New Agri Program Launched to Fight Poverty

DAVAO ORIENTAL— A new program aiming to defeat poverty by boosting the agricultural productivity of marginalized farmers has recently been launched here in the province.

The program called Sustainable Agriculture Village Enterprise (SAVE) was launched during the Farmers and Fisher Folks Month celebration at the Provincial Agriculture Office Compound in the City of Mati on May 25.

Launching of the Sustainable Agriculture Village Enterprise (SAVE) Program during the Farmers and Fisherfolk Month Celebration.

Created through Executive Order No. 44, SAVE serves as an upgraded version of its forerunner Pagkain at Kita program intended to provide farming assistance to the province’s marginal farmers. The program puts emphasis on the practice of organic farming, adopting climate change adaptation strategies, and integrating entrepreneurship through value-adding farming.

Rotchie Ravelo, Provincial Agriculture Department Head says SAVE targets farmer associations as program beneficiaries, thus, reaching more farmers to benefit from the program.

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang says that SAVE is touted to help the province achieve 100 percent rice sufficiency level.  Currently, the province’s rice sufficiency is at 93%. He added that the program will further help farmers in terms of marketing of their produce to potential buyers at a competitive price.

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang vowed to continue to persevere in the province’s advocacy to empower our people especially farmers and fisherfolk who play a major role in the province’s development of the province.

Honoring Farmers

The farmers and fisherfolk month celebration, attended by around 700 farmers and fisherfolk who are members of associations from across the province, commemorated the significance of farmers.

During the celebration, new farming technologies had been introduced.  Various interventions from the Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Provincial Agriculture (PAGRI) Office, and the Provincial Governor’s Office (PGO) were turned over to the different farmer organizations from different municipalities.

Various equipment and freebies were turned over during the grand celebration. Among the turned over equipment are one unit of mechanical rice transplanter to each of the rice-producing towns of Lupon, Governor Generoso, and Banaybanay; one unit four-wheel drive vehicle to Boston Municipal Government. Through drawing of lots, five farmers have received one goat each while one farmer has received a carabao.

In support to cacao and coffee rehabilitation program, the DA turned over 700 pruning shears amounting to P339,500.00 and 700 pruning saw amounting to P378,700.00 to the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental. The DA also committed to conducting farming technology training to Davao Oriental farmers.

The Provincial Government also distributed 640,000 pieces of cacao seedlings to farmer beneficiaries in ten municipalities and one city of this province in support to the Double-Up Program of the DA.

BFAR, on the other hand, has distributed four sets of fish sorting tables and an aquarium to the Municipal Government of Boston. Fishing gears were likewise dispensed to fisherfolk of eleven LGUs here.

Ricardo Oñate, DA Regional Director

DA Regional Director Ricardo Oñate assured everyone the continuity of the agricultural programs and projects for the province in accordance with their mandate which is to establish affordable food.

“We will work hard for higher rice sufficiency level by advancing the level of mechanization. At the same time we will go into hybrid to double up the production per hectare,” Director Oñate said, emphasizing their support to the rice farmers in upland areas who belong to the Mandaya Indigenous Peoples.He has also cited several projects of the DA for sustainable agriculture such as small-scale irrigation project, diversion dam, solar powered pump, farm to market roads, among many others.

‘Heroes’ Awarded

In time for the Farmers and Fisherfolk celebration, Governor Dayanghirang conferred awards to outstanding farmers who have excelled in farming and who have served as inspiration to their communities.

Governor Dayanghirang cited these farmers contribution in producing food for the province’s growing population. Likewise, the Governor also gave recognition to Outstanding Agriculture Technicians, Municipal Agricultural Officer (MAO), and Municipal Agricultural Services Office (MASO).

The Agrikulturang Makamasa Barangay Extension Technician (AMBET) of the 183 barangays have likewise received an annual honorarium of P6,000.00. The AMBETs are village members who serve as the Provincial Government’s partners in introducing new technologies and in distributing machineries and other farm implements to the farming and fishing villages here.

 “I thank you for your significant contribution in the province’s economy. What we have achieved in the province is a testament of our endurance and hard work in the fields,” the Governor told the farmers.

“I vow my full support together with the PAGRI and the Provincial Veterinary Office and in partnership with the DA and other agencies. We will work hand in hand to achieve food security.” By Riza M. Golez/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan

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