SORSOGON, August 18, 2022 – Farmers’ associations engaged in high-value crops (HVC) production from Sorsogon received a Solar Power Irrigation System (SPIS) and a multicultivator machine from the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program to advance soil cultivation processes and address water supply needs of beneficiaries.
Sixty-four (64) farmers from the Poctol Backyard Farmers Association (PBFA) and Samahang Pangkabuhayan at Pangkaunlaran ng Calpi (SPPC) will benefit from the machinery inputs worth Php 1,213,330 provided by the program under High-Value Crops Production and Enterprise Development of FY 2022. The 34 members of PBFA from Barangay Poctol, Pilar, and the 30 members of SPPC from Barangay Calpi, Pilar grow lowland vegetables like kalabasa, sitaw, sili, kamatis, upo, ampalaya, etc., and sell them in their barangays market.
The mechanized process of land tilling through the multicultivator machine would cut short the manual process of harrowing soil for planting crops, which required more time and effort using a manual plow. Likewise, the farmers’ new irrigation system addresses the area’s limited water supply, which is essential to vegetable cultivation.
Both established in 2020, the FAs continue to provide affordable vegetable products within their municipalities cultivating a combined estimate of 10 hectares (ha) land area. They are recognized as the primary suppliers of fresh vegetables in their respective barangays.
Based on the monitoring and validation activities conducted by the SAAD program and through the coordination and endorsement of the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO), the associations were identified as the potential beneficiaries for FY 2022 under the High Value Crops package. Further, upon the assessment of the Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED), the PBFA and SPPC were qualified to receive machinery and water supply assistance from the program. The division’s monitoring process determines an organization’s capacity in managing the agricultural interventions to be provided by the DA, their land area, and the feasibility of water source which the FAs passed.
Ceremony of turnover
During the activity, DA Regional Field Office – 5 (DA RFO 5) Regional Executive Director (RED) and SAAD Regional Program Director Rodel P. Tornilla emphasized the importance of empowering the agriculture sector, while also extending his gratitude to the group beneficiaries.
“Dakula po an pasasalamat kan gobyerno saindong mga para-uma ta dai kamo nagpundong magtanom, magproduser kan pagkakan, ta kun kamo nagpundo, kadakol na tao an magugutom,” Dir. Tornilla said.
(The government would like to express gratitude to all of you, our farmers, for your unwavering dedication to food production and support in the fight against hunger.)
Field Operations Division (FOD) Chief and SAAD Focal Person Dr. Mary Grace Rodriguez lauded the farmers recalling the humble beginnings of the SAAD Program and the challenges encountered during the course of its implementation in the marginalized areas of the region.
“People with good intentions make promises, but people with good character keep them — we, the men and women of DA, will do our best to keep our promises,” Dr. Rodriguez added.
Also present in the event were Pilar Municipal Mayor, Hon. Carolyn Sy-Reyes, Pilar Municipal Vice Mayor, Luis Leosala, Jr., Sorsogon ROS Superintendent Agnes Espinola, Municipal Agriculture Office OIC Marites Rebellon, and Calpi Barangay Kagawad Hon. Yolanda Lusuegro.
High-Value Crops Production and Enterprise Development
Further, to complete the package amounting to Php 1,655,470 for each association, the delivery of the remaining interventions will be in the third quarter of FY 2022. The remaining inputs include kitchen equipment needed to process their products for enterprise opportunities.
With the interventions given by the SAAD Program to support the farmers in their farming venture, PBFA President, Randy Argote vowed to take care of the inputs provided to them. These interventions, with proper technical support, will help modernize soil cultivation and address water supply problems, especially during the summer season.
“An assurance mi man po sa ngaran kan Poctol Backyard Farmers Association, an ano man po na itinao samo kan SAAD, an gusto mi po, mapakinabangan pa ini kan mga masunod samo. Aalagaan mi po ini sa abot kan samong makakaya ta nganing padagos na magamit ini,” said Mr. Argote.
(PBFA will make sure that the provisions given by SAAD will be taken care of so that our successors may still benefit from it. We will take care of it to the best of our abilities).
With the mechanization of vegetable farming methods, the farmers may expect a more abundant harvest, with reduced resources, effort, and time spent in farm cultivation. ###
Writer: Juan Paulo A. Quizana, DA-SAAD Region 5 Information Officer
Mary Rose Detera, DA-SAAD Sorsogon Provincial Coordinator
Maribeth A. Mangalino, DA-SAAD Region 5 Report Officer
Pauline Trixia Borja, DA-SAAD Sorsogon Information Officer
Jonas Guañizo, DA–SAAD Sorsogon Area Coordinator
Maria Ligaya Renegado, DA-SAAD Sorsogon Area Coordinator