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The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) is a locally-funded program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), intended to help alleviate poverty among the marginalized sectors – agriculture and fishery.

Coined after the Visayan word “saad” which means promise, the SAAD Program is a breakthrough of former DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol as part of the thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte to increase food production and reduce poverty in the Philippines.

Through the SAAD program, a total of 30 priority provinces with high poverty incidence rate among families have been given assistance in both agriculture and fisheries since year 2017.

In the midst of 2019, Piñol’s former administration was turned over to now DA Secretary William D. Dar.

Secretary Dar brought with him his New Thinking for Agriculture geared towards a food-secure Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk.

His eight paradigms of “New Thinking” for Agriculture paved the way to continue and strengthen the SAAD Program implementation in his leadership to realize his twin goals of increasing productivity and making farmers and fishers prosperous or his term’s battlecry, “Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita”.

The SAAD Program, headed by Director Myer G. Mula, aims to give agricultural interventions on animals, crops, and fisheries (capture fishery and aquaculture) to identified beneficiaries with the help of corresponding offices in the regional and provincial levels.

The SAAD Program is composed of four major components – 1) Program Management, 2) Social Preparation, 3) Production and Livelihood Interventions, and 4) Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development.

Program Management

The Program Management component comprises activities that are operational and preparatory in nature to ensure efficient and effective program implementation. It also includes monitoring and evaluation to draw relevant inputs to enhance practices and policies.

Production and Livelihood Interventions

The Production and Livelihood Interventions component, on the other hand, will entail the livelihood projects to be given based on the assessed needs of the recipients. Interventions given to selected beneficiaries are animals, crops, fisheries production and post-production inputs, tools, machinery, facilities, and equipment to improve their farm and fish production practices and productivity.

Social Preparation

The Social Preparation component will encompass a series of training (including needs assessments) in order to ensure readiness and empowerment of the SAAD beneficiaries in accepting and managing the program. It also includes coordinating with partner-agencies and organizations for possible collaboration.

Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development

The Marketing Assistance and Enterprise Development component corresponds to the program’s initiatives to help communities create enterprises by establishing market linkages and providing technical assistance and logistic support.


By 2022, SAAD will be the leading agricultural development program and resource mobilization service of the Department of Agriculture, undertaking intensified social venture initiatives to increase food production and alleviate identified farmers and fisherfolk from poverty.



We contribute to the poverty alleviation of 30 priority provinces with high poverty incidences and areas covered by Executive Order No. 70 (series of 2018) through:

  • Social Preparation that empowers marginalized Farmers and Fisherfolk;
  • Intensified Production and Livelihood Interventions responsive to assessed needs; and
  • Partnerships with the local government units, private sector, and other government agencies and stakeholders.
SAAD Program Framework

President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.
Republic of the Philippines
Secretary, Department of Agriculture

Myer G. Mula, Ph. D.
Program Director


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