ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, April 6, 2022 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program turned over Php 800,000 worth of livelihood project to four farmer cooperatives and associations (FCAs) in Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte on April 5, 2022. The activity led by National Director Myer G. Mula aims to establish additional banana (lakatan) plantation in the municipality.
General classification of Siayan’s land is agricultural with 69.43% of its area being hilly and mountainous. Despite the topography, farmers persist to plant crops requiring cultivation every cropping which makes the area vulnerable to erosion. Less than 5% of the area can be considered plain in slope, categorized as infilled and inland valleys which are devoted to lowland rice, vegetable, and perennial crops such as trees (i.e., coconut) and shrubs.
Since 2017, the DA-SAAD in coordination with the local government unit (LGU) of Siayan had implemented various livelihood projects for the farmers of the municipality. Identified farmers in three barangays of the municipality received the Upland Rice and Banana Production inputs as well as stocks of large ruminants.
For 2022, the program in its last year of implementation continues to expand and cover other barangays.
The four newly identified cooperatives namely Balok Consumers Cooperative, Dumpilas Consumers Cooperative, Domogok Consumers Cooperative, and Sayaw Consumers Cooperative comprising 20 members each, received the FY2022 Banana Production Project with 16,000 banana plantlets and 400 bags of vermicast. FCA members will receive 200 plantlets each to cover approximately 16 hectares (ha) of land area. The intervention will serve approximately 16ha of land area in 80 sites at 200 plantlets per site (2,000 square meters per site).
The FCAs are expected to start planting by May this year. Processing and packaging of the fruit will eventually take place after harvest to add value to the product and give a bargaining advantage. Due to the high demand of bananas from other nearby municipalities, the LGU commits to assist them in their marketing.
Present to show support to the activity were DA Region 9 staff – Field Operations Division Chief Reynaldo Campomanes, Agricultural Provincial Coordinator George Vallente, SAAD Provincial Coordinator Roger Dave Gramatica, SAAD Area Coordinator Nurhainar Salim, FPA officers, and other staff from the LGU. ###
Writer: Aimee Lou D. Madjus, Information Officer DA-SAAD Region 9