TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is eyeing a P1.37 billion outlay to assist less privileged farmers in three Samar provinces under the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD).
From 2016 to 2017, the department has already poured in nearly P20 million to poor farmers not covered in regular programs of the central government.
“The implementation in the past two years was a bit delayed, but for 2018, we are already on track with 62 percent of the P126.67 million budget for the year has already been disbursed,” said DA assistant regional director for operations Andrew Orais.
The DA regional office is proposing P898.74 million budget for SAAD projects for 2019 to 2022. The initiative aims to alleviate 37,669 farmers from extreme poverty, said Orais.
“SAAD has no big infrastructure projects because our targets are small marginal farmers who are not regular beneficiaries of regular programs. These are meant for those who have not received interventions because they’re not capable of catching up with the requirements for beneficiaries,” Orais said.
The project focuses on improving production of rice, corn, vegetables, and livestock.
SAAD has two funding components. The first will be carried out by the provincial government through fund downloaded to the local government. The second component will be managed by the DA regional office.
It is a special program of the DA focusing on 10 top poorest provinces in the country, which include the three Samar provinces.
Activities are focused on social preparation and provision of agriculture and fishery-related livelihood interventions to address poverty in the 10 provinces.
DA aims to reduce poverty in Samar provinces by 25 percent in the next three years from 55.4 percent in Eastern Samar, 43.5 percent in Northern Samar, and 43.5 percent in Samar. (PNA)