SURIGAO DEL NORTE, November 17, 2022 – Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Caraga conducted orientation to nine (9) local government units (LGUs) in Siargao and Dinagat Islands in preparation for SAAD Phase 2 implementation.
The five-day activity ran from October 17 to 21, 2022, and was participated by 9 Municipal Agricultural Officers (MAOs) from each of the new SAAD-covered municipalities namely:
Table 1. SAAD Phase 2 covered municipalities in Caraga
DA-SAAD Caraga Provincial Coordinators spearheaded the orientation. The MAOs visited all 9 municipalities that covered a total of 15 barangays, and conducted profiling of potential beneficiaries. MAOs also evaluated the suggested project sites for the possible interventions.
Said activities are preparatory in nature, laying fundamental movements on the field for the implementation of the lined-up projects.
Accomplishing list for Phase 2 beneficiaries
The new 15 SAAD-covered barangays were selected as priority areas considering the high poverty incidence in the community based on the 2018 data of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and are classified as the 5th-6th income class.
At least 270 farmers were longlisted as potential SAAD beneficiaries for the 2023 implementation. Following the activity, the implementers will meet with the LGUs of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands in November to validate and finalize the beneficiaries and come up with a shortlist who will be given access to livelihood projects ranging from crops, livestock, poultry, and machinery inputs and support from SAAD.
The final list will be the basis for the formation of SAAD group beneficiaries. At least 25 members are required for the formation of new associations, also to prepare their eligibility for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) workers’ association registration. For barangays with less than 25 farmers identified, the LGU is currently scouting for additional farmers subject to review by the region.
The encouragement for the FAs to organize and apply for such registrations, including Cooperative Development Authority and eventually Security and Exchange Commission is for the protection of their association, as well as the security of operations. This mechanism is part of the integration initiatives, consolidating lands and labor resources of smallholder farmers to build stronger negotiating positions, and enhanced access to resources.
Further, the development of farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCA) is an approach to ensure the sustainability of the projects, from initial livelihood to established enterprises. This is to capacitate the FCAs to be independent eventually from the Program’s assistance since each phase only lasts for one (1) term, and the new phase will cater to new beneficiaries.
This month of November, the DA-SAAD will orient five (5) other municipalities in Surigao del Norte mainland namely Tagana-an, Sison, Malimono, and Alegria; and Remedios T. Romualdez in Agusan del Norte, which are also part of SAAD Phase 2. ###
Writer: Mark Angelo C. Pineda, DA-SAAD Caraga Information Officer