ZAMBOANGA PENINSULA, May 31, 2023 – After going through a series of social preparation activities, 25 rice farmers received start-up rice farming inputs from the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Phase 2 to officially begin the rice production journey toward enterprise establishment.
The 25-member Marapong SAAD Farmers Association (FA) from Sibutad, Zamboanga del Norte received the Integrated Project on Cattle and Rice Production comprising 16 cattle (15 heifers and 1 bull) for draft use and dispersal among members, 25 bags of hybrid rice seeds, 175 sacks of inorganic fertilizers, 1 roll of rope (200m/roll), and some biologics. Said inputs are worth Php 1,998,250 funded under FY 2023.
Said project was designed after considering the Beneficiaries Needs Assessment (BNA) result conducted on the farmers of Barangay Marapong in Sibutad on February 16, 2023. Most of the farmers in Marapong are engaged in rice production, with each member tilling an average of 0.5 hectares to 1 hectare of rice fields. The community has pasture land or areas that are suitable for cattle-raising. Hence, the Integrated Project on Cattle and Rice Production was introduced to Marapong farmers.
The Marapong FA is composed of farmers whose main sources of income are from rice production, vegetable (backyard and communal) production, livestock, and poultry raising, while others are farm laborers in coconut production, carpentry, housekeeping, and tricycle driving as their primary livelihood.
The association was organized through the recommendation of the Municipal Agriculture Officer of Sibutad Ms. Miraflor Obnimaga and was registered in the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in April 2023.
Mr. Desiderio O. Adanza, President of Marapong SAAD FA expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the SAAD Program during the simple turnover ceremony held at the Municipal Agriculture Office.
“Tungod sa amung kabag-o na naorganize, nahatagan dayun mi ug ayuda aning kantidara. Daghan kaayu salamat sa Department of Agriculture pinaagi sa SAAD nga programa sa gihatag ninyo na proyekto diri sa amua. Nalipay gyud mi nga naay adunay dugang tabang panginabuhian niabot diri sa amua. Maghinaot mi ani na kining tanan na inyu gihatag sa amua, amo ni mapalambo.”
(Since organizing as a group, the immediate livelihood assistance came in huge amounts. We are happy and very thankful to the DA SAAD Program, and we hope that with all these inputs that you have given us, we can prosper.)
Likewise, Ms. Lea Jumalon, Executive Assistant of the Municipal Local Government Unit of Sibutad emphasized the importance of the project.
“Tungod aning proyekto nga gihatag sa DA-SAAD Program, and atuang rice production diri sa Sibutad kay muincrease na. Gawas sa inyuha na adunay maadditional sa inyuhang monthly income, daku pud ni katabang economically diri sa atung lugar. Dili man sa mahimo tang rice granary diri sa Sibutad but sufficient na sya para makakaon ta three times a day ug makadistribute na sad ta sa atuang produkto sa laing lugar.”
(Through the DA-SAAD Program, our rice production here in Sibutad will have the potential to increase production. Apart from the fact that our farmers will gain additional monthly income from the project, this will also help our community economically. We may not be able to build a rice granary here yet, but for now, it will be sufficient enough for us to eat three times a day and more importantly we can now distribute our products to other places.)
Prior to receiving the project, the FA members underwent specialized training sessions on rice production and cattle raising conducted by the SAAD Region 9 implementers to enhance their skills in managing the project, values formation, and discover their capabilities to be an important contributor to the development of the economy in their community. ###
Writer: Ellaine L. Quiamco, DA-SAAD Region 9 Information Officer