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SAAD captures testimonies of Sulu farmers operating successful enterprise

SULU, June 1, 2023 – Decades-long “bakwit” or internally displaced people, and communities belonging to geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA) in the province of Sulu operate flourishing agri-enterprises granted by the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program after reclaiming peace and order in their communities. 

Through the initiative of the Provincial Task Force – End Local Armed Conflict’s (PTF-ELAC) Balik Barangay Program (BBP), the DA-SAAD, among other government agencies provided various programs and projects directed at restoring the communities of the Tausug, which was disrupted and damaged by the now ceased battle between the Philippine Army and Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

The DA-SAAD national and regional staff visited the municipalities of Patikul, Maimbung, and Talipao in Sulu province on May 16-18, 2023 to learn about and feature the best-performing Tausug farmer associations in the region.

The six (6) SAAD-assisted groups are the Kabbon Takas Farmers Association (FA) in Patikul, Tandu Patong FA in Maimbung, Lumping Saya Singkawman FA, Kasanyangan Sin Samak FA, Tiis Kasanyangan FA, and Kasambuhon sin Brgy. Tubod in Talipao. All FAs maintain a Layer Chicken-Egg Production Project that allowed them to engage in egg production and chicken meat enterprises in their respective towns.

SAAD in Sulu

During SAAD Program Phase 1, Sulu is one of the 30 priority provinces where assistance to beneficiaries began in 2018. A total of 2,029 farmers belonging to 38 FAs received livelihood projects during the five-year course of the implementation. Among the provided projects were Integrated Corn-Cassava-Peanut, Banana, and Layer Chicken-Egg Production. 

Although Sulu is no longer covered in Phase 2 implementation as they belong to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the Local Government Unit (LGU) through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) remains active in monitoring the operation of the projects. The LGU of Patikul absorbed and hired the former SAAD Area Coordinator purposely so as not to hamper mentoring and monitoring of the FAs, ensuring the sustainability of their projects.

UNLAD Lokal Coffee Table Book

“Gusto po nating maibahagi ang inyong istorya hindi lamang po sa probinsya ng Sulu, kung hindi sa buong Pilipinas dahil nagtapos na po ang SAAD Phase 1. Sa pamamagitan ng proyektong ito, nagbabakasakali po kaming makarating ang inyong istorya sa iba pang mga ahensya o programa para kayo ay kilalanin bilang isa mga asosasyon na nakapagpalago at masigasig na nag-aalaga ng mga proyektong ipinagkaloob sa inyo,” explained the SAAD PRDC Unit head Jessa Mae Gabon during the interview of the FAs.  

(We want to share your story not just in Sulu province, but in the whole country as well since SAAD has concluded its implementation in the province. Through this project, we are hopeful that this will reach other agencies or programs and recognize your associations and your effort to expand, and nurture the projects granted to you.)

The UNLAD Lokal Coffee Table Book is a project which aims to collate all successfully established CBEs from all provinces, featuring the FAs’ experiences, struggles, and breakthroughs in their journey with the Program.###

Writer: Aimee Lou D. Madjus, DA-SAAD Region 9 Information Officer
Source: SAAD Region 9

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Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program Online ISSN: 2718-9791
Published by the SAAD National Program Management Office Editorial Board

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