KALINGA, April 29, 2023 – As the program implementation for Phase 1 closes its chapter, 59 farmers associations (FAs) consisting 3,639 beneficiaries from the province of Kalinga were recognized in graduation ceremony conducted by the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agriculture Development (DA-SAAD) Program.
The FAs’ turnover activity took place on March 23, 2023 at San Juan, Tabuk City, Kalinga. It aims to recognize the SAAD farmers and associations, thereby endorsing them to the DA banner programs and other in-line agencies in order to ensure project sustainability.
Closing of Phase 1 in Kalinga through turnover ceremony
The ceremony was led by Regional Technical Director (RTD) Danilo Daguio, and was attended by 150 participants from Regional Project Management Support Office (RPMSO) and Provincial Project Management Support Office (PPMSO), representative from Governor’s Office, Balbalan Mayor Almar Malannag, Municipal and Provincial Agriculturist Office (MAOs), barangay officials, and program beneficiaries.
Through this, RTD Daguio applauded the performing associations and beneficiaries. “This day is the official pronouncement that you, FAs, had graduated from the Special Area for Agricultural Development Phase 1. Your presence here today is very significant and we are very thankful of everyone’s attendance in this activity,” expressed Mr. Daguio.
Marking the success of Phase 1, SAAD Kalinga turned-over the sustainability plan to eight (8) Municipal Agriculturist Offices (MAOs) of Tinglayan, Lubuagan, Pasil, Balbalan, Pinukpuk, Rizal, Tabuk City, and Tanudan.
Compiled in a book are the FAs’ 5-year development plan, profile, records, funding proposals for relevant farm support, organizational strengths, photo documentation of the associations’ activities, management skills, and entrepreneurial capabilities.
The beneficiaries shared their testimonies about the program as well as their commitment in sustaining their livelihood projects. Hearing the testimonies, the representatives from provincial and municipal agriculturist offices, as well as barangay leaders pledged their support to the farmers associations.
Moving forward towards greater opportunity
Being in the central section of the Cordillera region, the province has 8 municipalities and 152 barangays. Over the three (3) years, Kalinga was included as one of the priority provinces of the SAAD Program. The area selection was based on the identification of the poorest province by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2015.
From this number of barangays, 22 units were selected for SAAD coverage. Prior to the program implementation, farmers were mostly into sugarcane, banana, and coffee farming (PSA, 2018). Upon the program’s inception in 2019, 59 FAs were assisted, which were registered under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). These FAs were provided with complete packages of interventions to increase food production and income, and ultimately build sustainable community-based enterprises (CBEs).
In its final year, 59 established and partially established enterprises managed by 58 groups are operating in the province. These enterprises are commonly engaged in table egg, salted egg, turmeric, sugarcane wine and muscovado, duck, swine, meat, goat, coffee processing, muscovy duck, pekin duck, banana fruit, and pineapple processing. Through this, Balbalan Municipal Mayor Almar Malannag pledged his support to the FAs in their journey as entrepreneurs.
Over the course of three years, SAAD Kalinga has welcomed farmers belonging to indigenous subtribes of Sumadel, Butbut, Naneng, Ga’dang, Guilayon, Pangol, Gamonang, Itawis, Ibanag, Ilimos, Cal-owan, Gamonang, Ymagao-gao, Uma, yAbleg, yCagaluan, Guina-ang, Salegseg, Gubang, Dao-angan, Banao as well as barangay units designated as End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC). ###
Writer: Sheen Dayagon, DA-SAAD Kalinga Information Officer