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SAAD Bicol pilots BNA in Masbate

MASBATE, May 2, 2023 – To establish effective strategic planning baseline references in identifying agricultural interventions needed by beneficiaries, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Phase 2 in Bicol Region piloted its Beneficiaries Needs Assessment (BNA) among Masbate farmers. 

On March 20 to 24, 2023, representatives from the National Program Management Office (NPMO) together with the Regional Project Management Support Office (RPMSO) and Provincial Project Management Support Offices (PPMSOs) of Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon, conducted the actual BNA and field validation, aimed at gathering necessary data related to beneficiaries’ socio-economic profile, farmers’ needs, as well their condition on the ground. This activity aims to strengthen the Social Preparation component of the Program.

SAAD Bicol on BNA simulation

Prior to the actual BNA, the Operational Planning Budget, Monitoring & Evaluation Unit (OPBME) team of NPMO – Ms. Marie Abigail G. Dela Cruz, Social Preparation and Program Management (SPPM) Sub-Unit Lead and Ms. Ashley Mae A. Apigo, Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development (MAED) Sub-unit Head led a virtual orientation on BNA guidelines. Through this orientation, the regional and provincial staff were introduced to the proper utilization of BNA approach and its tools. These tools cover preparatory activities such as document review, interview and observation, and site validation.

SAAD implementers during the actual BNA in Masbate

On the next day, the group proceeded to Brgy. San Vicente, Dimasalang, Masbate to conduct the actual BNA and field validation activity. Using BNA guide questions, twenty-five (25) beneficiaries from the barangay were interviewed by the field implementers. This allowed the beneficiaries to share perceptions on their socioeconomic situation.

As a result of the activity, SAAD implementers learned that majority of the FA farmers are into corn, coconut, vegetable, root crops, and banana production, while some of them are construction workers and habal-habal drivers.

The activity later tasked the implementers to conduct a post-evaluation. Through post-evaluation, the implementers were able to discuss their observations and relevant insights essential for strengthening the social preparation in the region. 

SAAD Bicol will cover 60 Farmers Cooperatives and Association (FCAs) with 1,500 beneficiary members in 20  municipalities of Catanduanes, Masbate, and Sorsogon. ###

Writer: Jay A. Ogaya, DA-SAAD Masbate Information Officer

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