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SAAD ZamboSur strengthens FY 2025 target communities through PRA

ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR, February 27, 2024 – To gather pertinent insights to come up with development initiatives customized to the recipients’ needs, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program in Zamboanga Peninsula carried out the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) to eight target communities for FY 2025 implementation. 

After being upskilled with PRA training, the SAAD regional implementers – three (3) social preparation and program management officers, one (1) Food Production and Livelihood (FPL) officer, two (2) Public Relations and Development Communication (PRDC) officers, one (1) Information Technology and Database Management (ITD) officer, and municipal implementers of Zamboanga del Sur were divided in two (2) groups to facilitate the activity in the province of Zamboanga del Sur.

Gathering all the representatives from different sectors including women, indigenous people (IP), senior citizens, youths, barangay officials, farmers, among others, the two-day community engagement with each barangay took place from February 13 to 23, in the municipalities of Tabina, V. Sagun, Midsalip, Sominot, Tigbao, Josefina, Lakewood and San Pablo, ZDS. These varied participants create diverse perspectives to better understand the community’s needs and challenges, leading to more effective and long-lasting initiatives.

SAAD Program Lead Engr. Nadzmar Abdulatip explained to the communities the early preparation for the 2025 implementation.

Basin matingala mo nga sayo kayo mi nag-conduct ug mga activities nga sa 2025 pa mo mag dawat og project, kani sya para makalakap mi og impormasyon nga gikan mismo sa inyoha, ug masiguro nga ang amoang mapasa didto sa national, haom gyud sa inyong panginahanglanon,” he said.

(Maybe you’re wondering why we conducted activities early, considering that you will only receive projects in 2025. This is so we can gather information directly from you and ensure that what we submit to the national level truly fits your needs.)

During the two-day activity, participants were able to complete the PRA tools introduced to them including village walk, base map, village map, social map, enterprise map, hazard map, village transect, trend analysis, seasonal calendar, income and expenses for seasonal calendar, problem identification and ranking, possible solution identification and ranking, and strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).

Based on initial observations, the majority of the communities in Zamboanga del Sur presented similar situations, geographically and historically, while also reporting the same major problem in agriculture which is the high cost of agri-inputs, especially the fertilizers. Because of the prevailing problem, most of them opted to store their harvest for consumption, with no extra produce to sell. 

After the social preparation activity was conducted, the gathered data will be interpreted and consolidated by the community development officers assigned in respective municipalities, based on the outline report provided by the SAAD National Program Management Office. ###

Writer: Aimee Lou D. Madjus, DA-SAAD ZamPen Information Officer