LANAO DEL NORTE, December 6, 2022 – To increase farm efficiency and productivity, the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture – Northern Mindanao (DA-10) granted rice and corn production machinery worth Php 2,378,250 to Poona Piagapo SAAD Farmers Association on November 22, 2022.
The 70-member farmer group residing in Barangay Poblacion and Pendulonan received one (1) unit of compact rice mill, three (3) units of hand tractors, two (2) units of mobile corn mills, and two (2) units of corn dehusker-shellers under the Integrated Agricultural Livelihood Project of FY 2021, in Piagapo, Lanao Del Norte (LDN).
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority 2015 data, Poona Piagapo has a poverty incidence rate of 62.8%, placing it third out of the 16 municipalities in LDN belonging to the 4th to 6th income class.
These corn and upland rice farmers are cultivating an estimated area of 30 hectares (ha) for corn, and 10ha for upland rice. The purpose of this postharvest machinery is to lessen operational costs from milling service and to depart from the traditional corn mills using emery stone.
Under the same project, the members received vegetable inputs and reported a gross income of Php 37,250 from selling eggplant, okra, string beans, cucumber, tomato, red pepper, watermelon, and pechay for the first quarter of 2022. The vegetable inputs took three months to grow and yield for harvest. The group is also involved in upland rice production with plans for expansion.
“The machines will surely help the beneficiaries because most of them still practice traditional or manual mode of farming just like when husking corn. At least now, the process will be done faster,” said Mr. Nasif O. Mamarinta, Poona Piagapo Municipal Agriculturist.
“The job of the farmers will become easier and they could also earn income by offering rental services of the machinery they received,” Mr. Mamarinta added.
After the turnover ceremony, an operations demonstration of the machines was conducted for the participants on the basics of operation, maintenance, and management.
In addition, the group received 1,100 various fruit tree seedlings (durian, rambutan, lanzones, mangosteen, and calamansi) worth Php 75,000 under FY 2021 savings fund.
The fruit trees seedlings will be used by each member to support their individual backyard gardening. These long-yielding crops are expected to provide food sources or enterprise opportunities while the other projects (short-term and mid-term) are operating and developing.
“Nagpasalamat mi kay dako kaayo ang tabang sa SAAD. Dugay mi nangarap, nya karun ni abot na” (We are thankful because SAAD has been a big help to us. We dreamed for so long, and now it has come true), said Mr. Cosain Okay, an officer of the association.
Present at the turnover ceremony are Engineer Abdulharis P. Paporo, Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer in Lanao del Norte together with the SAAD Area Coordinators, in coordination with Municipal Administrator Carim A. Mamasao, Municipal Agriculturist Nasif O. Mamarinta, Pendulonan Barangay Captain Monabae T. Fernando, and Sangguniang Bayan Member Mamay O. Tomananor. ###
Writer: Andrea Dawn E. Boycillo, DA-SAAD Region 10 Information Officer