DAVAO DE ORO, August 26, 2022 – The Department of Agriculture Region 11 through the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) program delivered more than Php 11 million in crop-based projects to 46 farmers’ associations (FA) across all 11 municipalities in Davao de Oro.
“Atong tumong ani, nga ang atong mga FAs naay itanom ug naay ma-harvest next year” (The purpose is for our FAs to plant, so that they’ll harvest next year), Ms. Naomi Lamata, SAAD Region 11 Focal, said. “Kay atoang gusto by before ta muhawa, naa silay (What we want before we go is that they’ll have) harvest for two succeeding years.”
The province is SAAD 11’s sole area of implementation since its pilot in the region in 2018. For its Phase II starting 2023, the program will focus on four provinces: Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Davao Occidental. It was important for the program to intensify crop production for its FAs to go into community-based enterprises (CBEs).
Before distribution, the FAs were capacitated through group training fit to the crop-based project they were to receive.
Banana Production Project
Strengthening the province’s banana production, SAAD distributed 66,660 banana (of the lakatan variety) plantlets to eight FAs belonging in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area (GIDA) and End Local Communist Armed-Conflict (ELCAC) areas, to cover 33.3 hectares (ha) of planting area.
Lakatan, a dessert banana cultivar, can be harvested 8-12 months after planting. In Davao de Oro, lakatan can fetch an average farmgate price of Php 20.00/kg. Alongside the plantlets, the project also included several components such as 105 sacks of fertilizers (40 complete, 40 urea, 25 muriate of potash), 20 pieces digging bars, 80 pieces plastic crates, 10 pieces blue drums (200L capacity), and 10 knapsack sprayers. In its entirety, the project cost Php 4,550,783.50.
“Mapasalamaton kami nga naabot na jud ang gisaad” (We’re grateful that what was promised was delivered), Mr. Salde Cabili, chairperson for Aguibawa Farmers Association, said. The FA, a people’s organization endorsed to SAAD 11, was a new addition to the program’s list of beneficiaries this year.
Last year, the program heavily invested in banana and abaca production, benefitting 32 FAs. The crops are expected to be harvested in the fourth quarter this year. For 2022, SAAD rounded up the remaining areas needing more production inputs to further the program’s thrust.
Open Pollinated Variety (OPV) Corn Production Project
A mainstay in the program’s menu of projects, 33 FAs across the province received Open Pollinated Variety (OPV) corn this year. Each FA received 32 sacks of OPV corn seeds and 64 sacks of fertilizers (32 sacks complete, 32 sacks urea). For the project, SAAD 11 spent Php 5,799,552.
“Sa part sa amoang asosasyon, bulahan kaayo mi kay naa sa amoa padulong ang mga proyekto. Mapasalamaton kami kay nahatagan jud ug na-train mi para ani. Andam mi nga palungtaron jud ni” (We are fortunate because these projects are coming to us. Thankful that we were trained and given these, and we are prepared to sustain this), Ms. Jumie Cuevas, Chairperson for Rizal Tribal Farmers Association, said.
In three-four months after planting, the project is expected to increase OPV corn production across Davao de Oro, with an expected planting area of 1,056ha.
Vegetable Production Project
Vegetable production project was specifically crafted to cater the needs of FAs in the municipality of Maragusan, the province’s and region’s vegetable-producing capital. In highlands of the area, residents plant high value vegetable crops as main income generators.
Five FAs in the municipality benefited from the program’s livelihood project, costing Php 997,900.00. Sixteen (16) packs of hybrid sweet pepper, five cans each of hybrid eggplant, hybrid cabbage, and hybrid squash, and 6 cans of hybrid tomato alongside 90 pieces seedling trays, 50 pieces plastic crates, 20 pieces plastic mulch, and 10 knapsack sprayers were granted to the FAs.
In three-four months time, the crops are expected to be harvested. SAAD’s vegetable production inputs are estimated to increase output by four and one-fourth hectares (2ha for sweet pepper, 1ha for eggplant, 0.75ha for tomato, and 0.25has each for cabbage and squash.)
Writer: James Brian R. Flaga, Information Officer
Source: DA-SAAD Davao de Oro