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SAAD Masbate underpins successful agricultural transformations through CBE

MASBATE, May 17, 2023 – Rediscovering the milestones achieved during the Phase 1 implementation, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) team headed by the Regional Field Office (RFO) 5 with the National Program Management Office (NPMO) representatives and the Provincial Program Management Support team of Masbate, went around the province where 24 partially and fully-established community-based enterprises (CBEs) across three (3) municipalities operate.

During Phase 1, Masbate is one of the top 30 priority provinces assisted by the SAAD Program where 6,615 farmers and 200 farmer groups were organized and assisted (for existing groups) under the SAAD’s care. The program was launched in the province in 2018 facilitating rural agricultural development through the distribution of agricultural livelihood projects and extension services to the most marginalized communities, according to their assessed needs, primarily aiming for food access and security.

Validating established CBE for Unlad Lokal Coffee Table Book

This monitoring activity aims to extract and validate information on four (4) fully-established CBEs in the region, the FAs’ behind these enterprises, their inspiring stories, and the program’s impact on their communities. These will then be collated in a book called Unlad Lokal.

Said round of visits targeted rice and corn production projects’ beneficiaries of SAAD in Masbate. Reaching SAAD groups is truly challenging as they are located in some of the most far-flung areas and islands in the country, sometimes even faced with peace and order issues. Hence, Unlad Lokal aims to document their existence, practices, and stories of perseverance in actively shaping the development course of their communities in hopes to further promoting the groups and lobbying for other kinds of support.

After graduating from SAAD Phase 1, a formal turnover or endorsement was made from the program to the local government in the areas where the FAs belong.

Enterprise establishment is SAAD’s gradually injected response toward sustainability despite its limited duration and budget capacity. Being the ultimate goal of the program (CBE establishment), a component called Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development (MAED) facilitates a holistic approach to ensure that groups shall reach maturity enabling them to embark into enterprising activities, from within the community, and gradually expand to different profit creation opportunities using SAAD’s assistance.

SAAD Region 5’s strategy involves years of capacitating the FAs from tangible inputs (capital provision in the form of farming materials, production, post-harvest, and food processing materials) and intangibles (e.g. values formation and specialized training) to holistically develop the groups to embark into agri-enterprise ventures.

The whole-week monitoring reached the rice and corn production beneficiaries in Mandaon municipality namely Centro Mandaon Farmers’ Association, from Centro, and Bon-Oco Dayao Farmers’ Association, in Dayao. In Danao, Balud, the Danao Farmer’s Group Association, and in Masbaranon, Esperanza municipality, the Masbaranon Farmers’ Association were visited.

Masbate – Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer (APCO) Wilfredo Nelmida actively engaged in the dialogue with the community members as they raise their concerns considering the assistance of the Program has ended to give way to other FAs that qualified for Phase 2 implementation.

APCO Willy and SAAD Region 5 Report Officer Maribeth Mangalino encouraged the SAAD groups to exhibit patience and persistence in crafting proposals and letter requests and to continuously and actively coordinate with the LGU and Municipal Agricultural Office to usher them into wider linkages such as state and private agencies that have rural communities development-oriented projects and programs. ###

Writer: Jessa Mae Gabon, DA-SAAD NPMO Information Officer

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