SAAD delivers promise, makes farmers happy

12 Oct 2017
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GLAN, Sarangani (October 12, 2017) - Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon, municipal and barangay officials joined farmers in thanksgiving on October 10 to celebrate a bumper harvest of 70 metric tons of upland rice in Barangay New Aklan.

Barangay Kihan in Malapatan and Barangay Pag-Asa in Alabel were also holding their Thanksgiving Day within the week to give farmers “the chance to share their blessings to others and to give back to our Almighty God as thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest,” said Jonathan Duhaylungsod, provincial agriculturist.

The celebrations are under the auspices of the Sarangani Diversified Upland Rice Farming Development Project backed by the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“While the rest of the country is still making their PR’s (purchase requests) for this SAAD Program, Sarangani was the first to implement the project and had already their first harvest in seven barangays,” Governor Solon told Capitol officials and employees during the flag raising ceremony on October 9.

“But not only that. In Barangay Kihan, the first harvest is about 30 tons, and about 70 tons in Barangay New Aklan, plus the ongoing harvest in other barangays. Imagine how good this will be for our IP’s (indigenous people).”

SAAD opens new opportunities that intend to meet the necessities required of the upland farmers with a specific end goal to create more not just for the province to have enough supply, yet essentially to support the necessities of the farmers. All things considered, farmers will have the capacity to provide their families’ needs and to live out of poverty line.

With the P25-million fund that the DA downloaded last December 2016 for the primary tranche, Sarangani has at first picked seven of its poorest barangays identified by the Community-Based Monitoring System and Social Welfare Indicators. This would cover 436 hectares of upland rice and 190 hectares of white corn.

Last May 2017, 125 beneficiaries in Barangay New Aklan in Glan Sarangani got 80 kilos of upland rice seeds. With the help of the provincial government and DA-SAAD program, they trained the farmers about organic farming and various methods on how to grow upland rice.

In addition, while the beneficiaries are waiting for the reap season, they also dispersed them farm and garden tools, livestock, vegetable seeds, and fertilizers.

As long as there are consumers of rice, there will always be a problem in production.

According to Crystal Alviela, SAAD Public Relations and Communications Officer, in 2015, there were 559,455 people in Sarangani who consumed the lowland rice which only met barely half of the requirement ensuing to only 35% rice sufficiency in the province.

There are lots of problems that limit the production of rice which turns out to be insufficient to supply the needs of the consumers. Crop problems can be caused by other living organisms, like rats and fungus, or by non-living factors, such as wind, water, temperature, radiation, and soil acidity.

Upland rice is viewed as the best answer to increase the supply in Sarangani. This assortment of rice demonstrates more flexibility against sudden changes in the atmosphere, and less unwavering quality to water system henceforth making it the ideal contrasting option to lowland rice.

Upland rice farming is considered as an important program in achieving the objective of rice production in the region and in the country as well. This farming environment can be characterized with 18 degrees slope and not bounded attributed largely as marginal due to soil fertility, prone to soil erosion and water unavailability. However, upland rice environment gives opportunity to work out the household-based food availability, income and nutrition and in the community in general. (Donna Mahusay/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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