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Agri-livelihood rehabilitation efforts for SAAD farmers in Catanduanes continue

CATANDUANES, March 15, 2021 – Rice farmers associations (FA) and livestock beneficiaries in Catanduanes of the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program continues to receive various agricultural interventions as part of the typhoon rehabilitation assistance valued at Php 5.5 million.

One hundred rice farmers benefited from the distribution of 100 sacks of palay (RC-222 variety) (Php 153,000.00) at 40 kg per sack, with 100 bags of complete fertilizer at 50 kg per bag (Php 150,000.00). Each farmer received 1 sack of palay and 1 sack of complete fertilizer.

The palay seeds and fertilizer were equally divided by the 2 rice FAs in Catanduanes: the San Roque Palay Association (SAROPA), composed of 50 farmers from the municipalities of Bato and Gigmoto with 38.75 ha of farmland and the Rainfed Island Rice Growers Association, with 50 members from Bagamanoc and San Miguel utilizing 36.5 ha for rice farming.

Ms. Nelia G. Tatad, OIC – Municipal Agriculturist in Gigmoto, mentioned that the rice farmers in their municipality had a relatively minimal palay harvest for the second cropping season in 2020, as compared to their previous production before the typhoons hit Catanduanes in the 4th quarter of last year.

A member of SAROPA from Brgy. Sioron, Gigmoto, Ms. Mary Ann C. Tumalin harvested 22 sacks of palay in December 2020, a far cry from the 80-100 sacks they can usually produce during the first cropping in their 2.5-ha rice field.

Moreover, they were not able to harvest some of their crops because the palay thresher awarded to their association was unutilized due to the scarcity of gasoline supply in Gigmoto.

Meanwhile, SAAD rice farmers in the municipalities of Bato, San Miguel, and Bagamanoc reported no harvest in 2020 after the succession of typhoons ravaged the province.

“Hindi kami nakapag-ani noong nakaraang taon dahil nasira ang aming mga pananim na palay noong bumagyo…Ang naibigay na tulong ng DA-SAAD sa aming grupo ay napakahalaga dahil malaki na ang aming matitipid. Hindi na namin kailangan pang bumili ng binhi at abono. Maaari na naming magamit ang perang nakalaan para sa binhi sa aming mga gastusin sa araw-araw kaya naman lubos kaming nagpapasalamat sa DA-SAAD at sa lahat ng mga nagpapatupad nito,” shared Mr. Sergio T. Tenerife, also a member of SAROPA from Brgy. Cagraray, Bato.

Providing the farmers with palay seeds and fertilizers is important since rice farming is their main source of income.

They are selling some of their harvests while keeping the majority of it for their food consumption. The palay seeds will be used in the next planting season in May or June.

In addition to the palay seeds and complete fertilizers, the program also allocated provisions of empty sacks, sickle, and laminated sheets.

For livestock project beneficiaries

In addition, livestock beneficiaries in Catanduanes also received projects from the same rehabilitation plan.

The 66 beneficiaries of the Native Pig Production package in Bato and San Miguel were prioritized to be the recipients of the Native Chicken Production project.  Each farmer was granted 10 to 12 native chickens. In total, 780 heads were distributed. The beneficiaries were delighted when they received the native chickens as a replacement for swine. In a few months, they will be able to collect eggs for consumption and income.

The said farmers were affected by the typhoons in the last quarter of 2020 and their pigs were likewise infected with the African Swine Fever (ASF) that consequently were depopulated last January 2021.

Ms. Baberly S. Publico of Brgy. San Roque, Bato said beneficiaries were depressed when some of the pigs distributed by the program in October 2020 were included in the ASF depopulation measures.  It was a great loss on their part since they are yet to earn profit from raising the pigs.

With these interventions, the DA-SAAD provided the affected farmers a chance to recover and hopefully contribute to the revitalization of the agriculture sector in the province.  The continued support to the beneficiaries is also provided through constant field visits and monitoring. ###

Writer: Sarah Jane C. Taway, DA SAAD Catanduanes – Information Officer

Sources: RPMO 5, PPMO Catanduanes

Photo sources: DASAAD Catanduanes

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