NEGROS ORIENTAL, June 21, 2022 – Thirty-three (33) farmers from an identified End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) area received Php 1.26 million assistance from the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA- SAAD) livestock project.
The inputs are the components of FY 2022 Cattle Fattening, Breeding, and Dispersal Project in Barangay Talalak, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental.
Tamlang United Farmers Association (TUFA) is a farmers association (FA) composed of 115 active members (33 SAAD beneficiaries) located in Sitio Tamlang, Barangay Talalak, Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental, a far-flung area which takes a 4-5 hour walk from Sitio Avocado in Sta. Catalina.
Most of the TUFA members are corn and banana farmers who grow white-corn for consumption, and bananas for selling. Sitio Tamlang is approximately 36 kilometers away from the town proper of Sta. Catalina, with a rocky unpaved road serviced only by a single motorcycle (habal-habal), which makes it difficult for the farmers to market the produce outside the sitio. The FA members who do not have motorcycles sell their corn and banana products by loading them into carabaos or horses.
The DA-SAAD Program distributed the interventions to provide cattle for breeding and fattening among beneficiaries in the province. The recipients received the interventions (Table 1) along with drugs and biologics which will be administered by the livestock coordinator after three months to assure the health of the cattle. The FA was provided with cattle for production to enhance the native cattle in Sitio Tamlang into upgraded cattle, which will increase genetic capability, resulting in larger and heavier cattle.
The distribution was spearheaded by Negros Oriental- Agricultural Program Coordination Officer (APCO) Bernard Limbaga and SAAD Region 7 staff together with the local government unit (LGU) of Sta. Catalina, with the assistance of Army Executive Officer of Bravo Company 11 Infantry Battalion Lieutenant Jonathan Bangibang.
Table 1. Interventions under FY 2022 Cattle Fattening, Breeding, and Dispersal Project
“Ingon sila ang saad gigama para pakyason, apan kini karon, mao kini ang SAAD nga natuman gayud. Dako namong pasalamat aning mga baka nga among nadawat karon,” Rufino Canete, TUFA vice president, expressed his gratitude for the program.
(They say that promises are made to be broken, but this SAAD promise is meant to be fulfilled. We are really thankful for the interventions we received today).
SAAD Negros Oriental envisions the farmers in Tamlang to be agripreneurs. In his message to the farmers during the turnover of interventions, APCO Limbaga shares that SAAD provided inputs to address food insecurity. “Puhon kamo among gi saligan mo supply ug baka sa Negros or diri sa Sta. Catalina. Nindot ang programa sa SAAD, tungod kay dili lamang ang naa sa highway ang mahatagan sa maong programa, apan ang programa sa gobyerno, naabot diri sa inyong lugar. Hopefully, magpadayon ang SAAD ug palanggaon ninyo inyong nadawat,” he added.
(We trust you to supply cattle in Negros or here in Sta. Catalina in the near future. The SAAD program is great because it not only reached the easy-to-reach areas, but also areas with armed conflict. Hopefully, SAAD will continue and you will take good care of what you have received).
Due to the high cost of mixed bred cattle, TUFA aims to be a supplier of cattle in Sta. Catalina.
Prior to receiving the cattle inputs and support, Sta. Catalina Municipal Agriculturist Renato Cadayday encouraged the farmers to expand their forage farms from 1000 square meters (sqm) to 2,000sqm each to provide food for their cattle.
TUFA committed to strengthen cooperation within its members to maintain and monitor the project’s sustainability.
TUFA will jumpstart training on agro-enterprise, and cattle management, raising, and production in July and September 2022. ###
Writer: Jolina T. Daño, DA-SAAD 7 Information Officer I
Sources: Erwin Jr. Leyva, Sta. Catalina Area Coordinator
Renato Cadayday, Sta. Catalina Municipal Agriculturist