BUTUAN CITY, June 30, 2021- The Department of Agriculture – Caraga Region’s (DA-Caraga) Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program is undergoing its enterprise management phase in 2021, after establishing crop and animal production projects in 2019 and 2020.
The program’s progress for the first semester and plans for the remaining half of the year were discussed during the virtual midyear review and assessment from June 29 to 30, attended by the regional and provincial implementers.
Since 2019, the Program has reached out to 1,016 individuals who are now part of the 32 associations including 358 indigenous peoples (IPs) from Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur combined. From the said associations, 8 are eyed to become established agri-enterprises in 2022.
The groups included in Agusan del Sur are the Cosep People’s Organization (Rosario), Cecelia Abaca Corn Planters (San Luis), and Candiis SAAD Farmers Association (Veruela), all investing in the SAAD-funded native chicken production projects.
Meanwhile, the Cancavan Corn Growers Association (Carmen), Balete Chicken Growers Association (Bayabas), Burboanon Native Chicken Raisers’ Association (Bislig City), and Rajah Cabung-suan Farmers Association (Lingig) in Surigao del Sur are expected to continue selling chickens to their target markets, solidifying their entrepreneurship.
Members of the Mag-uumang Manobo sa Hinapoyan Association (Carmen), as well, are expected to produce camote chips this year. They underwent training on product packaging and labeling through the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry.
“DA-SAAD is result-oriented. Meeting our target deliveries is just a portion of it. At the end of the day, our goal is to improve the lives of our farmer-partners,” emphasized Regional Executive Director Abel James I. Monteagudo.
In his message, Director Monteagudo elaborated on the measure for assessing the program’s impact. He said, “SAAD should be able to touch the lives of our farmers. Dapat may pagbabago sa buhay nila (There should be an improvement in their living status)”.
For its FY 2021 operations, DA-Caraga allotted Php 58.3 million; Php 33.8 million for food production and livelihood projects and Php 1.6 million for capability-building. The region has obligated 29.75% of its total budget and has disbursed 22.14% of its obligation in June as reported during the assessment.
The Program has delivered 29,141 cacao seedlings to cover 37 hectares (ha) and 17,675 abaca suckers to cover 40ha under the FY 2019 and 2020 projects and 503 chickens, 60 bags of 50kg rice seeds to cover 2.7ha, and 6,953 abaca suckers to cover 20ha for FY 2021.
Among the accomplishments reported by the Area Coordinators, training on various crop and animal production and management were conducted.
In Agusan del Sur, training on abaca pre- and post-handling was conducted among farmers in Veruela, San Luis, Rosario, and Talacogon. San Luis farmers also underwent training on nursery management, while Rosario farmers learned about chicken and cacao production.
Meanwhile, selected farmers from priority areas in Lingig, Surigao del Sur participated in hands-on training on treating goats. Bislig farmers also engaged in training on good animal husbandry practices and chicken production.
Some farmers in Bayabas were also trained on peanut production, which was followed up with a farm visit. Carmen farmers learned about product packaging and labeling of camote chips.
The livelihood projects in Agusan del Sur are mostly crop-related, while Surigao del Sur is dominantly animal production.
To diversify the farm produce of the beneficiaries in 2021, some of the associations ventured into additional projects. Such is the communal vegetable garden of NAKAMATA (Carmen) who were initially provided with the Ube Production Project, and Balete Corn Growers’ Association (Bayabas) with Chicken Production Project who received an additional Peanut Production Project.###
Writer: Mark Angelo Pineda, Information Officer- DA-SAAD Caraga
Copy-editor: Natalianne Marie O. Delos Reyes, PR and Communications Officer- SAAD NPMO