BUTUAN CITY, January 8, 2023 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program in Caraga caps Phase 1 in Agusan del Sur (ADS), and Surigao del Sur (SDS) provinces with a total of 32 farmer associations (FAs) assisted and 24 partially established community-based enterprises (CBEs) through the varied program livelihood assistance for marginalized rural farmers in the covered areas.
SAAD Caraga also finished CY 2022 with a 98% obligation rate, and 93.75% physical accomplishment as of December 16, 2022. As the main mechanism for effective and sustainable projects, the regional office also recorded 71 training sessions on animal, crop production, and organizational development accessed by more than a thousand farmer-beneficiaries.
Eight (8) municipalities in ADS and SDS are covered under SAAD Phase 1 (2019-2022). The projects in SDS include livestock, poultry, and high-value crop production projects now generating a stable source of income for its 22 FAs. Meanwhile, in ADS, most of the cacao, abaca, and banana production projects are already mature for harvesting that can be translated into income for 10 groups assisted in the province. As of 2022, 24 of the 32 assisted FAs of the Program are considered partially established enterprises.
Partially established status of enterprises means that the project awarded to the FA is already generating income, however, the group is still in need of assistance and additional inputs from the program. Until the group is able to sustain its production through its income without additional assistance from SAAD, the enterprise is declared partially established.
The regional office reported 1,106 farmesrs assisted, belonging to 32 organized farmer groups. Further, the region already completed its farmers’ profiles for the national IT database for CY 2019, 2020, and 2021. Data for 2022 are also available, waiting for the transmission to the new IT database.
Table 1. SAAD FAs in ADS and SDS
In her welcoming remarks during the year-end assessment, Regional Technical Director for Operations and SAAD Focal Rebecca R. Atega commended the program personnel for their efforts throughout the implementation. She encouraged the team to continue doing the same as SAAD moves forward to Phase 2 in 2023.
“There is no reason that we cannot overcome the challenges next year because we are resilient and survivors. Looking forward to a harmonious Phase 2 implementation,” Director Atega added.
Support to Phase 1 farmers’ associations and their respective projects ends in 2022. Their official turnover to LGUs is planned for the 2nd quarter of 2023.
SAAD Caraga Phase 2
Under SAAD Phase 2, a new set of agricultural livelihood interventions will be provided to new 14 priority municipalities from Agusan del Norte (1); Surigao del Norte (10); and Dinagat Islands (3).
Table 2. Municipalities covered in SAAD Phase 2 Implementation in Caraga
SAAD also conducted a series of orientation and consultation with the 14 Local Government Units (LGUs) for profiling and longlisting of potential farmer-beneficiaries during the last quarter of 2022. The official beneficiaries will be finalized this January after a shortlisting and evaluation by the regional office with the Municipal Agriculture Offices (MAOs) are conducted.
During the year-end assessment, the region also discussed the HR Operations Manual to complement the rationalization of the workforce from the national office as a basis for the organizational restructuring of the regional support officers for Phase 2.
SAAD Caraga targets to organize 28 FAs next year (2 FAs per identified municipality) offering livelihood projects proposed that still include high-value and industrial crop production such as abaca, banana, cacao, pineapple, vegetable; livestock, and poultry production. ###
Writer: Mark Angelo C. Pineda, DA-SAAD Caraga Information Officer