ILOILO CITY, November 14, 2021 – Twelve farmers and fishers’ associations in Antique and Negros Occidental received commendation as the leading Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) program partners in Western Visayas.
The Samahan kang Mangunguma kag Mamumugon kang Agricula of San Remigio, Liberato Farmers’ Association of Laua-an, Bugnay Irrigators’ Association, Inc. of Valderrama, Ratanila Cluster Level Association of Laua-an, Imba SAAD Seaweeds and Fisherfolk Association of Caluya, Poblacion Patnongon Fisherfolk Association, and Sebaste SAAD Fisherfolk Association are the top-performing partners of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in the Province of Antique.
DA and BFAR also lauded the Bungahin Irrigators’ Association, Inc. of Moises Padilla, Brgy. Ani-e Small Farmers’ Association of Calatrava, Panas-an Small Fisherfolks’ Association of Cauayan, Purok Santan SAAD Farmers and Fisherfolk Association of Hinoba-an, and Vito Vendors Fisherfolk Association of Sagay City in Negros Occidental for their notable performance in project management, accomplishments and short-term results, innovativeness, and sustainability.
The outstanding groups recognized during the SAAD Saga Western Visayas Partners’ Forum held in the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo recently will receive Php 75,000 worth of proposal-based projects from DA and BFAR.
“Paagi sa bulig sang SAAD, nangin matawhay kag masulhay ang mga pangabuhi sang tawo tungod halos tanan nga ginhatag nila napuslan namon. Ginahimuan namon sang policy agud mapapag-on pa guid ang mga proyekto kag para ang tanan nga miyembro maka benepisyo,” said Ike Gregorio, president of Samahan kang Mangunguma kag Mamumugon kang Agricula in San Remigio, Antique. Their association obtained significant farm yield due to their SAAD projects, including certified rice seeds, vegetable seeds, fertilizer, native land chicken, egg layer production, carabao, and farm implements.
National Director of the SAAD Program Dr. Myer G. Mula has called for the sustainability of agri-fishery projects in the region. The program aims to alleviate farmers and fishers’ living and income status in the municipalities with high poverty incidence in Antique and Negros Occidental.
“Since 2019, for the agriculture sector in Western Visayas, we have already spent Php 162 million on livelihood projects, and for the fishery sector, we have poured Php 71.33 million. We have covered 78 farmers’ associations with more than 14,000 members, and for the fishery sector, we have 32 associations with more than 1,000 members. We have also served 912 individual farmers for the agriculture sector,” said Director Mula.
Social preparation, community needs assessment, production livelihoods, and enterprise development are among the key components of the SAAD Program implementation. Director Mula said that DA-SAAD developed 160 agri-enterprises while BFAR funded 86 enterprises in the two provinces.
Furthermore, he mentioned that they seek a six-year extension of the SAAD Program to serve more farmers and fisherfolk in the under-developed communities nationwide by providing production inputs, developing agri-fishery enterprises, and sharing technology. He stressed that the SAAD Program maintains transparency in utilizing government funds and prioritizing projects on nutrition and food availability across the country.
He likewise emphasized the importance of recordkeeping as an essential tool to determine and ensure the impact and success of the interventions delivered at the grassroots.
“We are gathered here to celebrate the hard work, fortitude, and resilience of farmer and fisherfolk-partners who evolved into heroes securing a hungry-free nation. The SAAD program of the DA has been uplifting the lives of poverty-stricken communities in Western Visayas. The goal is to help all the farmers, most especially the upland farming communities who seldom receive the much-needed support from the government to attain sustainable and resilient rural economies,” said DA-SAAD Western Visayas Focal Person Dominador Marquez.
In the SAAD Saga Partners’ Forum, Director Mula and stakeholders from DA and BFAR provided vital recommendations to resolve several concerns in the implementation and derive strategies to help the beneficiaries become self-sustaining even beyond the project duration. The SAAD program’s aim of mobilizing and empowering the farmers and fishers in the countryside adheres to the One DA Reform Agenda of the department. ###
Writer: S.M.H. Toreno/DA-RAFIS 6