A Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program-assisted group of 45 farmers established a flourishing communal vegetable garden in Mabini, Bohol.
In 2020, the Paraiso Pagtinabangay Farmers Association (PPFA) was formally organized and registered at the Department of Labor and Employment, as the group became a recipient of the SAAD Vegetable Production Project worth Php 33,493.
The packaged intervention consists of vegetable seeds such as bitter gourd (ampalaya), squash, lady fingers (okra), sweet pepper, siling sigang, cucumber, pole sitao, organic fertilizer, complete fertilizer, insecticides, pruning shears, plastic drums, garden hose, sprinkler, plastic crates, and knapsack sprayer which were completely delivered on March 23, 2021 (Table 1).
Table 1. Interventions received under the SAAD Vegetable Production Project
A series of capability-building and specialized training on values formation, farm planning, budgeting, record-keeping, and vegetable production system was also conducted to fully equip the farmers with knowledge and skills for effective project management.
PPFA’s Flourishing Vegetable Garden
In January, the group planted okra, pole sitao, and ampalaya in 0.15 hectares (ha) communal vegetable production garden.
Association President Jocelyn Amoroto said they harvested 225 kilograms (kg) of okra (Php 30/kg), 30kg of string beans (Php 40/kg), and 10kg of ampalaya (Php 50/kg), gaining a total income of Php 8,450 in May (Table 2).
Table 2. Vegetable Sales as of May 2021
To date, 115 hills of ampalaya are still bearing fruits. They are expecting to harvest 400kg fruit in the middle of July, expecting Php 20,000 gross income from the commodity.
The group also planted 200 hills of okra in between mother plants, 150 hills of eggplant, and 30 hills of cucumber to continue their production.
The old okras in their communal garden will be ratooned as they thought it will bear fruit for at least 20% of their total production of the mother plant.
Some group members peddle their produce to nearby barangays. Some customers will go directly to the farm to buy vegetables.
Marketing their vegetables is one of the issues they face in which they overcame using social media as a promotional channel. Through Facebook posting, they gain orders online.
Aside from their existing production, the association plans to be a vegetable consolidator and engage in processing someday.
Vermicomposting leads to additional income
In May, PPFA established a vermicomposting bed to utilize the wastes, converting it to organic fertilizer. They are expecting to harvest five sacks of organic vermicast per month.
They will use some of it for the communal garden and sell the excess vermicast to other members.
“Ang vemicast amoa I apply sa amoa communal garden. If mag surplus na ang production, amoa i-baligya sa mga miyembro kay nagtanum man sila. Ang amoa tumung ani, Sir, is aron nga kon mahuman na si SAAD program, naa nami igo nga kapasidad sa pagpadagan sa amoa kapunungan,” Ms. Amorato said.
(We will apply vermicast in our communal garden. When we have enough production, we sell the excess vermicast to the association members to be used in their gardens at home. Our goal is to be able to sustain our association needs while we still have this intervention from the SAAD program.)
The members are thankful to SAAD for prioritizing the welfare of marginalized farmers and for the continued support they received.
“Daghan kaayong salamat sa SAAD program sa pagsuporta namu diin nakab.ot ug nakita namu ang tinud.anay nga tabang kanamung mga mag uuma gikan sa Binhi, abono, ug uban nga mga inputs amoa natagamtaman. Nalipay me ug pag ayo kay ang programa sa SAAD usa sa nakahatag ug igong supporta sa amoang inadlawadlaw nga paginahanglanon (pinansyal ug pagkaon) sa among pamilya,” said association member Realy Dupalco.
(I would like to thank SAAD program for the support and trust that they have given to us where we have achieved and see for ourselves the true support and love you have to us, farmers, through the seeds, fertilizers, and other interventions we have received from the program. We are grateful to this program for not only giving me support but also helped me help my family sustain our daily needs.) ###
Source: Ian Egam, SAAD Bohol- Provincial Coordinator and Juge Mhel C. Epe- Area Coordinator
Writer: Zea G. Peña, Information Officer- DA SAAD Region 7
Copy-editor: Natalianne Marie O. Delos Reyes, PR and Communications Officer- SAAD NPMO