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Catanduanes farmers, models for resiliency – earn Php 189k from vegetable production

CATANDUANES, April 7, 2022 – Vegetable farmers earned Php 189,200.00 from the Vegetable Production and Enterprise Development Project of the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program, radiating inspiration toward agricultural livelihood recovery in the province.

In 2020, the San Marcos Vegetable Farmers Association (SMVFA) from Brgy San Marcos, San Miguel, Catanduanes with 36 members, received inputs amounting to Php 500,900.00, including various vegetable seeds, garden tools, bags of fertilizers, food processing tools such as kitchenware, and post-harvest materials.

The farmers cultivate their three-hectare (ha) land area in Barangay San Marcos. This barangay is home to 60 households and 256 residents. Its estimated distance is 8 kilometers (km) away from the main road. To reach the area, one has to ride a habal-habal and endure a 20 to 30-minute walk passing through a bridge and trekking a mountain. Despite being in a remote barangay, the farmers thrive to sustain and develop the project that was provided to them by DA-SAAD.

However, Typhoon Rolly hit the island province in November 2020, severely affecting the farmers’ crop husbandry. The damages of the typhoon forced a halt in the farmers’ production and they were only able to sell vegetables from their August yield. This resulted in a meager Php 1,030.00 earnings for the year 2020 (Table 1).

Table 1. SMVFA’s earnings before Typhoon Rolly (2020)

On Resiliency

Despite the effects of the typhoon, the farmers stood firm and focused more on sustaining the vegetable project. In January 2021, to aid in recovery, the farmers received additional vegetable seeds from the SAAD’s Php 5.5 million rehabilitation assistance fund and planted them along with some remaining seeds from the previous year.

From April to September 2021, they were able to yield various vegetables from their plantations and sell them in their town market and neighboring barangays. In 2021, they earned an amount of Php 189,200.00 (Table 2).

Table 2. SMVFA’S earnings for the year 2021

Based on the group’s agreement, 90% of their monthly income goes to personal savings and is used to provide for their family’s daily needs like food and clothing, monthly bills, and house repairs. The remaining 10% goes to the association, which serves as a revolving fund for sustaining the project.

Further, Ms. Gina Bañas, president of SMVFA was thankful for the assistance given by DA-SAAD, “Gapasalamat po ako an samong association, ta kami napili nin SAAD na mataw-an nin siring na tabang. Kami man gabos ma hinguha nganing mas mapa lago an samong produkto buda makatabang man kami sa lambang salo, (Our association is thankful that SAAD chose us to receive such assistance. We are all trying our best to cultivate our products more and be able to help each other.)”

Through the re-echoing of activities on Basic Food Techniques for Enterprise Development conducted by the SAAD-PPMSO Area Coordinators in March 2022, the farmers learned to make pickled vegetables and squash noodles. They also plan to make squash molido and squash leche-flan to add to their products.

In the coming months, apart from making value-added products to help sustain the project, they also plan to utilize some of the funds for feeding programs and giving material assistance to the school within the barangay as face-to-face learning is slowly being implemented in their area. ###

Writer/Source: Jovinel M. Gianan- SAAD PPMSO Information Officer

Photo Source: Jovinel M. Gianan- SAAD PPMSO Information Officer

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