BUTUAN CITY, February 12, 2023—Ensuring the sustainability of Phase 1 implemented projects, Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Caraga staff and stakeholders mapped out a Project Sustainability and Project Exit Plan on January 19, 2023 at VCDU Convention Center, Butuan City.
SAAD Caraga Phase 1 (FY 2019-2022) assisted 32 farmers’ associations (FAs) in its two (2) covered provinces: Agusan del Sur (10) and Surigao del Sur (22), all awarded with livelihood projects ranging from crops to livestock production.
From the 32 FAs, 24 were declared partially-established community-based enterprises (CBEs) by the end of FY 2022. All FAs declared partially-established CBEs and non-CBEs will be endorsed to the LGUs.
With its culmination, the Program will turnover the FAs to its partner local government units (LGUs) in ceremonies to be conducted per municipality in May for Agusan del Sur and June for Surigao del Sur.
In preparation, the Program is conducting coordination meetings and relevant workshops, such as the Project Sustainability and Exit Planning, to secure partnerships with the LGUs and explore collaboration with other DA programs and agencies.
The refresher-workshop delved into the factors influencing project sustainability and required strategies, such as pooling support and commitment from stakeholders to extend technical assistance through the Municipal Agriculture Offices, especially since inputs support to the FAs from the Program culminated in 2022.
With representatives from eight (8) LGUs under SAAD Phase 1, the workshop served as preliminary drafting of the regional Sustainability and Exit Plan, which consolidates the series of activities committed by the Program and stakeholders leading to the formal turnover of projects to the LGUs.
Institution Development Specialist Marisol Tuso, Butuan Bay Development Alliance, Executive Director served as workshop resource person who introduced two (2) tools.
The Situational Analysis examines direct threats and contributing factors that affect the success of the projects. The Stakeholders Analysis, on the other hand, evaluates the levels of knowledge and support of stakeholders and comes up with strategies to improve commitment from the stakeholders.
Inputs from said tools are instrumental in the drafting of the regional Sustainability and Exit Plan. It also presents the Program’s components and indicates whether they met expected outcomes, issues, and concerns and their proposed strategies to be lodged with concerned agencies.
DA Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Operations Rebecca Atega highlighted the importance of project sustainability in her welcome message. RTD Atega also stressed securing support and commitment from stakeholders and tapping relevant agencies for possible complementation.
Formal turnover of the FAs to the LGUs redirects close-monitoring of the FAs and their projects to the Municipal Agriculture Offices (MAOs). Such entails that the FAs will directly report their progress, including financial reports to the MAOs. The Program through the Agricultural Program Coordinating Offices (APCOs) will also conduct independent monitoring .###
Writer: Mark Angelo Pineda, DA-SAAD Caraga Regional Information Officer