Alejandro Quimno, 42, has been planting vegetables for the past four years in his 1,250 square meters’ land. He and his wife were from Zamboanga del Sur and some time in 2019, they moved back to his hometown, Aloran in Misamis Occidental.
Aloran was recently added as a Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program site together with Don Victoriano. According to the 2015 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the two municipalities have poverty incidences of 34.4% and 59.1%, respectively.
Alejandro and another member of the Calube Farmer’s Association were chosen as beneficiaries of the SAAD Program in 2020. This year, all 70 members became recipients.
In 2020, Alejandro received interventions that were geared towards vegetable production. This includes 21 packs of open-pollinated variety (OPV) vegetable seeds (Php 2,730), a knapsack sprayer (Php 2,500), two bags of complete fertilizer (Php 2,500), and a bag of urea (Php 1,250).
Earlier in 2021, after planting the vegetable seeds during the height of the pandemic, he started to harvest string beans, okra, squash, and eggplant. He sold these to the local market and earned Php 45,020 (Table 1).
Table 1. Alejandro’s Vegetable Production Income
|Date of Harvest (2021)||Volume of Harvest
|Squash||June – July||
During his project implementation, Alejandro shared that his harvest in February was greatly affected by aphids – small insects that destroy his plants by sucking the leaves and removing their nutrients, resulting in a lower agricultural yield.
To solve his crisis, he immediately bought pesticides to prevent the aphids from spreading to his other plants.
As of now, he just planted okra and string beans which will be harvested after two months. While waiting, he also plans to plant other vegetables such as squash and eggplant.
His vegetable production has the potential to grow more, which he plans to expand in time. For now, he will just focus on his little vegetable farm.
With SAAD implementing its second year in the town, Alejandro’s income for his vegetable production increased to Php 900/day or approximately Php 3,000/week during harvest season – more or less 2-3 months depending on the commodity.
The role of the LGU
Recently, the Municipal Agriculture Officer (MAO) Nilo Tejano expressed his gratitude for the SAAD interventions provided to Aloran.
“I am very happy to see the lives of our farmers change since the program (SAAD) gave out the interventions. It has been timely since the pandemic made a huge impact with the town’s food supply. At least now, they can grow their own food in their backyards which they can also sell in our local market,” said Tejano in his remarks.
As of now, the projects are earning and are hopefully gearing towards sustainability.
“I always encourage our farmers not to waste this opportunity. Not everyone in our town is able to access these interventions since the beneficiaries were carefully picked out thus the most deserving. We made sure that we chose productive farmers as our beneficiaries,” he added.
In the hopes of sustaining the upcoming projects, the LGU made sure to conduct constant monitoring of the project to further its purpose and to address any problems that might be encountered during the implementation. They will also provide more alternatives to provide better livelihood to the beneficiaries and to improve the farmer’s entrepreneurial skills so they will not only become producers but businessmen as well. ###
Writer: Ruth Esther Bermundo, SAAD Normin Information Officer