Qualities of a Good SAAD Farmer’s Association

Created on Monday, 19 August 2019 Published Date

Since September 2018, the Regional Program Management Support Office (RPMSO) 8 has undertaken the status monitoring of different interventions provided to farmer-beneficiaries. During these field visits, the Monitoring Team has cursorily but keenly observed certain attributes of associations situated in SAAD-covered areas in Region 8 that, when taken together, would ideally make them stand out above the rest.

Not all of the qualities have been found solely in one organization, however.  A group may have good leaders and cooperative members, but it could be found wanting in its recordkeeping.  Or, at a glance, the association’s documents may be well-kept and in order, but it needs organizational strengthening because there is disarray among the members.  Hence, the Team has come up with the following list of distinctive features that, if present altogether in a group, would make it the epitome of a good organization.     

  1. Good leadership by committed, knowledgeable, and responsible officers.  Farmer-leaders who may have knowledge and experience in managing an organization do not necessarily make good leaders, but if they are loyal and dedicated to the office for which they were elected to, are authoritative without being autocratic, plus they feel accountable to the general membership, these are attributes that would assure good management by its leaders.   
  2. Proper tasking of officers and members on different activities of the association.  Each officer/member who is assigned to do a particular task commensurate to his/her knowledge or skill does not shirk responsibility, but goes about the undertaking with a cheerful attitude, always considering that it is for the welfare of the group.  
  3. Clear policies, systems, and procedures (PSPs).  The PSPs should have been formulated and approved by the total membership, seeing to it that the words are comprehensible by all concerned.  They should be fair, objective, and do not discriminate anyone according to personal creed, beliefs, or practices.
  4. Recordkeeping, especially on financial matters, is in order.  Documents–minutes of meeting, audited financial statements, policies, etc. are readily available, when needed, or posted on a bulletin board.  There is transparency in financial transactions and in the records, and everything is aboveboard.
  5. Solidarity/unity among association members.  In good times and in bad, successes or disappointments, victories and challenges, the members are of one accord, never veering from the course, always guided by its objectives, vision, mission, and goal.  Continuous support between and among the members buoy up their spirits to face whatever hardship they encounter.  They follow the maxim, “unity in diversity.”
  6. Open-minded members who are willing to learn, accept suggestions and criticisms, and be subjected to consultations.  Members are willing to undergo capacity building activities, such as trainings, workshops, etc. to gain knowledge on improved technologies that they can apply on their endeavors.  Even if the members “agree to disagree,” at the end of the day, they still reach a consensus where decisions are meant for the welfare of all concerned.
  7. Cooperative association members render regular voluntary service to care for, monitor, and report any progress/findings on the endeavor for immediate action by concerned committees.  Fostering the bayanihan spirit, members are likewise ready to undertake scheduled pintakasi, or community cooperative action, for the benefit of the association.
  8. Members promote their own product, thereby opening the enterprise for more business opportunities.  Officers link with DA–Agricultural Marketing Assistance Division, DTI, NGOs, and other agencies that can assist them in marketing their product for more repeat orders or sales mileage.  They also patronize them for home consumption and to meet the nutritional needs of the family.

 A handful of the farmers’ associations are on the road to achieving this status.  Among them are the following:  Sitio Lana–Sustainable in Life Farmers’ Association (SL–SILFA) of Tarangnan, Samar; Cansoso Livelihood Association of Workers (CLAW) of Matag-ob, Leyte; Uswag Pequit Association of Paranas, Samar; Sta. Margarita Farmers Association (SMFA) of Quinapondan, Eastern Samar; Hinabangan Integrated Duck Raisers Association of Hinabangan, Samar; Samahan ng Munting Magsasaka sa Cagnocot (SaMuMaCa) of Villaba, Leyte; Bulod Integrated Farmers’ Association of Sta. Fe, Leyte; Kawayan Agro-Fishery Association of Kawayan, Tabango; Rural Improvement Club (RIC) of Brgy. Libas, Lavezares, Northern Samar; Sabang SAAD 2017 Hog Raisers Association, Brgy. Pangudtan Swine Raisers Association, Brgy. Nadacpan Hog Fatteners Association, and United Goat Raisers of Oras, all of Oras, Eastern Samar; Domrog Rice Farmers’ Association of Gen. MacArthur, Eastern Samar; Magsaysay Integrated Farmers’ Association of Las Navas, Northern Samar; Lukay Farmers’ Association of Alangalang, Leyte; Calbiga Vegetable Growers Association of Calbiga, Samar; These–Abled Persons of Tierra Esperanza Farmers’ Association, Sta. Fe, Leyte; etc.

The number of associations that would qualify in the abovementioned characteristics will be known in succeeding months in light of the upcoming impact evaluation to be conducted on all associations engaged in the production of various commodities.  This assessment to be held in the last quarter of 2019 will gauge the organizational capabilities, among others, of the groups.  Results will then show a comprehensive picture of the state of the SAAD farmers’ associations in Region 8.  (MICHAEL F. DABUET, SAAD Staff, FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO, Chief, RAFIS)

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