KALINGA, September 14, 2022 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program in Cordillera Administrative Region endorsed four farmers’ associations (FAs) who will be graduating soon from DA-SAAD’s coverage to the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Rizal, Kalinga for the continuity of operations, and further support to projects implemented in the covered communities.
The Project and Community Development Officers from DA-SAAD presented the current status and 5-year sustainability plans for Rang-ay San Quintin FA, Romualdez FA, Santor SAAD Livelihood Association, and Calagango People’s Association Inc. to Rizal Vice Mayor Samuel Valdez, Councilors Renato Vicente and Consolacion Catalon, Municipal Agriculturist Nasser Juan, SAAD Focal Person Engr. Ayne Elveña, and barangay LGU staff. The sustainability plans contain details of an agreement between the three parties on how the SAAD implemented projects will be effectively and efficiently sustained.
Kalinga LGU, in response, commits to ensure utilization of these sustainability plans as a roadmap of the FAs to grow and enhance their capabilities which may open more livelihood opportunities for them. By providing further technical assistance and linkages or networks for the FAs, the LGU can help them pursue on establishing cooperatives, empowering agricultural produce suppliers. and venturing to supply value-added products. The LGU will be helping the FAs to form partnerships with different agencies such as DOST and DTI for training or interventions.
The sustainability plans were crafted during writing workshops held in the second quarter of 2022, using the matrix in which the organizational management capability, leadership development, project management, production marketing, funds management, networking and linkage, and good governance of each FA were assessed. As most of the FAs received a satisfactory result, they were tasked to improve their overall performance on capability, functionality, and sustainability. The results of the assessment were gathered through a focus group discussion held before the writing workshop.
With the seven municipalities and one city covering all 59 FAs in Kalinga, seven more towns are set to endorse sustainability plans to the LGUs this month of September 2022.
Municipal Agriculturist Nasser Juan encourages FA members to work together and establish cooperatives, especially with the capital interventions provided by the SAAD Program. As an earning association, a cooperative is perceived to be a successful end goal of all FAs.
“Malamang nga agpatinggan ti interventions nga magapu SAAD ngem rumbeng lang nga sustenaren dagituy naiyeg. Pagtitinulungan tayu nga farmers, iti DA, ken iti opisina daytuy panagpadakkel ken panangsustenar kadagiti proyekto yu,” said Municipal Agriculturist Nasser Juan.
(Interventions from SAAD may probably end but it is just right for these to be sustained. Let’s all work together – farmers, the DA, and the [Municipal Agriculturist] office in developing and sustaining your projects.)
With the nearing commencement of the Phase 2 implementation of the SAAD Program in 2023, new guidelines will be disseminated by the National Program Management Office tailored to incorporate new target beneficiaries of the program which are from 5th to 6th income class municipalities, this time covering all regions. The top third municipalities with the highest poverty incidence rate shall also receive agricultural assistance from the program.
The Municipality of Pasil, a 5th income class municipality in Kalinga, will be the only municipality that will remain as SAAD’s beneficiary for Phase 2. ###
Writer: Sheena Phine P. Dayagon, DA-SAAD Kalinga Information Officer