ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, September 20, 2021 – The Buenavista Farmers Association (BFA) in Zamboanga del Norte (ZDN) harvested 1 metric ton (mt) of squash worth over Php 30,000 from their half-hectare area communal garden on September 16.
The group is a beneficiary of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program’s Vegetable Production Project for 2021 worth Php 202,074.
Despite the province being placed under the general community quarantine (GCQ) status until September 30, 2021 according to Executive Order No. 21-84, the association generated income from the project.
Fifteen out of the 30 BFA members participated in the harvesting of about 1,920 pieces of squash sold to a private buyer at Php 18-20 each. The BFA also cultivates a combined estimated land area of 6,000 m2 of their individual backyard.
Association president Chona Palubon said, “The SAAD project encouraged us to plant different kinds of vegetables in our respective backyards. At first, we noticed that some of the members failed so we decided to establish this communal garden.”
The association members gather every Wednesday to maintain the communal garden.
“The best part about this SAAD Program is it provides a packaged intervention. The program provides the main inputs such as seeds and fertilizers, the farming tools such as drums, bolo, and knapsack sprayers, and the knowledge support through social preparation and training. They provide us not just tangible inputs but also the learnings that will surely never be taken away from us,” shared Ms. Chona.
In 2020, the association received Php 197,384 worth of inputs such as fertilizers, nets, garden tools, water pump, and knapsack sprayer. They also received seeds for cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, tomato, carrots, squash, eggplant, ampalaya, baguio beans, and cucumber worth Php 23,450. The local government unit (LGU) offered the area to be utilized by the association where they planted squash and earned Php 7,995 from their 395 kilograms harvest.
The group primarily produce for their personal consumption selling the surplus to their neighbors. ###
Writer: Aimee Lou D. Madjus, Information Officer- DA Region 9 Zamboanga del Norte