COTABATO, October 11, 2022 – As support to livestock production, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program distributed animals, seeds, and fertilizers to improve natural pastures suited for the activity of five (5) Cotabato farmers’ associations (FAs) and beneficiaries of the program.
Said inputs are under 2 projects: Native Goat Production, and Integrated Upland Rice Production with Vegetable Production and Postharvest Equipment Support Projects. Support items were distributed on September 20 to 22, to FAs from the municipalities of Arakan and Tulunan. They received forage seeds and fertilizers worth Php 169,840.
Each first-in-line beneficiary from the Nabundasan Peace Development Farmer’s Association, Dungos Farmer’s Association, Sto. Niño Organic Banana Growers Association and Meocan Upland Association received 11 native goats last April 2022, including four (4) packs of forage seeds per group in support of their native goat project. The said seed input is aimed at improving the existing natural pasture in their area suited to farmers’ needs for livestock production. A consolidated area of 4 hectares (ha) per FA will be planted with forage crops (legumes and pea plants).
Meanwhile, Anapolon Farmer’s Association received 40 bags of urea fertilizers and 40 bags of complete fertilizers in support of their existing 25ha upland rice production area.
Under the FY 2022 Upland Rice Production with Vegetable Production and Postharvest Equipment Support, the group is set to receive upland rice seeds in the last quarter of this year.
Also, last July, the FA accepted 1 unit of rice thresher to help them from the labor-intensive manual harvesting of crops, causing grain losses and damage due to poor threshing performance.
Association president Bobby Antonio shared that with the program’s assistance, they can cut down their production and labor expenses, “Dako kaayo ang tabang og kaayohan nga nadala sa proyekto sa SAAD sa amoa nga mga mag-uuma, ilabi na pareha sa amoang asosasyon nga matag harvest namo kay nagalisod na sad mi mangita og kwarta nga ikabayad sa pagpa-galing o sa pagpa-milling namo. Kay minus kayo mi, inig makabaligya nami sa amoang mga palay kay igo ra sad ikabayad sa mga utang namo nga seeds, fertilizer, ug bayad sa pagpa-milling. Busa, kaning pag-abot ni SAAD daw gitagaan mi ug mga seeds, fertilizer, maka-minus gastos nami kay gihatagan man mi og libre.”
(This SAAD project is a big help to us farmers, especially during our harvest, we find it difficult to spend money from our own pockets for rice milling. Every time we market our palay, our income is just enough to pay our debt from seeds and fertilizers, and milling fees. That is why, with this assistance from SAAD, we will be able to cut down our expenses from buying seeds and fertilizers because these are free from the program.)
The distribution was led by the Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer in Cotabato, Rey Domingo together with the provincial SAAD staff, in coordination with the local government units of Tulunan and Arakan. ###
Jennifer A. Valcobero, DA-SAAD NPMO PR and Comms Officer
Aisa L. Tina, DA-SAAD 12 Information Officer
Ryan Jeams Claud, Project Evaluation Officer (Tulunan)
Johnson Blanco, Project Evaluation Officer (Arakan)
Noraisa Bucucan, DA-SAAD Cotabato IT Officer