SORSOGON, February 28, 2022 – Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) Philippines Country Director Fahri Burak Aydogdu visited the beneficiaries of the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) in Sorsogon on February 21-22, 2022. This is to evaluate SAAD project proposals for possible support from the Turkish agency, following SAAD Director Myer G. Mula’s meeting with the TIKA Director.
Joined by Dr. Mary Grace DP. Rodriguez, SAAD Bicol Action Officer, she said that the SAAD Bicol office has submitted to Dir. Mula proposals for the construction of a Community-based Vegetable Processing Facility and the procurement of hauling trucks to be stationed at the Regional Dairy Production and Technology Center (RDPTC) in Sorsogon. The said projects will benefit 31 organized groups in Sorsogon whose total vegetable grower members ranged from 930 to 1050.
In Donsol, Sorsogon, Dir. Aydogdu met with one of the prospective beneficiaries – the Tres Marias Drive Association (TMD) composed of 28 vegetable growers. The TMD has a total of 4.6 hectare land planted to vegetables which they sell either fresh or processed. Among the processed products of the TMD are turmeric or “salabat”, polvoron, pickled vegetable and sweetened vegetable candies (molido).
In Pilar, Sorsogon, the Director also visited the Agta Tabangnon communities, prospective beneficiaries of the proposed fishpen and fish pond projects submitted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to SAAD.
Dir. Aydogdu said that TIKA Philippines has collaborated with SAAD in the past and has already provided interventions to selected beneficiaries of the program in other regions of the Philippines in 2019 and 2020 but has temporarily stopped by the pandemic due to travel restrictions.
“Through SAAD we can easily reach people and we are glad to be able to help them,” Dir. Aydogdu added. He was particularly impressed with the significant number of beneficiaries who will benefit from the projects if realized.
Dir. Aydogdu has seen the vegetable production areas of the SAAD beneficiaries which are very far from the market area, and having a large winged truck for the main roads, as well as a smaller hauling truck for the inner or far-flung areas could be a great boost to their enterprises.
The SAAD implementers in Sorsogon also lament the lack of hauling trucks that they can use in the delivery of inputs to the beneficiaries particularly in the very remote areas. At present, they are being assisted by the Local Government Units and oftentimes have to wait for days for the availability of the hauling trucks.
Dr. Rodriguez thanked Dir. Aydogdu for visiting Bicol to personally evaluate the SAAD project proposals.
“We are really thankful to the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency for giving time to study and consider our proposal,” Dr. Rodriguez added. ###
Writer: Lovella P. Guarin, DA RAFIS 5
Lovella P. Guarin, DA RAFIS 5
Pauline Trixia D. Borja, SAAD Sorsogon Information Officer