Equipping the farmers

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Created on Monday, 21 October 2019 Published Date

As part of SAAD Program’s package of interventions, a series of trainings in the five-covered provinces are lined up for the month of September to November 2019.  Targeted participants are farmer-beneficiaries, associations, PLGU/MLGU staff who are directly involved in program implementation, and R/PPMSO staff.

The activity, SAAD FY 2019 Farmers’ Value Formation and Financial Literacy Training-Workshop, will be conducted in Palo for Leyte Province; Maasin City for Southern Leyte; Catarman for Northern Samar; Borongan for Eastern Samar; and Catbalogan City for Samar Province.  A total of 34 trainings, each having 40 participants, will be held.  Collectively, 1,360 participants will benefit from the capacity-building activity, including 1,020 farmer-beneficiaries.

The 3-day training-workshop aims to strengthen the farmers’ organizations; guide farmers on visualizing their dreams and aspirations, such as things they want to achieve and what they want to accomplish, not only for themselves, but also for the community, province, and the country; have in-depth understanding of financial management among farmers on a personal level; train farmers how to create a budget plan, and how important it is for achieving specific goals in a specific timeframe; and train them on how to set objectives and priorities, which will eventually become their attainable goals.

At the end of the training, farmers will be provided with uniform budget management planner, which they will utilize in formulating their individual budget plans.  These plans will then be presented in succeeding trainings for evaluation and learning maximization.  The relevance of budgeting is that it gives farmers a perspective of where they currently stand, and what possible solutions could be taken without resorting to moneylenders.  For, when a farmer’s budget is in place, adjustments, and plans for savings become easier.

As of press time, only the training for farmers of Arteche, Eastern Samar had been conducted, but others will eventually follow.

Equipping farmers does not stop at providing an enabling environment for the development of their mental-socioeconomic capacities.  It further extends to slowly molding their mindset from use of traditional cultural management practices in agriculture to farm mechanization; hence, the provision by SAAD Program to associations of hand tractor, power tiller with multicultivator, rice thresher, rice cutter, rice reaper, rice weeder, cassava spinner, cassava shredder, etc. that would facilitate in their farm activities.

The peripatetic SAAD field personnel and competent staff of OPAs/OMAs are also ever ready to assist the project beneficiaries in handling concerns and problems that the latter encounter in their day-to-day farm practice.  Coaching, mentoring, and hand-holding activities are regular functions of the staff, especially the Agricultural Technologists who have good grasp of conditions in the field. 

Assistance in the marketing of products/value-added goods is another way of empowering the farmers.  Referral to wholesalers, consolidators, bagsakan centers, trading posts, etc. and participation in trade fairs and agri-aqua events eliminate the need for middlemen, and thus farmers get a fair price for their products.  Once they get introduced to the market, they would no longer hesitate to present themselves to customers.

Support for the farmer-beneficiaries will continue for as long as SAAD Program is still in existence, and even beyond.  Until such time they are sufficiently empowered, management will not leave them hanging on a thread.  Through honest idealism, solid underpinning, and dedication, the R/PPMSO personnel in close coordination with concerned LGUs vows to uplift the lives of farmers as their larger contribution to countryside development.  The program advocates for socially and economic-sensitive interventions that promote both inclusivity and belongingness.  (MICHAEL F. DABUET, SAAD Staff, FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO, Chief, RAFIS)

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