MOUNTAIN PROVINCE, August 5, 2021 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) reassured its commitment to alleviate poverty among Cordillerans during the simultaneous agricultural intervention awarding and farmer livestock school launching in Mountain Province.
SAAD National Deputy Director Ulysses J. Lustria Jr. led multiple agricultural inputs awarding ceremonies in Sadanga and Besao. The municipalities house four expansion barangays namely Agawa, Gueday, Tamboan (Besao) and Betwagan (Sadanga).
In the awarding held at Besao, 265 beneficiaries from three farmers and fishers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs) received the SAAD livelihood projects. The groups are Agawa Farmers and Fisherfolk Association (AFFA) with 30 members; Tamboan Farmers Fisher Folks and Irrigators Association (TFFFIA) with 105 members; and Gueday Integrated Farmers and Fisherfolk Association (GIFFFA) with 130 members.
Agricultural inputs awarded reached around Php 4 million under diverse projects picked based on the associations’ needs. Vegetable Production (Php 362,080), Brown Egg Production (Php 1.1 million), Integrated Fruit Trees and Free-Range Chicken Production (Php 1.03 million), and Integrated Carabao Raising and Heirloom Rice Production (Php 1.5 million) are the livelihood projects provided.
In the municipality of Sadanga, agricultural inputs worth Php 4.2 million were awarded to another five FCAs under the Integrated Carabao Raising and Heirloom Rice Production, and Swine Repopulation projects.
FCAs receiving inputs for swine repopulation follow a roll-over scheme that chooses 10 first-in-line beneficiaries per group.
The Catengan-Bunga Rise-up Farmers Association (CBRFA), Anabel Farmers and Fisherfolks Association, Amkabigat Farmers and Fisherfolk Association in Sacasacan, and the Bekigan Farmers Association received initial swine repopulation inputs for the first 10 beneficiaries per association. The Betwagan Farmers and Fisherfolks Association received initial 30 heads of draft carabaos for the first 30 members.
Received interventions during the awarding were initial inputs for the listed projects in Mountain Province. Other agricultural inputs will be delivered according to schedule and in compliance with the new community restrictions.
The Farmer Livestock School (FLS) launch
As part of the intensified educational and livelihood campaign for swine repopulation, 42 SAAD swine raisers participated in the launch of the FLS, a parallel response to the DA’s national campaign for swine repopulation.
The localized FLS organized by the SAAD Program was participated by 10 members of the Catengan – Bunga Rise-up Farmers Association in the municipality of Besao. The 32 other swine raisers came from Sadanga municipality in barangays Anabel (10), Bekigan (10), and Sacasacan (12).
Repopulation beneficiaries were also awarded livestock support under the Swine Repopulation Integrated Carabao Raising and Heirloom Rice Production Project (Anabel and Sacasacan) and the Swine Repopulation Project in Bekigan. Participants also received farm biosecurity kits consisting of scrub suits and rubber boots.
SAAD-CAR Operations Officer Balag-ey Claver explained the importance of distributing agricultural projects through the SAAD Program as the materialization of its commitment. “It is the continuing aim of SAAD to distribute these agricultural interventions on animals, crops, and fisheries to identified indigent beneficiaries with the help of corresponding offices in the regional and provincial levels,” he said.
“Right now there is a SAAD mid-term assessment done by a third party studying the program’s implementation from 2017 to 2022. They are there to get evidence on the impact of the program because this is what the House is also looking for. They also have interests in extending and expanding the SAAD and we are hopeful that we will produce this evidence,” SAAD National Deputy Director Lustria shared.
DA-CAR Regional Executive Director Cameron Odsey reiterates the importance of the roll-over scheme in the repopulation program, as the transfer of offspring ensures sustainability and hopes that the rudiments of swine management obtained through the FLS shall indeed roll-over to the next-in-line beneficiaries.
Dir. Odsey added that the intensified educational campaign is participated by different concerned agencies ensuring DA’s commitment to the success of the program.
The training will also impart bookkeeping basics and impact assessment, and the opportunity to be accredited as a Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA Facilitator on swine management.
The Mountain Province local government unit (LGU) displays continued support of the SAAD Program as officials graced said turnover. Present during the events is House Representative Maximo Y. Dalog Jr., Governor Bonifacio Lacwasan Jr., Vice Governor Francis Tauli, Sangguniang Panlalawigan representatives, and the representatives of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist. Besao Mayor Johnson Bantog II and Sadanga Mayor Gabino Ganggangan also thanked SAAD during the turnover events in their respective municipalities. ###
Jessamae Gabon, DA-SAAD Information Officer
Jonathan Llanes, DA-SAAD CAR Information Officer
Sources: Beverly Pekas, Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer (APCO)