CAMIGUIN, April 26, 2023 – As a strategic approach in identifying agricultural interventions most-needed by the farmer-beneficiaries, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Phase 2 in Northern Mindanao piloted its Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA) in Camiguin.
On March 28-31, 2023, SAAD Normin staff and personnel of Camiguin local agriculture office undergone orientation and actual BNA to gather necessary data related to the target beneficiaries’ socio-economic profile, and their present and future course of actions as a get-go mark prior to full-swing implementation of SAAD in the province.
SAAD Deputy Director Pedro S. Dumaraos, Jr., a seasoned social development worker, led the orientation and conduct of the BNA in Camiguin.
“The BNA assures us first, that the projects (to be implemented by SAAD) are really those needed by the farmers. Second, it assures us that there will be a sense of ownership from the farmers,” he said, underscoring the importance of inculcating a sense of responsibility among the farmers towards the SAAD projects.
As he addressed SAAD NorMin personnel and the Local Government Units (LGUs), he emphasized that SAAD is a unique poverty reduction program of the DA going beyond the precept of dole out grant of agricultural projects.
“SAAD eyes socio-economic development in the lives of the marginal farmers. We have a supporting framework for capacity building until the farmers reach an enterprising phase,” he remarked.
Camiguin is the newly assumed province in Northern Mindanao Region for the SAAD Phase 2 implementation from 2023 to 2028. Fifth and sixth class with high poverty incidence in the region were prioritized for inclusion to the SAAD Program.
BNA with the Farmers Associations
After the orientation, the Camiguin group of implementers proceeded to the area and led the conduct of the BNA, and was observed by Deputy Director Dumaraos.
Four (4) Farmers Associations (FAs) representing marginal farmers in four (4) focused municipalities in Camiguin have been identified as SAAD beneficiaries. These are the Butay Cutflowers Associations (BCA) of Guinsiliban, Tangaro Young Farmers Association of Catarman (TYFA), Owakan Multipurpose Cooperative (OMC) of Mahinog, and Poblacion Sagay Poultry Farmers Association of Sagay town. Out of the four (4) FAs, BCA is the first association to undergo the BNA activity.
As a result, sweet potato and ube production projects were proposed since these farmers grow said crops on a 5-hectare consolidated area for commercial purposes. Also, with SAAD’s assistance, the FA may be able to develop their own agribusiness on sweet potato and ube production and processing.
BNA for the remaining three (3) FAs will be carried out until the second quarter of 2023. Depending on the result, the FAs will be provided fitting agricultural interventions to capacitate them in producing, processing and marketing their trademark agricultural products until they graduate as a community-based enterprise.
To live up to SAAD’s mandate, Dep. Dir. Dumaraos challenged the SAAD personnel to put their heart and mind in the mission to change the farmers’ lives. “Kung tutulong ka, tulungan mo na talaga,” he said emphasizing the DA and the LGUs’ role in enabling community development at the grassroot level.
SAAD NorMin will also roll out its BNA in the provinces of Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, and Misamis Oriental in the second quarter of 2023.
The beneficiary FAs are expected to receive SAAD agri-livelihood projects by the end of the second quarter of 2023. ###
Writer: Azbie Talib, DA 10 RAFIS Information Officer