BUTUAN CITY, February 27, 2023 – To strengthen market linkage and sustain delivery of product lines, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Caraga awarded delivery vehicles to six (6) assisted farmers’ associations (FAs) in a formal turnover at the Regional Office, Butuan City on January 27, 2023.
The recipient FAs are engaged in abaca, chicken, and goat production funded by the Program under its Phase 1 implementation (FY 2019-2022), which are considered partially-established community-based enterprises (CBE). All six (6) FAs received one unit of three-wheel motorcycle with cab worth Php 345,000.00, which is on top of the inputs targeted by the Program in FY 2022.
The demand for such was raised during a consultation meeting in October 2020 from farmers and partner local government units to aid the FAs in selling their produce outside their community.
Provision of inputs, such as planting materials, fertilizers, native chicken, goat, and feeds, to the FAs concluded in 2023 relative to the end of SAAD Phase 1 implementation. As a timely input, the vehicles, which will be shared by all members of recipient FAs, will aid them in sustaining their projects from FY 2023 onward in terms of mobilization of goods and other operational needs.
Emphasizing project sustainability, DA Regional Executive Director Engr. Ricardo M. Oñate encouraged the FAs to always seek support and lobby concerns to the agency.
“Ang challenge sa ato karon mao ang pag sustain aning mga proyekto. Ang lihok naa sa inyo. Kami naa ra pirme andam maminaw ug mo hatag ug assistance. Kung naa moy concerns, ipaabot dire sa Region kay kamo man ang mas nakabalo sa inyong sitwasyon,” (The challenge now is how to sustain these projects. You are the main actors, but the Region is always ready to listen and provide assistance. Let us know your concerns because you are most knowledgeable of your situation), expressed Director Oñate.
Highlighting the importance of sustainability measures, Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Operations Rebecca R. Atega encouraged the FAs to implement sustainability mechanisms, echoing its importance in her closing message.
“Padayon mo sa pagpalig-on labi na ang pag implementar og mga mechanisms aron ma sustain ang mga projects (continue in your endeavors, especially in implementing mechanisms to sustain your projects). We will partner with the LGUs for additional support, including close monitoring,” said RTD Atega.
Table 1. SAAD Caraga FAs awarded with 1 unit delivery vehicle
Mr. Ariel Gay-od, Chairperson of the RCFA from Lingig, Surigao del Sur (SDS), expressed appreciation for the intervention and shared how they benefited from the Program. “Sama sa pag amping namo sa proyektong nadawat, amo ampingan kining bag-ong sakyanan. Daghang salamat sa Program sa DA. Sa kalayo sa among lugar, abi namo nga wala nay makaabot didto nga Program. Kung wala ang SAAD, wala ang RCFA karon,” said Mr. Gay-od.
(We will maintain and care for this vehicle just like how we looked after the SAAD project. We are thankful to the DA for this Program. We never thought a program would reach our community considering its distance. If not for SAAD, RCFA will not be realized.)
RCFA is situated at Brgy. Rajah Kabungsuan, around 40 km away (1 hour travel time) from Lingig proper. Considering the distance and the steep, rocky, and unpaved road leading to the barangay, the transportation cost per person is also high at Php 1,500 per person one-way.
With the vehicles, RCFA, like the rest of the recipient FAs, would cut down their expenses for transporting their product lines.
Engr. Renante R. Abado of the DA-Regional Agriculture and Engineering Division also discussed the memorandums of agreement and deeds of donation with the FAs after the turnover. ###
Writer: Mark Angelo C. Pineda, DA-SAAD Caraga Regional Information Officer