ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, October 14, 2021 – Forty-four members of Teresita Vegetable Farmers Association (TVFA) celebrated a festival after harvesting 3,000 cabbages weighing 400 kilograms in Piñan, Zamboanga del Norte on October 7.
TVFA is a beneficiary of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program under FY 2021. The group received Php 305,040 worth of seeds, fertilizers, and planting materials to cover 1 hectare on June 25.
In partnership with the Piñan local government unit (LGU), the event took place to showcase the communal garden and urge other farmers associations to establish their own.
Mayor Cecila Carreon said, “Food is a basic necessity in our lives. This project gives us hope to have access to food without spending money. I assure you that the project will not end here after harvest, but the LGU will continue to guide and support you in every way possible.”
The farmers earned Php 14,000 after the cabbages were sold to a private buyer for Php 35/kg.
During the harvest festival, TVFA Secretary Daisy Lata recalled the beginning of their journey in the communal garden.
“When we heard that this project will be communal, I lost interest because we have done that before and we failed. Thanks to the LGU for pushing us to try again. When SAAD and the LGU provided us with all the inputs needed, we really got motivated to work. Look at us now. We have finally tasted the fruits of our labor,” said Daisy.
Municipal Agriculturist Merie Regencia, DA-SAAD Provincial Coordinator Roger Dave Gramatica, as well as other LGU and SAAD staff attended the festival.
Harvesting of other vegetables is scheduled in the third week of October.
TVFA’s vegetable production journey
The association planted the vegetable seeds in the first week of July. The 1 ha garden was divided into the following: cabbage – 3,000 sqm, sweet pepper – 2,500 sqm, tomato – 2,500 sqm, squash – 1,000 sqm, and other crops – 1,000 sqm.
“This project did not just provide us a livelihood opportunity but it also bridged us to have a constant connection with the members. We started to care for each other. One member’s problems became ours too,” Daisy added.
Piñan LGU through the Municipal Agriculture Office provided additional support to the association through additional seeds, vermicompost, and caretakers for the communal garden. The additional workforce assured proper management and application of technology. ###
(Writer: Aimee Lou D. Madjus/DA9)