MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon (PIA)–After her town received P3.2 million worth of agricultural assistance from the Department of Agriculture Region 10-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA 10-SAAD) Program in 2018 and 2019, San Fernando, Bukidnon Municipal Agriculturist Coleen Alva C. Ambos acknowledged SAAD as an instrument to the town’s agricultural development.
“SAAD sparks agricultural development in San Fernando. The program has a great impact in our effort to uplift the living condition of our farmers,” Ambos said in an interview during SAAD projects monitoring in the town.
Due to the high poverty incidence rate, San Fernando was among the 13 municipalities in Bukidnon included in the SAAD program of the Department of Agriculture in 2018.
Since then, the local government units (LGUs) in the province started to receive SAAD interventions and assistance to support the towns’ priority agri-livelihood projects.
SAAD interventions include provision of hybrid corn seeds with complete fertilizers; provision of high-value commercial crop seedlings (cacao and coffee); provision of vegetable seeds with organic fertilizers and garden tools; provision of swine with drugs and biologics; and construction of Multi-Crop Drying Pavement (MCDP).
“Our SAAD projects have been smoothly implemented. Right now, we are looking forward to grow the projects to benefit more of our farming constituents. Our swine recipients are now due to pledge three piglets to be handed to our next-in-line beneficiaries. This is our strategy to sustain the project,” Ambos shared, disclosing her office is now heightening their efforts to expand the SAAD-funded projects.
The SAAD farmer-beneficiaries in barangay Tugop have organized themselves into a DOLE-registered association.
The group is eager to start their association’s business once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
“SAAD projects have helped poor farmers like us to be productive and help our families. Our SAAD drying center (MCDP) will be turned over hopefully in June. We will start its operation soon after so that our association can already start earning out of the project,” said Arlyn Ananangkil, Tugop SAAD Farmers Association’s President.
There were 50 SAAD farmer-beneficiaries in San Fernando.
“Our long term goal is to assist our SAAD farmers to come up with their own product and convert their farms into farm tourism sites. We can provide them training in terms of processing and marketing of the product and link them to other government agencies for product development,” Ambos vowed.
While calling for the beneficiaries’ unyielding persistence and cooperation, the young and visionary municipal agriculturist commits to provide farmers the needed technical assistance to make them well-adapted to the agri-livelihood projects of SAAD.
“Along the way, we will encounter tribulations. But these will not stop us from serving our farmers and building them a better community,” Ambos concluded, expressing the LGU’s appreciation of DA’s agricultural assistance to the town. (DA10/PIA Bukidnon)