ROMBLON, July 21, 2023 – Following the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program’s social preparation component, nine (9) farmers’ associations (FAs) in Romblon, a newly SAAD-covered province, are now entering into food production and livelihood component, receiving Php 4,655,220.02 worth of agricultural provisions on rice, corn, and vegetable production inputs.
The turn-over ceremonies were in close coordination with the local government units of Alcantara, San Andres, and Ferrol. Showing all-out support are Romblon local officials, Mayor Riza G. Pamorada from the municipality of Alcantara; Mayor Arsenio G. Gado, Vice Mayor Joel G. Ibañez from and Councilor Ruben Mingoa, from the municipality of San Andres; as well as Mayor Christian LI. Gervacio, Vice Mayor Joenan S. Sarmiento, and Councilor Panfilo F. Patnon, Jr., from the municipality of Ferrol.
Prior to livelihood implementation, SAAD MIMAROPA conducted a Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA). The report concluded that the majority of the farmers rely on cultivating rice, corn, and high-value crops, primarily to meet families’ food consumption. With their financial situation, it is difficult to invest in essential agricultural inputs to expand their production for marketing. The farmers seek technical assistance to generate additional income, leading to a more profitable and sustainable future.
Accordingly, the program provided Corn, Vegetable, and Lowland Rice Production Projects (FY 2023), consisting of fertilizer, hermetic storage cocoons, hand tractors, pumps and engines, and hybrid corn seeds. Most inputs are fundamental materials enough to start production. The water pumps shall aid in irrigation (as SAAD areas are usually rainfed), while hand tractors with trailers assist in land preparation and transportation of agricultural inputs and harvests.
Through the project, 225 farmers from the municipalities of Alcantara and San Andres, both 5th-income class municipalities and Ferrol, a 6th-income class municipality benefitted.
Table 1. Interventions provided to farmers of Alcantara, San Andres, and Ferrol
Ms. Anelinda G. Martinez, Chairperson of Doña Trinidad Farmers Association (DTFA) in San Andres, expressed her gratitude to the program for providing them with equipment such as water pump. “Malaki pong tulong ang water pump sa amin kasi ang lupa na gagamitin sa asosasyon ay walang irrigation, malapit kami sa ilog, almost 100 meters (ang distansiya) at doon kami kukuha ng tubig. Iyon ang una naming kailangan, ang water pump para mabuhay iyong garden namin na nakaregister sa asosasyon,” said Ms. Martinez.
(The water pump is a great help to us because the land that we will use for our association is not irrigated. We are near the river, approximately 100 meters away, and it will be our source. The water pump is our primary need to sustain our garden registered in the association.)
Throughout the project implementation, FAs will be guided by the SAAD implementers with the Municipal Agriculturist Offices (MAO) of Alcantara, San Andres, and Ferrol, enabling marginalized farmers to maximize their productivity and improve their livelihoods in the coming 4th quarter of 2023. ###
Writer: Melissa F. Lingco, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA Information Officer
Sources: Maiden Marie M. Segui, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA Associate Project Officer, Jhonzell G. Panganiban, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA Area Coordinator, Jercel N. Catubig, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA Community Development Officer, Relan S. Sabac, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA Community Development Officer