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In Caraga, 27 farmer organizations have received nearly P20 million in Agri projects.

Under the Department of Agriculture’s Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) program, at least 27 farmer organizations in the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur will receive various livelihood initiatives this year (DA-13).

According to Jekem Sanchez, the DA-13 SAAD focal point, a total of PHP20,387,451 worth of livelihood projects have been released to farmers’ groups as of last month.

“The majority of these livelihood initiatives are focused on the production of abaca and cocoa, as well as chicken and goats,” Sanchez explained.

Six farmers’ groups from the municipalities of Veruela, San Luis, and Talacogon in Agusan del Sur got PHP8,389,807 in projects this year.

Veruela received PHP3,306,687 of the total amount; San Luis, PHP2,622,225; and Tagalocon, PHP2,460,895.

At least 21 farmers’ organizations in Surigao del Sur benefited from the SAAD program by producing native chicken, goat, corn, and abaca for a total cost of PHP11,997,643. Bayabas, Carmen, Lingig, and Bislig City are among the awardees.

According to DA-13 data, PHP1,996,430 was given to four farmers’ groups in Bayabas, PHP5,214,570 to five in Carmen, PHP2,674,478 to seven in Lingig, and PHP2,112,165 to five in Bislig City.

“Previously, we had to physically strip our abaca crops.” The DA’s SAAD program gave us stripping equipment, which helped our abaca production rise,” said Santos Escalicas, head of the Muritula USAD Farmers’ Association (MuFA).

MuFA, based in San Luis, Agusan del Sur, is one of the SAAD project’s beneficiaries this year. From 2019 to 2021, it received aid from SAAD, which allowed its 50 members to fully establish its 70-hectare abaca plantation in the area.

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