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SAAD Phase 2 starts in Western Visayas, 9 priority municipalities in 5 provinces identified

ILOILO CITY, March 8, 2023 – Carrying its pursuit for localized agricultural development for most marginalized sectors, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program has identified its new areas of operation in five priority provinces and 9 municipalities for its Phase 2 implementation in Western Visayas.

Aiming to contribute to poverty reduction and local food production of 5th-6th income class and top-third poorest municipalities as priority areas, Iloilo (3 municipalities), Antique (1 municipality), Aklan (2 municipalities), Guimaras (1 municipality), and Negros Occidental (2 municipalities) are the target provinces to benefit from livelihood projects to be provided by the program.

“Ang SAAD Phase 2 ang isa guid ka dako nga oportunidad para sa aton diri sa Western Visayas para padayunon ang aton misyon sa pagbulig sang mga mangunguma nga naga kinahanglan guid sang bulig” (SAAD Phase 2 is a big opportunity for us here in Western Visayas to continue our mission in helping farmers in need), said OIC-Regional Technical Director for Operations and Extension Dominador Marquez during the Strategic Planning Workshop for Phase 2 implementation with Provincial and Municipal Agriculturists in Iloilo City.

Marquez together with SAAD regional and provincial implementers led a series of consultative meetings and project orientations since January of this year to local government units (LGUs) of identified priority areas for Phase 2 implementation.

“Aton bululigan ang pagpatigayon sang SAAD Program… para sa kaaraydan sang aton sektor sa agrikultura” (Let’s help the implementation of the SAAD Program for the betterment of our agriculture sector), added Marquez.

This year, SAAD Region 6 received Php 39.7 million allocation from the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2023 which will be used to procure livelihood inputs under each pipelined project for target beneficiaries. Of the 34 targeted livelihood interventions, 13 are livestock and poultry-related, 6 are corn-related and 15 are high-value crops-related projects. Enterprise building remains to be the peak goal of sustained livelihood projects provided to identified farmers’ associations (FAs) from 2023 to 2028.

In Phase 1, Western Visayas implemented projects and parallel development initiatives under the Php 264 million total fund from 2019 to 2022. With this, 190 livelihood projects in Antique and Negros Occidental were implemented and directly benefited by 698 individual farmers, 507 FAs with 17,516 group members.Table 1. SAAD’s priority areas for Phase 2 implementation in Western Visayas

Province Municipality Target No. of FAs to be assisted
Iloilo Bingawan 4
Batad 4
San Rafael 3
Antique Libertad 4
Guimaras San Lorenzo 4
Aklan Buruanga 4
Tangalan 4
Negros Occidental Moises Padilla 4
La Castellana 3

Nine (9) municipalities from the five abovementioned priority provinces met the eligibility requirements. Majority of identified beneficiaries belong to Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) and End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) areas.

As of writing, the teams have conducted the Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA) study in Moises Padilla (4 FAs), Bingawan (4 FAs) and San Rafael (3 FAs).

Consolidated information on the socio-economic conditions and community priorities gathered will be the basis to validate and justify actions to address the needs and guide the beneficiaries before the SAAD project deliveries.

Out of 34 targeted FAs, 13 will be receiving livestock and poultry-related projects, 6 will be receiving corn-related projects, and 15 will get high-value crops-related projects. These livelihood interventions are set to be implemented by the second and third quarters of this year. ###

Writer: Christ John B. Gamarcha, DA-SAAD 6 Information Officer