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Continuing sustainable agricultural development in Mountain Province through SAAD

MOUNTAIN PROVINCE, July 11, 2023 – With the approval of the Phase 2 implementation, collaboration with stakeholders in Mountain Province (MP) shall continue with the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program organizing a meeting with regional implementers, and representatives from provincial and local government units to effectively communicate the guidelines and directives necessary for the program implementation.

Held on June 7, 2023, said orientation was led by the Regional Program Management Support Office (RPMSO) and was participated by 35 representatives from the Provincial and Municipal Agriculturist Offices, and Provincial Governor’s Office of Mountain Province.

SAAD Phase 1 implementation in Mountain Province 

SAAD Phase 1 was launched in 2019 in Mountain Province providing livelihood projects such as livestock, swine repopulation, poultry, and high value crops production. The province has assisted 4,436 beneficiaries belonging to 52 Farmer Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs) across 10 municipalities, and 54 barangay units. 

Over three (3) years, SAAD established a total of 23 community-based enterprises (CBEs) in MP alone. After SAAD Phase 1, the groups were endorsed to the Local Government Units for assessment and validation by other government agencies, private companies, and non-government organizations. 

SAAD MP coordination for next implementation

Ms. Aida Pagtan, Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS) Chief,  led the orientation, discussing the implementing guidelines of the SAAD Phase 2, new areas to be covered, and new criteria for selecting areas and beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, Representative Maximo Dalog Jr., member of the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation expressed his support during the orientation and highlighted that he bid for the extension of the program through house resolution during Phase 1. 

“We are happy that the MP is still included in SAAD Phase 2. I can see that there are actually success stories in SAAD MP and I know that is why the Department of Agriculture heeded the request of the 18th Congress, which is to extend the program. They saw the potential of our local farmers,” expressed Mr. Dalog Jr,. 

Meanwhile, Ms. Beverly Pekas, Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer (APCO) welcomed the start of the SAAD Phase 2 in the province and vowed to continue the success of the SAAD Phase 1. 

“We hope that the direction of SAAD Phase 2 will contribute to its success as in Phase 1,  we are here to serve our farmers better. Our success factors, our teamwork, our cooperation we have to continue in Phase 2. Today is a milestone for SAAD Phase 2 to formally open the implementation in the province. Allow this endeavor, this activity to walk us through the goals and objectives, guidelines of the program and the crafting of the project itself to avoid misrepresentation and also to have a common understanding and vision, especially to our target farmer beneficiaries. With this we can be guided by embracing another challenge for a successful and strong SAAD Program Phase 2 in our Mt. Province,” Ms. Pekas expressed.

For SAAD Phase 2, the province will cover 5th income class municipalities of Barlig, Besao, Sabangan, Sadanga, and Sagada as well as Paracelis which has a 30.6% poverty incidence rate, and ranks 321th poorest area according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 2018 data. Through this, a total of 24 FCAs from 12 barangay units, all falling under the selection criteria – will be catered by the program. 

Representatives of the LGUs pledged their full support to the program and committed to assist in the conduct of social preparation and municipal orientations, which is scheduled to be conducted by the SAAD staff  in July, 2023.

Writer: Maria Elena G. Catajan, DA-SAAD CAR Information Officer 

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