KALINGA, October 31, 2022 – In addition to the fruit trees nurtured by various farmers in Kalinga, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program in Kalinga distributed 11,714 pieces of grafted rambutan seedlings worth Php 1,757,100.00 to 19 farmer associations (FAs).
Under various integrated DA-SAAD projects in Kalinga, fruit trees are among the interventions given for their long-term farming and potential agri-enterprise activities.
Nineteen (19) FAs from 4 towns in the province (Table 1) received the rambutan seedlings which are expected to be integrated to households’ other fruit tree plants either at their backyards or uma (tract lands) which were cleared for various crops’ cultivation.
Integrated agricultural livelihood projects provided to FAs vary depending on the proposed needs of respective municipal/city local government units (LGU). Since the Kalinga populace in the rural areas prefers to produce their own food, enhanced crop diversification was seen to be a fitting livelihood for SAAD beneficiaries.
Aside from rambutan, crops provided were various fruit trees such as lanzones and calamansi. However, profits can only be acquired from fruit trees in about 2 to 3 years time. Stocks such as chicken and duck interventions, on the other hand, were given by the program to provide income and food sources to farmers.
Table 1. Seedling Allocation of Farmer Associations
From the 15 FAs originally allocated with rambutan seedlings under the FY 2021 project, additional 4 were identified to receive the rambutan seedlings to accommodate the excess seedlings of the municipality of Balbalan. The excess seedlings were due to the reduced areas of farmers after having planted other trees and crops early this year. The 4 FAs were more than willing to receive the seedlings since the fruit is rare to none in their municipality.
The seedlings were hauled by the FAs with the help of their respective municipal or barangay local government units from October 14 to 16. Some of the FAs have already started planting since all of the seedlings were planned to be planted before the end of October.
Distribution of seedlings to beneficiaries this October is timely since it’s the rainy season. With proper planting and proper fertilizer application, the rambutan trees are expected to bear fruits in 2 to 3 years.
Rambutan fruits cost Php 130-150 during its pre-peak season and Php 40-60 at its peak. If successfully cultivated, farmers can now expect income from rambutan yearly and an ample amount of supply for their families.
This project which provides investment for fruit trees will increase not just the income of the farmers but also ensure the successful expansion of fruit trees production aside from the crops currently cultivated in the province.
For some areas such as Barangay Nambucayan, they see the project as a way of reforesting their mountains planted with corn.
“Thank you very much DA-SAAD, ta adda dagituy nga inted yu nga seedlings ta bareng maininut nga masukayan dagiti mais iti banbantay. Dakkel unay ti tulong na daytuy,” shared the barangay captain of Nambucayan, Hon. Ruben Ambasing.
(Thank you very much DA-SAAD, as we have these seedlings that you’ve given which will hopefully replace the corn plants planted at the mountain areas gradually.)
Together with the local government units concerned, the program will continue to monitor and provide technical assistance to beneficiaries to ensure a high survival rate of seedlings and assist them in enterprise development. ###
Writer: Sheena Phine P. Dayagon, SAAD Kalinga Information Officer