ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR, July 28, 2023 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development Phase 2 (DA-SAAD 2) Program in Region 9 granted Php 3,864,200.00 worth of banana and corn planting materials to two (2) farmers associations (FAs) in the municipalities of Midsalip and Sominot, Zamboanga del Sur through the Food Production and Livelihood component, to increase banana and corn production in the province.
The fifty farmers belonging to the Eastern Poblacion FA (EPFA) in Sominot and Cabaluan Banana Planters Association (CBPA) in Midsalip SAAD Phase 2 farmers associations, each received 7,000 Lakatan variety banana tissue cultured plantlets, 190 bags of inorganic fertilizers, one unit of corn sheller with dehusker, and hand tractor with implements and trailer. The assistance was funded under the FY 2023 Banana and Corn Production Project.
Midsalip, while a 4th income class municipality, has a notable 45.3% poverty incidence, while Sominot is a 5th income class municipality with a 38.4% poverty incidence as reported by the Philippine Statistic Authority (PSA) in 2018. The production of rice, corn, coconut, banana, and root crops are the main livelihood activities in the two (2) municipalities.
In 2017, the PSA data on Consumption of Selected Agricultural Commodities in the Philippines recorded high banana and corn consumption per capita in Zamboanga del Sur province at 14.84 kilograms (kg) and 177.08 kg per year, respectively. In particular, rural barangays in Zamboanga del Sur reported the highest consumption of corn at 193.73 kg per person per year and 15.12 kg of banana (Cardava and Lakatan) consumption per year.
The provision of the Corn and Banana Production Projects to these farmer groups is a result of the Beneficiary Needs Assessment (BNA) conducted by DA SAAD 9 together with the Municipal Agriculture Office on February 17, 2023. This is to provide support to increase the production of bananas and corn in the province for domestic consumption, enterprise, and possible local export in the future.
The CBPA will start planting their banana plantlets in their individual production sites by the second week of July, with a consolidated 7 ha production area. Meanwhile, members of EPFA has started to engage in cultivating their communal area measuring 7 ha and will still continue planting until the end of July.
Prior to receiving the SAAD projects, the groups underwent specialized training on banana and corn production management. The training conducted by DA-SAAD 9 aimed to further enhance their farming skills and knowledge in areas such as land preparation, planting technique, and proper application of fertilizers and pesticides, among others.
The associations are also set to receive corn seeds and various pesticides including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides from SAAD under the same project not later than the third quarter of the year. ###
Writer: Ellaine Quiamco, DA SAAD Region 9 Information Officer
Consumption of Selected Agricultural Commodities in the Philippines, PSA, 2017 Retrieved from: https://psa.gov.ph/sites/default/files/2015-2016%20CSAC%20Vol2.pdf
Consumption of Selected Agricultural Commodities in the Philippines, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, 2013 Retrieved from: https://psa.gov.ph/sites/default/files/CSAC_Volume2_August2013.pdf