SORSOGON, September 5, 2023 – The Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Phase 2 has distributed livelihood projects to 12 farmers associations (FAs) in Sorsogon. This initiative aims to enhance the socioeconomic conditions of local farmers and promote sustainable agricultural development in the municipalities of Barcelona, Castilla, Matnog, Bulusan, and Prieto Diaz.
Said livelihood distribution was implemented by the program after the completion of social preparation activities and specialized training. With this, a total of 310 farmers from the 12 FAs are now poised to enter the Food Production and Livelihood component of the program. Spearheaded by SAAD Bicol Assistant Focal Person Dr. Mary Grace DP. Rodriguez, the distribution of livelihood projects was facilitated by the SAAD Regional and Provincial Program Management Support Office in Sorsogon.
The agricultural interventions provided under this initiative encompass a diverse array of inputs tailored to the needs and resources of the farmers. Among the projects are provisions for Rice, Corn, and Cassava Production, as well as initiatives for Organic and High-Value Crops (HVC) Production amounting to Php 4,535,750.00 (FY 2023). The inputs will serve as their start-up capital in pursuing sustainable livelihood through having a stable supply of staple goods while engaging in agri-businesses.
Table 1. Implementation of Livelihood Projects
Beneficiaries under rice, corn, and cassava production projects engage in individual farming, where each member operates their own plot of land ranging from 0.25 hectares (ha.) to 3 hectares (ha.). The beneficiaries under high-value production (HVC) projects practice communal farming, where members work collectively to cultivate on shared land ranging from 0.01 hectares (ha.) to 3 hectares (ha.).
In addition, 5 head of draft animals per association were distributed to the Samahan ng mga Magsasaka ng Montecarmelo, Barangay San Juan Rice Farmers Association, San Antonio Farmers Association, San Vicente Corn and Cassava Farmers Association, and Bolo Rural Workers Association as part of the Rice, Corn, and Cassava Production Projects. By providing draft animals, beneficiaries can significantly simplify the process of tilling their fields where they grow rice, corn, and cassava.
Samahang Magsasaka ng Poropandan President Harold Galeria extends his gratitude for the inputs they received from the program. “Salamat sa SAAD sa hinatag na mga binhi nan materyales para saamo pagtatanom nin mga gulay. Dahil po didi mapapadali nan makakatabang ini sa pag proseso san amo mga pananom. Dako dako po na oportunidad ini para saamo grupo,” said Mr. Galleria.
(Thank you SAAD for the seeds and materials you have given for our vegetable farming. This will make our planting process easier. This is a big opportunity for our group.)
FAs are gearing up for their first harvest expected from September to October 2023. During this initial year, the SAAD Program’s primary focus is to support farmer-partners in producing goods for both group and personal consumption, ensuring they have enough products to sell within their municipalities.
To achieve these goals, the SAAD Program will conduct regular monitoring activities to guide farmers during the harvesting period and offer assistance in marketing their products through market linkages. Training on enterprise development will also be provided in the subsequent years.
Working in collaboration with the Local Government Units (LGUs), the associations will have opportunities to participate in local trade fairs and other events, enabling them to earn additional income. Moreover, some of the associations are planning to establish their own stores after their first harvest, further empowering their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Moreover, 3 farmers associations in Sorsogon will receive the Poultry Production package in the 3rd quarter of 2023, as the last wave of the program’s livelihood assistance for FY 2023.###
Writer: Pauline Trixia D. Borja, DA-SAAD Bicol Information Officer
Sources: Mary Rose Detera, Associate Project Officer, Maria Ligaya Renegado, Associate Project Officer, Mark Joven Barja, Community Development Officer, Jonas Guanizo, Community Development Officer, Allen Ebuenga, Data Controller
Photos: SAAD Program Sorsogon staff