra naming napapakinabangan. Iyong mga naaning gulay, binibenta namin at doon kami kumukuha ng mga pambili ng pagkain. Mahal ang mga gulay ngayon kaya nakakatulong talaga na mayroon kaming sariling pananim.”
After three months since cultivation, the members harvested more than 60 kg of pechay which were sold at Php 60 per kilogram in the first week of February 2021. Farmers earned an estimated amount of Php 3,800, which was divided among themselves, and used the money to purchase some of their daily needs.
In addition, assorted vegetables weighing 136.75 kg in total consisting of patola (64.5 kg), squash (24 kg), ampalaya (16.5 kg), cucumber (16 kg), and sitao (15.75 kg) were also harvested and sold.
The association now eyes selling their produce at the Baras municipal market in the upcoming weeks for a more solid income. Moreover, they also plan to engage and learn of some value-adding activities such as pickling.
As part of the SAAD’s disaster mitigation efforts, the national office transferred a Php 5.5 million fund to the SAAD Region 5. As of the present, procurements are ongoing in replacement of the damaged livelihood projects of the affected areas in Catanduanes. ###
Writer: Sarah Jane C. Taway, Information Officer
Source: SAAD RPMSO 5