OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, November 28, 2021 – Four (4) indigenous people (IP) associations in two End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) areas in San Jose received Php 1.5 million worth of farm implements from the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program to boost their cassava and rice production in the community.
Samahang Buhid at Hanunuo ng Brgy. Naibuan (SBHBN) (50 members), and Samahang Magsasaka ng Sitio Ibanag (SMSI) (50 members), each received 15 caraheifers for Cassava Production Project FY 2021.
The two associations, situated in Brgy. Naibuan, are focused on cassava production and previously received production packages in 2020 under the same project funded in FY 2020.
On the other hand, 113 farmers inclined to rice production in Brgy. Monteclaro received 9 caraheifers. Ilya, Taganop, Masay, Mantay, at Sangay Farmer’s Association (ITaMMaSa FA), with 28 members received five caraheifers, while four were awarded to Samahan ng mga Magsasakang Katutubo ng Monteclaro (SMKM) with 85 members.
Both associations received rice production packages in 2020 under Upland Organic Rice Production Project, funded in FY 2020.
“Umaasa lang kami sa manu-manong trabaho sa bukid kaya malaking alwan sa amin ang pagkakaroon ng kalabaw. Nagpapasalamat kami sa bigay ng SAAD sa amin. Iingatan namin ito (We rely on manual labor for our farm so having draft animals is a great relief for us. We are grateful to SAAD for what we have received and will take care of it),” said Angelito Ero, chairperson of SBHBN.
Ubos Balitang, the chairperson of ITaMMaSa FA, shared the same impact after receiving the draft animals. Their association is situated in a far-flung area in Brgy. Naibuan that requires them to walk for 10 hours and cross three rivers that reach up to 6 feet high or more during rainy seasons. Since machinery is not advisable for their terrain, carabaos are the best mode of transport for goods such as bananas, rice, and avocados.
“Kapag walang kalabaw, binubuhat namin ang mga ani namin para ibenta sa baba kaso mabigat at madalas ay nasisira na ang mga ito pagdating sa bayan kasi malayo ang lakaran kaya mura na lang naming naibebenta. Minsan lugi pa. Pero ngayon, maiiwasan na na masira ang mga produkto namin kasi may kalabaw na nakalaan sa amin mula sa SAAD,” said Mr. Balitang.
(Without draft animals, we carry our products down to the town proper but it is heavy, and due to the long travel, our products usually get damaged and we have no choice but to sell it at a lower price. But now that SAAD has allotted these carabaos to us, we can avoid losses.)
Joy dela Cruz and Christian Bacarisas, Agricultural Technologist of the Municipal Agriculture Office, assisted with the awarding.
Both associations in Brgy. Naibuan and Brgy. Monteclaro received farm animals such as free-range chicken and improved native goats earlier this year as an alternative livelihood to the members, who are targeting to supply the community and local market when production stabilizes. ###
Writer: Dianne Francis A. Sy, SAAD Information Officer I
Sources: Jercel N. Catubig, SAAD Area Coordinator – San Jose,
Jhonzell G. Panganiban, SAAD Area Coordinator – Paluan,
Relan S. Sabac, Agricultural Technologist,
Angelito Ero, Chairperson – Samahang Buhid at Hanunuo ng Brgy. Naibuan (SBHBN),
Ubos Balitang, Chairperson – Ilya, Taganop, Masay, Mantay, at Sangay Farmer’s Association (ITaMMaSa FA)