Sarangani prepares rollout of P100-M farm project
The provincial government of Sarangani is gearing up for the full implementation of its PHP100 million diversified upland rice and white corn farming development project under the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program.
Jonathan Duhaylungsod, Provincial Agriculture Office head, said Monday preparations are underway for the rollout of the project in seven pilot barangays in the province in close coordination with the DA Region 12.
He said the DA central office has already released the first tranche of the SAAD grant amounting to PHP25 million.
“The procurement of the needed planting materials and farm supply packages are already underway,” he said.
Under the program, Duhaylungsod said the local government will facilitate the planting of upland rice and white corn in selected sites within the pilot areas.
He said they will provide technical assistance to the farmers and implement necessary support programs.
The pilot barangays are Pag-asa in Alabel town; Tamban in Malungon; New Aklan in Glan; Kablacan in Maasim; Tamadang in Kiamba; Upo in Maitum; and, Kihan in Malapatan.
These barangays are considered as among the province’s poorest based on the local government’s Community-Based Monitoring System and Social Welfare Indicators.
Duhaylungsod said they have identified a total of 436 hectares of plantation areas for upland rice and 190 hectares for white corn.
He said they are targeting to catch up with the start of the planting season in the coming weeks.
Such move will allow farmer-beneficiaries to have at least two cropping this year, he said.
Of the PHP100 million grant approved by DA, Duhaylungsod said around PHP25 million was allotted for the pilot implementation.
The second tranche amounting to PHP25 million would be released by DA once the initial release is properly liquidated.
“The second tranche will be used for the project’s expansion in 12 more barangays,” he said.
He added the remaining PHP50 million was set aside for its further expansion, which will be implemented later on by DA-12.
Sarangani Province, which is not a traditional rice-producing area, presently lists its rice sufficiency at only 39.5 percent.
But the area has posted surplus production for white corn, with high consumption rate among residents in the towns of Malungon, Alabel, Malapatan and Glan.
Through the project, the provincial government is targeting to increase its upland rice production area to around 2,000 hectares from the current 1,200 hectares, and expand its white corn production areas by around 500 hectares.