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DA-SAAD NorMin distributes hand tractors to Camiguin farmers

CAMIGUIN, July 27, 2023 – As part of the livelihood package under the high-value crop production projects to boost production efficiency and assist in establishing an enterprise, 50 members from two (2) farmers’ associations (FAs) in Camiguin were given hand tractors from the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Phase 2. 

The Butay Cut Flower Association of Guinsiliban town and Owakan Chicken Farmers Association of Mahinog town, cultivating an estimated land of 2.37 hectares (ha) and 12.23ha for ube and sweet potato production, respectively, each received a hand tractor with complete accessories amounting to Php 208,000. The rest of the agri-inputs, such as fertilizers, fungicides, Violet Magnolia Variety, planting materials, sweet potato seedlings, and garden tools, will be provided in the third quarter of 2023. The entire project cost Php 661,400 (for Butay Cut Flower Association) and Php 549,000 (for Owakan Chicken Farmers Association).

Before the distribution, the DA’s Regional Agricultural Engineering Division (RAED) conducted an inspection in May 2023 to test the tractors, while an expert from the supplier trained two members each from the FAs on their operation and maintenance. The hand tractors, specifically, are valued at Php 416,000.

Farmers’ Associations Agriculture Profile

Established in 2022, the members of the Butay Cut Flower Association, residents of Barangay Butay in Guinsiliban, have been engaged in various agricultural activities such as gardening (cut flowers), vegetable and root crop farming, backyard livestock raising, fishing, getting their income from selling their produce in local markets and through community-based initiatives, direct selling, and cooperatives. Guinsiliban is a 6th income class municipality with a poverty incidence of 30.4 percent, according to 2018 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).  

Further, some of them have retail stores while others work as construction workers, security guards, barangay workers, school watchmen, and habal-habal drivers. 

The Owakan Chicken Farmers Association, on the other hand, was formed in 2023 and composed of farmers residing in Barangay Owakan, Mahinog. Its members are also experienced farmers engaged in vegetable, root crop, fruit tree production, and backyard livestock raising (hog and chicken). Likewise, they sell their produce in local markets, taking part in community-based initiatives, direct selling, and cooperatives.  

As an additional source of income, some members work as carpenters, farm caretakers, and barangay workers.

Following the Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA) conducted by the SAAD Northern Mindanao Area Coordinators in April 2023, the Program identified Ube and Sweet Potato Production Project as one of the potential projects for the Butay Cut Flower Association as the group possesses a thorough knowledge of their target market and their needs, has availability of technologies for organic production, has strong, motivated and committed members who are eager to adopt new technologies as well as willing to develop a new direct market in their community. 

Moreover, the presence of local buyers in their community provides opportunities for income generation. 

For Owakan Chicken Farmers Association, apart from free-range chicken and egg production, SAAD identified the Sweet Potato Production Project banking on the group’s farming experience, which they could utilize to increase the yield of sweet potatoes and avoid crop failure. The assessment also found that the farmers could monitor the price of seeds and herbicides – which prices could rise at any time, take out weeds manually, and use green technologies to make their production more sustainable. 

The SAAD Program, according to DA Northern Mindanao, headed by Regional Executive Director Carlene C. Collado, remains committed to assisting its beneficiaries with sustainability initiatives through accessible farm technology resources. ###

Writer: Jo Ann Sablad, DA-SAAD Region 10 Information Officer

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