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Newly organized SAAD farmers associations undergo specialized training in Sorsogon

SORSOGON, July 20, 2023 – After completing the Social Preparation activities of the program particularly the Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA) in Sorsogon, farmers group received commodity production and management training aimed at entering the second core component – Food Production and Livelihood (FPL) of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program.

Held from May 10 to 31, 2023, the specialized training sessions attended by 236 farmers belonging to nine (9) farmers associations (FAs) served as preparatory activity to ensure that the farmers are equipped with good practices and effective farming knowledge before receiving various agricultural interventions on rice, organic agriculture, and high-value crops projects.

Facilitated by Engr. Angineth Salcedo, Ms. Sara Atanacio, and Mr. Khalem Fortuna, and Ms. Mary Rose Detera, Associate Project Officers from the Regional and Provincial Program Management Support Offices, the training tackled topics on crops production and management which featured lessons on farm planning, site location selection, land preparation, fertilizer application, water management, pest and disease management, harvesting, and handling of post-harvest products.

During training proper

During the training, farmers actively engaged in discussions through sharing insights and participating in hands-on activities. Organikong Gulayon kan Grupong Ulagnon secretary, Annabel Perez was thankful for the extra knowledge given to them through the conducted training. “Sa totoo lang po, may diit na po kaming kaaraman tungkol sa organic farming. Mas nadagdagan pa dahil sa training kan SAAD. Puon pa lang dakula na po su naitabang samuya kan programa para makapuon kaya mas lalo po kami nagkakasararo. Salamat po naka-abot kamo sa barangay mi, naging magayon tulos ang pag-iribanan ta,” said Ms. Perez

(SAAD added more to what we already know about organic farming. We are thankful to the program for helping us since our establishment as a group. I believe that we have started off with a prosperous bond and we thank SAAD for it.)

Further, the group beneficiary in Matnog located along the coastal area warmly welcomed SAAD in their community and offered their commitment to the program as it is the first time that they will receive interventions from the government due to the remoteness of their area.

Table 1. Specialized training conducted in 10 municipalitiesPrior to the training, participants completed their BNA as part of the Social Preparation Component. The agricultural profile showed their main livelihood depends on their agricultural activities such as vegetable farming, rice farming, coconut farming, and fishing while also engaging in other income-generating activities such as sari-sari stores and construction labor. The BNA floated the need to provide specialized training on crop production and management to improve farming practices and explore new methods for pre- to post-production and disease or pest management. 

As a result, various food production projects on rice, high-value crops, and organic agriculture were proposed since these farmers grow and manage said commodities on an estimated 90.25-hectare consolidated area. The primary direction of the BNA process is to extract feasible activities of the groups that will, later on, allow them to transform their livelihood into agricultural enterprises in the community. Through the Food Production and Livelihood component and the specialized training sub-component, the FAs are guided to develop crops and value-added products out of their commodities.

Following the conduct of specialized training, SAAD Bicol is currently implementing the delivery of livelihood interventions like seeds, garden tools, crates, foliar fertilizers, organic fertilizers, empty sacks, laminated sacks, and weighing scales for FY 2023 which will benefit 20 farmer groups.###

Writer: Pauline Trixia D. Borja, DA-SAAD Information Officer
Sources: Mary Rose Detera, SAAD Bicol Region Associate Project Officer, Ma. Ligaya Renegado, Associate Project Officer, Allen Ebuenga, Community Development Officer, Jeremy Astillero, Community Development Officer, Jonas Guanizo, Community Development Officer, Mark Joven Barja, Community Development Officer
Photos: SAAD Sorsogon