ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA, May 31, 2023 – Rice, corn, banana, and high-value crops (HVC) farmers under the Department of Agriculture Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA – SAAD) Program Phase 2 received Php 5.6 million worth of fertilizers in support to their various crop projects this year, and to aid in the persisting price surge in the local market.
A total of 12 farmers associations in 12 municipalities of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur received Php 5,974,869 worth of fertilizers from March 30 to April 20, 2023. The assistance consists of 489 bags of urea, 373 bags of muriate of potash, 195 bags of ammonium phosphate, 1,012 bags of complete fertilizers (14-14-14), another 75 bags of complete (16-16-16), and 680 bags vermicast.
These are intended to help 330 farmers cultivating rice, corn, banana, peanut, and HVC which has a target production of 90 hectares (ha) in Zamboanga del Norte, and 160ha in Zamboanga del Sur.
Table 1. Recipients of fertilizer assistance in Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte
The fertilizer price shoot-up, due to the lingering effects of the pandemic and geopolitical climate remains to be the most widespread problem raised by the farmers during the SAAD – Beneficiary Needs Assessment. The lack or less fertilizer application in their farms resulted in a lesser volume of their produce.
“Dako nakong kalipay nga usa ang among munisipyo sa Lakewood ang napilian sa DA-SAAD, kay ang among association nga Lukuan Integrated FA kay nakadawat ug suporta sa among pag panguma. Wala ni damha sa among miyembro, abi namo ug wala na mi hatagi ug pagtagad maong nalipay mi ug ayo kay naabot ni ang mga abono sa amoa,” said Mr. Cresencio Gonzaga, Lukuan Integrated FA President.
(I am grateful for DA-SAAD, having our municipality in Lakewood chosen to receive farming support. We did not expect it because we thought we will not be given attention anymore. But now, we are incredibly happy that the fertilizers reached us. And at the moment, we are still distributing these to our members.)
Selection of beneficiaries this year prioritized the 5th and 6th classes municipalities, which have an average annual income of Php 25,000.
Moreover, to prepare for the wet-cropping season and land preparation, rice seeds have also been distributed to SAAD rice farmers. Corn farmers on the other hand are waiting for the corn seeds distribution, which is targeted to be planted by September and October this year.
Banana planters such as the Kilusang Pagbabago Kabatan FA, Eastern Poblacion FA, and Cabaluran Banana Planters Association also assured the start of banana planting in their communal garden in July upon delivery of the banana plantlets.
The DA-SAAD in Zamboanga Peninsula is hopeful to see a fruitful harvest from the selected beneficiaries while also keen on monitoring and mentoring the farmers to ensure the growth and sustainability of the projects.###
Writer: Aimee Lou D. Madjus, DA-SAAD Region 9 Information Officer
Jerol Amado, DA-SAAD Region 9 FPL Unit
Alejandre Cordova, DA-SAAD Region 9 SPP Unit
Janeen Ivana S. Golis, Mark B. Ferolino, Adam M. Gonzales, Jailyn E. Gamutan,Catherine S. Aranton, and Maria Liza Miral, DA-SAAD Region 9 Community Development Officers