Seven farmers’ association beneficiaries of the Department of Agriculture Western Visayas’ Special Area for Agricultural Development program showcased their products in a recent trade fair in Calatrava, Negros Occidental.
The local government unit of Calatrava, through the Municipal Agriculturist Office, initiated the fair that served as venue for the local farmers to market their products, a press release from DA-SAAD said.
The three-day event featured farmers’ associations of the municipality, including the Lipat-on Integrated Small Fisherfolk’s Association, Castellano Farmers’ Association, Marcelo Farmers Association, Marcelo Calatrava Farmers’ Association, Lalong Upland Integrated Farmers’ Association, and the Barangay Ilaya Small Farmer Association, that are all SAAD beneficiaries.
Each participating group of farmers traded their produce, such as livestock and poultry, and crops like eggplant, squash, okra, pole sitao, rice, banana blossom, corn, banana, root crops, eggs, ampalaya or bitter gourd, dried fish, and peanut, among others.
MACAFA president Richard Diotay expressed his gratitude to the SAAD Program’s intervention packages that boosted their rice production and yield.
MACAFA was among the four farmers’ associations in Calatrava that received P1,106,800 worth of rice production project under the 2020 budget, the press release said.
Christopher Castellano, president of BISFA, said the net profit they got from their total earnings will go to the group’s savings and the remaining money will be used to repay the capital fund of each of the participating members.
BISFA had received livelihood packages for corn production that included 225 bags of yellow corn seeds, 525 bags of fertilizer, 60 bags of insecticide, 10 draft animals, 10 plows, and 10 harrows.
SAAD area coordinator for Calatrava, Ivy Italia, said the trader fair was a thanksgiving for the blessings of a bountiful harvest and a venue for farmers, especially SAAD beneficiaries, to earn and tap potential market linkages.
“We consider our SAAD farmers as active partners in bolstering sustainable agriculture and food security in Negros Occidental,” Italia said.
Calatrava became a SAAD pilot area along with Moises Padilla in 2020. Other Negros Occidental towns benefiting from the program were Salvador Benedicto since 2019 and Toboso this year, the press release added.*