Two Farmers’ Associations (FAs) in Albuera, Leyte received a livelihood package from the Department of Agriculture Region VIII – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program. Launched last year, these livelihood projects trained FA members on the production of chicken and bananas (lakatan), according to the Regional Development Council VIII-Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RDC VIII-RPMC) Monitoring Team.

The 25-member Capinhan Farmers Workers Association, situated in Barangay Damulaan, Albuera, obtained 220 heads of Rhode Island Free Range (RIFR) chickens and 1,256 pieces of banana plantlets. They also received farm inputs and materials necessary for chicken production such as feeds, vitamins, dewormers, waterers, and plastic crates, among others. Fertilizers were also provided for banana production. The chicken production started on 20 June 2021, while the banana production started earlier on 7 April 2021. The total project cost was Php 724,326.31.

In Barangay Seguinon, the Seguinon Farmers Association, consisting of 25 members, received 220 heads of RIFR chickens and other essential farm inputs. Chicken production started on 7 July 2021. Total project cost was Php 424,293.05.

From the start of the projects up to December 2021, a total of 1,343 eggs have already been sold. As for banana production, Typhoon Odette, in the last month of 2021, disrupted the flowering stage of the bananas. However, owing to bananas being a resilient crop, with proper care and maintenance they are expected to bloom again. With regard to this, the RDC VIII-RPMC recommended to DA-SAAD the inclusion of Disaster Preparedness Trainings in its 2022 capacity building activities to ensure continued operation and sustainability of the projects as Eastern Visayas is frequented by natural calamities.

SAAD is a locally-funded project under the Department of Agriculture that focuses on the most marginalized agricultural and fishery sectors in the country. The SAAD program is coined from the Visayas word “saad” which means promise, gearing towards increasing food production and reducing poverty.

Article and Photos by: Josefina Ballesteros (PMED) and Matthew Anosa (DRD)