SIQUIJOR, April 8, 2022 – The Department of Agriculture- Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Deputy Director Ulysses J. Lustria, Jr. visits various SAAD beneficiaries in Siquijor to conduct monitoring and documentation of farmers’ success stories for the annual SAADventures magazine.
The SAAD Deputy Director accompanied by SAAD Region 7 and Siquijor officers and staff, and SAAD NPMO Comms and PR Officer, Mr. Bart Manoguid, went on a 2-day visit to the municipalities of Maria, and Siquijor in Siquijor from March 30 to April 1, 2022.
His first stop was barangay Logucan in the municipality of Maria where Jocelyn Ates, president of the 44-member Logucan Farmer’s Livelihood Association, showcased her products from the FY 2018 Corn- Peanut Production project.
Ms. Ates utilized her 0.5 hectares (ha) of land and shared that the initial 15 kg seeds provided by SAAD in 2018 were affected by drought which made the project unsuccessful. The Farmers’ Association (FA) managed to bounce back in a year when SAAD provided a supplemental 32kg of corn and peanut seeds. At the height of the lockdown during the pandemic, Ms. Ates spent her free time watching online tutorials on how to make peanut butter, which now is a staple value added product and a best-seller among all her offered commodities in the community.
The next stop was the Siquijor Cattle Producers Association in barangay Liloan in Maria where Emma Jimenez, the FA’s president shared her experience in leading a 275-member province-wide FA. Ms. Jimenez shared that the FA has been a beneficiary of the SAAD Cattle Production Program for three (3) years – in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Ms. Jimenez mentioned that the program started with 100 head of cattle in 2018, and SAAD distributed an additional 100 head in 2019, and another 75 head in 2021.
She added that prior to SAAD interventions, she was just a plain housewife busy with her backyard vegetable farm but did not hesitate to step up when she learned about the program. Ms. Jimenez added that to improve the project, a part of the income from sales of cattle goes toward the associations’ savings account. She mentioned that their goal is to be a prime producer of cattle in the province and to buy a portion of land to establish a meatshop for local consumers.
After visiting the beneficiaries in Maria, Deputy Director Lustria also went to barangay Caipilan, in the municipality of Siquijor where he met with Mr. Jay Ocso, a beneficiary of the FY 2020 Chicken Egg Production Project. Mr. Ocso together with his cousin, Roger Ocso is among the recipients of the project which is provided to 100 farmers in the province. Mr. Ocso managed a 12 square meters (sqm) cage for the ready-to-lay (RTL) chicken and shared how SAAD has helped their family with their daily needs as he transitioned from a daily-wage earner juggling different jobs to a poultry farmer with a steady stream of income.
The team also went to Cang-asa, Siquijor where the Hugpong sa mga Makugihon nga Magbabaol sa Cang-asa’s president Glenn Tambahoyot showcased how the Corn-Peanut Production project aided the 50-member FA, especially at the height of the pandemic.
Mr. Tambahoyot also showed the FA’s main product which sells out easily, Kapeng Mais (Corn Coffee) that comes in two flavors (roasted corn, and roasted corn with ginger). The association packs Kapeng Mais in tea bags and sells them to local resorts and beach cafes just in time for the anticipated influx of tourists in the province. Dep. Lustria suggested that the FA should be linked to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for product registration and better packaging and marketing.
The Deputy Director’s visit to Siquijor along with the SAAD Region 7 implementers is aimed at documenting successful farmers and farmers’ associations in the province. These stories of SAAD projects and the faces behind their success will be featured in the SAADventures magazine Volume 4. ###
Writer: Bart Manoguid, SAAD NPMO Comms and PR Officer
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