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National Program Director meets up with ZDN farmers

ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE, April 5, 2022 – The Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Director Myer G. Mula visited three (3) farmers’ associations (FA) in Zamboanga del Norte on April 4 to monitor the progress of their livelihood projects.

In the municipality of Piñan, Dionum Achievers Farmers’ Association (DAFA) showcased their approximately one-hectare (ha) communal farm of sweet corn where they implemented staggered planting. The association, composed of 43 active members became SAAD beneficiaries in 2021 and received the Corn Production Project worth Php 217,200 under FY 2021.

(Read Piñan farmers receive Php 217K worth corn inputs for 40ha to view interventions received by DAFA.)

During the monitoring activity, Dir. Mula joined the harvesting of sweet corn. He then shared his technical expertise on sweet corn and taught the farmers how to compute the expected volume of harvest.

The chief then visited 44 farmers from the Vegetable Production Project of Teresita Vegetable Farmers Association (TVFA) who recently had their second batch of vegetable harvest sold at Php 50,000. The project implemented under FY 2021 provided TVFA with inputs such as vegetable seeds, fertilizer, and plastic crates worth Php 305,040. The association manages a 1ha communal farm cultivating various vegetables such as cabbages, squash, eggplant, ampalaya, and cucumber.

Dir. Mula recommended the bagging strategy to protect their crops. Bagging is the practice of covering the crop during its fruiting stage to protect against insects and animals.

In the municipality of Mutia, Dir. Mula visited the Newland Women’s Association (NWA), a SAAD beneficiary since 2017 and recipient of the Layer Chicken Egg Production Project with 21 active members. The FA currently manages 25 modules with each module containing 48 head of layer chicken.

The FA recently culled 240 head of chicken this month which will immediately be replenished using their savings worth Php 167,040. NWA President Grace Detablan shared that they also plan to expand the project by procuring 15 additional modules from their individual savings.

According to Dir. Mula, the key in sustaining livelihood projects is continuous training and consolidation, record keeping, financial management, and marketing strategy to further empower and upskill the farmers while encountering different farming hurdles on the field.

After the monitoring activity, Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) focal persons in Zamboanga Peninsula discussed the increasing price of fertilizers and provided information on the use of organic fertilizer as an alternative.

Also present during the activity were Ashley Mae Apigo from Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PME) Unit of the SAAD National Program Management Office; 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; and former Piñan Municipal Agriculturist Merly Regencia. ###


Writer: Aimee Lou D. Madjus, Information Officer DA-SAAD Region 9

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