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PBFA earns Php 191k from DA-SAADs vegetable prod’n project despite typhoon damages

Background

Bicol Region’s geographic location exposes its provinces to natural calamities such as typhoons, making their agricultural industry and activities susceptible to destruction.

In Sorsogon, some farmers’ associations (FAs) opt to cultivate vegetables, anticipating, and at the same time designing their agricultural livelihood for easy rehabilitation, as a strategy to counter their geographic vulnerability.

The Poctol Backyard Farmers Association (PBFA) in Barangay Poctol, Pilar, Sorsogon, with 35 members and a Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) registered group since May 2020 are engaged in backyard vegetable gardening. They are cultivating individual gardens measuring around 100sqm to 1ha each, with harvests apportioned for household consumption.

In August 2020, the group was chosen as a beneficiary for the Vegetable Production Project of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program.

The project package includes vegetable seeds (22 kg), organic fertilizer (35 bags), drums (14 pcs), plastic tray (133 pcs), HDPE pipes (7 rolls), wheelbarrow (10 units), plastic mulch (2 rolls), knapsack sprayer (4 units), rambutan seeds (506 pcs), lemon (24 seedlings), and root crops (16,600 cuttings) amounting to Php 277,056.34.

Members were divided into five clusters (7 members each) each cultivating a 1.4-hectare land area, as farm tools are for communal use. The clusters produce different vegetables.

Two months after sowing pechay, eggplant (talong), upo, tomatoes (kamatis), cucumber (pipino), bitter gourd (ampalaya), monggo, peanut (mani), okra, sitaw, kalabasa, siling labuyo and siling haba, Typhoon Rolly struck the region and damaged each cluster’s gardens wiping off the whole plantation.

How PBFA recuperated from the destruction brought by typhoons

Aware of the possibilities, the move for the rehabilitation of their vegetable production areas were assisted by SAAD providing seeds for replanting in November 2020.

With PBFA President Randy Argote’s encouragement to the members, the group organized a bayanihan activity for the full force resumption of their farming activities. Understanding that community recovery is a two-way street, while thankful for the free capital inputs from the program, the farmers’ strong will and passion went on and regrouped to resume planting in January 2021.

After two months, their production peaked and went beyond the needs of the table. The group then decided to embark on selling their harvests within the community. Starting March 2021, vegetable harvests were sold in the neighborhood at cheaper prices ranging from Php 20 to 200 per kilogram (kg).

As of October 2021, the PBFA recorded an accumulated gross income of Php 177,480.50 (Table 1).

Table 1. PBFA’s vegetable production income from March to October 2021

Month
(2021)
Crops Total Harvest Unit of Measure Price
(Php/unit)
Income
(Php)
March Sili Haba
Sili Labuyo
Pechay
Talong
Kalabasa
Sitaw
Kamatis
Upo
Ampalaya
Pipino
Okra
Monggo
Mani
60.5
30
140
40
36
19
42
26
12
13.50
4
6
24
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
pcs
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
50.00
200.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
70.00
40.00
30.00
80.00
50.00
3,025.00
6,000.00
5,600.00
1,600.00
720.00
760.00
1,620.00
520.00
840.00
540.00
120.00
480.00
1,200.00
April Sili Haba
Sili Labuyo
Pechay
Talong
Kalabasa
Sitaw
Kamatis
Upo
Ampalaya
Pipino
Okra
Monggo
Mani
70
42
198
76
46
25
48
31
16
23
6
4
46
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
pcs
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
50.00
200.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
70.00
40.00
30.00
80.00
50.00
3,500.00
8,400.00
7,920.00
3,040.00
920.00
1,000.00
1,920.00
620.00
1,120.00
920.00
180.00
320.00
2,300.00
May Sili Haba
Sili Labuyo
Pechay
Talong
Kalabasa
Sitaw
Kamatis
Upo
Ampalaya
Pipino
Mani
55.50
39
205
53
48.50
26
50
40
19
20
31
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
pcs
kg
kg
kg
50.00
200.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
70.00
40.00
50.00
2,775.50
7,800.00
8,200.00
2,120.00
970.00
1,040.00
2,000.00
800.00
1,330.00
800.00
1,550.00
June Sili Haba
Sili Labuyo
Pechay
Talong
Kalabasa
Sitaw
Kamatis
Upo
Ampalaya
Pipino
Monggo
Mani
49
35
38
47
51
22
45.50
16
21
15
5
32
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
pcs
kg
kg
kg
kg
50.00
200.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
70.00
40.00
80.00
50.00
2,450.00
7,000.00
1,520.00
1,880.00
1,020.00
880.00
1,820.00
320.00
1,470.00
600.00
400.00
1,600.00
July Sili Haba
Sili Labuyo
Pechay
Talong
Kalabasa
Sitaw
Kamatis
Upo
Pipino
Okra
Monggo
Mani
60
36
208
32
44
29.50
38
10
9
3
5
14
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
pcs
kg
kg
kg
kg
50.00
200.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
40.00
30.00
80.00
50.00
3,000.00
7,200.00
8,320.00
1,280.00
880.00
1,180.00
1,520.00
200.00
360.00
90.00
400.00
700.00
August Sili Haba
Sili Labuyo
Pechay
Talong
Kalabasa
Sitaw
Kamatis
Upo
Ampalaya
Pipino
Monggo
Mani
79
36
90
29
29.50
16
39.50
14
11
9.50
5
22
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
pcs
kg
kg
kg
kg
50.00
200.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
70.00
40.00
80.00
50.00
3,950.00
7,200.00
3,600.00
1,160.00
590.00
640.00
1,580.00
280.00
770.00
380.00
400.00
1,100.00
September Sili Haba
Sili Labuyo
Pechay
Talong
Sitaw
Kamatis
Ampalaya
Okra
Mani
72
15
103.50
16
14.50
29
6
6
13
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
50.00
200.00
40.00
40.00
40.00
40.00
70.00
30.00
50.00
3,600.00
3,000.00
4,140.00
640.00
580.00
1,160.00
420.00
180.00
650.00
October Sili Haba
Sili Labuyo
Pechay
Talong
Kalabasa
Kamatis
Upo
38
10
99.50
21
23
33
15
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
50.00
200.00
40.00
40.00
20.00
40.00
20.00
1,900.00
2,000.00
3,980.00
840.00
460.00
1,320.00
300.00
Total 177,480.50

Ronaldo Maquiñana, a vegetable grower, coconut deliveryman, and construction worker, shared that his earnings helped him provide for his family and support his children’s education.

“Dahil sa SAAD, nagkaigwa kami ning mas maray na pag buhay lalo na para sa samuyang pamilya. Sulit ang pagal mi sa pagtatanom dahil tinawan kami ning maray na resulta, (Because of SAAD, we had a better livelihood, especially for our family. Our effort was worth it because it gave us a good result.)”

While waiting for their crops to mature (2nd cycle), members also attend to their other sources of income such as fruit vending (stalls), handicraft making, sari-sari store operation, and other activities that will help them generate income to support their needs.

It was until typhoon Odette hit Sorsogon province last December 2021 that their expected 2nd cycle of vegetable harvest was severely devastated, belonging to the incurred Php 4,852,850 loss in agricultural and fishery assets all over the region.

SAAD’s immediate response

After the onslaught, SAAD, again responded to the needs of its beneficiaries by distributing assorted lowland vegetable seeds for another recovery effort from Typhoon Odette aftermath in January 2022.

Since clustering of group members and area is proven an effective strategy, they started replanting crops such as ampalaya, kalabasa, upo and siling haba to a 5,000sqm area and expect harvest in the next months.

As of April 2022, they reported Php 14,290 gross income from selling their ampalaya, kalabasa, and pipino harvests (Table 2).

Table 2. PBFA’s vegetable production income from March to April 2022

Date
(2022)

Plant Quantity Unit of Measure Unit Price
(Php/unit)
Gross Income
(Php)
January to April Ampalaya 135 kg 70.00-80.00 6,040.00
Kalabasa 130 kg 30.00 3,900.00
Pipino 145 kg 30.00 4,350.00
Total 14,290.00

Mr. Argote thanked SAAD Program for the continued outpour of interventions to his group. “The best ang SAAD, nabuhay ang asosasyon mi. Magayonon na start- up para sa samuyang mga small farmers na inassist nindo. Na- encourage kami, nabilog kami, at pinakaimportante, tinupad ning SAAD ang saindang pangako.”

(SAAD is the best, helping our association thrive. This is a good start-up for us, the small farmers that you assisted. We are encouraged, organized, and most importantly, SAAD fulfilled its promise.)

Despite the fact that the province of Sorsogon is known as a typhoon gateway, and beaten by calamities, the group perseveres and continues what they started. Banking on this core value, the association plans to expand their livelihood through value addition out of their harvests, such as powdered cucumber, talong powder, kamatis powder, ampalaya powder, and sili powder. They also plan to produce delicacies such as kalabasa molido and suman na gabi, and a pop-up vegetable stall placed near Mr. Argote’s house in barangay Poctol.

The Barangay Poctol and other Sorsogon farmers, however defenseless against strong typhoons and flash floods that reduce farm productivity and threaten agricultural livelihood stability, remain steadfast and always willing to bounce back. This important trait may be credited to the sense of community and resiliency developed by the locals; however, it is worth noting and recognizing how mutual trust and confidence between the state and its stakeholders are built and boosted simply by showing up in the face of adversities. In the case of PBFA, the farmers are confident and assured that SAAD and the DA RPMSO 5 will always lend a helping hand for efforts on recoveries and rehabilitation until more sustainable and resilient farming solutions come up.###

Writer: Pauline Trixia D. Borja, SAAD Program Sorsogon Information Officer
Photos: Pauline Trixia D. Borja

Sources:
Mary Rose Detera, SAAD Program Sorsogon Provincial Coordinator
Jonas Guañizo, Pilar Area Coordinator

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Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program Online ISSN: 2718-9791
Published by the SAAD National Program Management Office Editorial Board

Contact | Follow @da.saadprogram

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Republic of the Philippines

William D. Dar, Ph. D.
Secretary, Department of Agriculture

Myer G. Mula, Ph. D.
Program Director

                  

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