QUEZON, PROVINCE, September 21, 2023 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Phase 2 in CALABARZON with the National Program Management Office (NPMO) conducted six (6) Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) activities in the municipalities of Alabat and Quezon, Quezon, intending to cover 10 farmers associations (FAs) for community organizing.
Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) is a people-centered approach to gathering information and understanding the needs, resources, and dynamics of rural communities. It directly involves the farmers in the process of data collection, analysis, and decision-making. It is composed of 4 tools which include Mapping, History and Trend Analysis, Seasonal Calendar and Cost and Return, and Problems and Solutions. With this, the PRA team from SAAD CALABARZON was divided into two (2) groups to maximize the visit to its target areas.
Joined by 251 farmers, the activity was led by Alternate Assistant Regional SAAD Focal, Mr. Wilmer S. Faylon. Said participants are from the barangay of Villa Jesus Weste, and Villa Esperanza in Alabat, Quezon, as well as Brgy. 5, Argosino, and Mascariña in Quezon, Quezon.
SAAD NPMO Deputy Director Pedro S. Dumaraos Jr., who also paid a visit during the activity emphasized the importance of forming an association and expressed the dedication of the SAAD Program to helping the farmers
“Aalalayan po namin kayo pero tulungan ninyo ang inyong mga sarili, sapagkat sa inyo po mismo magsisimula ang pag-unlad ng inyong barangay. Higit sa lahat, makikita po ang kalakasan ng isang grupo kung kayo po ay organisado,” Dr. Dumaraos Jr. emphasized.
(We will assist and guide you, but we also encourage you to help yourselves because the development of your community begins with you. Above all, the strength of a group can be realized if it is organized.)
PRA in Alabat, Quezon
The primary commodities in Alabat consist of agricultural products like copra, sahing, swine, and poultry livestock. Historically, most farmers have been involved in the copra trade, serving as their main income source. Pili tree resin is retailed by weight, typically priced between Php 250 to Php 300 per kilogram (kg). Meanwhile, copra is valued at Php 20 to Php 23 per kilogram (kg).
Alongside, other farmers stated that they are also engaged in swine production. With this, Mr. Gerard Franklin Belazon from the Office of the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) reminded the farmers to choose the appropriate intervention based on their needs.
“Piliin po ninyo ang tulong na naaayon sa inyong pangangailangan upang hindi lang po ito basta makatulong, kundi, ito po ay tumagal,” Mr. Belazon noted.
(Choose the support that matches your needs, ensuring that it offers help and remains sustainable in the long run.)
PRA in Quezon, Quezon
Meanwhile, farmers from Quezon, Quezon, shared that they are engaged in coconut cultivation and bunot production. These are sold within the island for a price ranging from Php 1.00 to Php 2.00 apiece. In addition, the farmers expressed their interest in venturing into milk production, taking advantage of their ownership of at least one buffalo. To achieve this goal, they look forward to receiving technical support for milk production from the program, which will contribute to improving their livelihoods through processing activities.
Lastly, the coconut farmers from three sitios of Barangay Mascariña are planning to consolidate their members and register their organization as one association with copra as their main commodity.
SAAD CALABARZON targets to conduct 25 PRAs, of which 10 activities were completed in Tingloy, Batangas; 6 in Quezon, Quezon; 4 in Alabat; and 5 in Perez. Further, SAAD CALABARZON will form and strengthen 4 FCAS in Alabat; 6 FCAs in Quezon; and 5 FCAs in Perez. ###
Writers: Pamela Faith M. Garcia, DA-SAAD CALABARZON Information Officer, Nicole C. Zarsuelo DA-SAAD CALABARZON Information Officer, Jayvee Amir P. Ergino DA-SAAD CALABARZON Information Officer