LEYTE, June 24, 2022 – The Department of Agriculture- Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA- SAAD) National Director Myer G. Mula visits Leyte and Southern Leyte to monitor the program’s livelihood projects and conduct focus group discussions (FGDs) among beneficiaries in the province.
Director Mula’s schedule started with a courtesy call with SAAD Regional Field Office (RFO) 8 and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) personnel, as well as the local government unit (LGU) of Tacloban, Leyte on June 13, 2022. In the meeting, the importance of balanced fertilization, FPA registration and licensing policies, development of multiplier farms to improve the program’s projects, as well as issues with SAAD procurement processes were discussed with the on-ground implementers.
Leyte (June 13)
Palayanon Unlad Farmers Association (PUFA), Barangay Cabatianuhan, San Miguel, Leyte. The FA with 18 members is a recipient of the FY 2021 Mallard Duck Project of SAAD worth Php 1,295,900. The interaction with the FA focused on issues of production such as lack of incubators, vaccination, and mortality among mallard ducks. Aside from aging, viral diseases caused by climate change are among the main causes of mortality among the mallard ducks.
The FA is requesting incubators due to the increasing numbers of eggs produced by the mallard ducks and additional fertile duck eggs provided by the LGU for incubation. The increasing number of farmers engaged in duck production within the community and adjacent areas makes vaccination for mallard ducks necessary to avoid infections.
Daro Integrated Farmers Association (DIFA), Barangay Daro, Jaro, Leyte. The FA with 21 members is a beneficiary of the Native Chicken and Banana Lakatan Production and Marketing project of SAAD worth Php 693,000. Among the issues discussed during the dialogue was the importance of a functioning association in the community. Together with the FPA, balanced fertilization was also shared as well as the integration of vermicomposting to the FA’s livelihood projects.
Barangay San Roque Women’s Welfare Association (BSRWWA), Barangay San Roque, Tunga, Leyte. The FA, with 21 members, is an all-women group of the Egg Layer Production and Marketing project worth 1,928,944.44. The director’s interaction focused on the FA’s organizational handling, proper cash utilization, and promoting youth engagement with the program’s projects provided to the FA.
Southern Leyte (June14)
Bolodbolod Mahayahay San Isidro Irrigators Associations, Inc. (BOMASA) in St. Bernard, Southern Leyte, a beneficiary of the FY 2019 Mallard Duck Project and a 3,500-capacity incubator and solar power equipment worth Php 541,000. The team commended the consolidation process of the association where Antonio Gorme, a BOMASA member gathered the egg produce and initiated a balut production which the FA market in the municipality.
Mapgap Farmers Association (MFA), Brgy. Mapgap, Tomas Oppus, a recipient of the Egg Layer Production project worth Php 1,860,750. The FA, with 15 members, was badly hit by typhoon Odette last December 2021 and is still slowly recovering from the aftermath. The mortality rate among the association’s ready-to-lay (RTL) chicken has reached 122 out of 960 head. In September 2022, the FA plans to purchase 500 RTL chickens using the association’s savings just in time for the demand during the holiday season. As of now, the FA is busy with the rehabilitation of the chicken layer facility, as Dir. Mula suggested continuing and expanding the received interventions to improve the association’s income and sustainability.
MAGAPSO Mahayahay Irrigators Association in Brgy. Mahayahay, Sogod. The FA, with 18-members is a recipient of the FY 2018 Rice Enhancement Production, FY 2019 Mallard Duck Production, and FY 2021 Vegetable Production Project worth Php 527,454.
Like the previous association, the FA also suffered the same fate due to typhoon Odette. Their vegetable garden where sitaw and ampalaya are cultivated in a total of 0.75 hectare (ha) land suffered a Php 25,000 worth of loss (0.25ha damaged area).
On the other hand, the group was able to earn Php 70,000 from the vegetable garden prior to the typhoon’s landfall in December 2021. The FA was also able to set aside Php 10,000 from the 1st and 2nd cycle which they currently use for the 3rd cycle’s activities including land preparation, fertilizers, and commercial seeds.
The FA has continuously planted sitaw, ampalaya, okra, and eggplant since April 2022 with an estimated harvest between July to August 2022. Currently, the association plans to use 80% of its savings for the rehabilitation of members’ houses, and the remaining 20% as future funds to improve the interventions provided by SAAD.
The issues and concerns raised by the FAs will be reviewed as Director Mula and the SAAD Program Region 8 are committed to improving farmers’ associations’ status, by introducing modernized farming practices to enhance their production, and coming up with concrete recommendations on the implementation guidelines for a SAAD Phase 2, a program extension which is wished to be approved. ###
Writer: Bart Manoguid, SAAD NPMO Public Relations, and Communications Officer