MAITUM, Sarangani (October 27, 2017) - Every thanksgiving in pioneering barangays in Sarangani covered by the Special Area of Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program is offered to give back the blessings the beneficiaries have received.
During the Thanksgiving Day in Barangay Upo on October 23, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol visited the beneficiaries of SAAD. He came from Kidapawan City then headed straight to Maitum to join the celebration.
Piñol started his speech speech by saying, “Gov, yours is the most successful SAAD projects, actually,” referring to Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon.
Piñol said “I really put my full support in Sarangani for the SAAD project because of your fast process and implementation. In fact, the other provinces in the country are still on their PR’s (purchase requests) for this program and far from their first harvest. But in Sarangani, you already have your first harvest.”
“This is what President Duterte wants — for us in the higher positions to go to the areas where we can easily reach out and help people with their needs.”
“If not us, who will have the initiative to hear what people really needs?” he added.
Piñol said he wants to hear the voices of the less fortunate and try his best to help. He then gathered random questions from the Indigenous People (IP) of Barangay Upo. Some asked for help regarding their harvests.
The Secretary gave his word and was open for ideas for the betterment of Barangay Upo and also for Sarangani Province as a whole.
Piñol said he wants to put up seven rice mills for the province. He will also help market the upland rice of Sarangani and give financial capital for the products. He is also open for the idea to put up P60 million for a corn complex and another P60 million pesos for a rice complex for farmers to market their own harvest so businessmen will get a fair trade.
Beyond just rice products, he committed to put up a multiplier farm for native hogs and a slaughter house for additional income of the farmers.
Piñol also wants to upgrade the farmers’ learning center here by financing the road construction, to help the less fortunate to be trained and be able to have their own harvest in the future.
Furthermore, he would like to put up a dairy farm, but must validate the areas first.
Secretary Piñol said he would give horses for the families to use, machines for abaca production, and lastly, financial lending for the IPs worth P30 million with easy access financing.
As part of the thanksgiving celebration, there is always a preacher or what they called ‘Haggai Educator’ who gives a lecture about why SAAD must have a thanksgiving program. This is to appreciate and value what the Almighty have given them during their farming.
As what Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon is always saying to the SAAD beneficiaries: “You must give back the 10% of your harvest to the church to thank God for His abundant blessings — because without Him, you are nothing. Then, the rest of your harvest is for your food supply until your next harvest, and the remaining is for you to market.” (Donna Mahusay/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE)