FARMERS in all seven villages of Salvador Benedicto town have availed of P11 million worth of various agricultural development interventions from the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas.
Rene Famoso, technical director for operations of DA-Western Visayas, said the provision of these interventions is under the agency’s Special Area for Agricultural Development (Saad).
Famoso said the northern Negros Occidental locality is the pilot area for the province.
The agency is looking at expanding the program to Moises Padilla and Calatrava towns next year.
“Negros Occidental and Antique are the pilot provinces in the region mainly because of higher number of poorest of the poor farmers,” he said, adding that the interventions are positioned to increase the production of farmers in Salvador Benedicto.
The P11 million worth of assistance included farm machineries for corn and rice farmers, and inputs like seeds and other planting materials.
Aside from those planting crops, the program has also helped animal raisers. The agency provided 15 heads of carabao to identified recipient farmer-raisers.
Famoso said, initially, Saad is not part of the regular program of the DA. But for 2020, it might be part of the agency’s regular project already.
For Moises Padilla alone, DA-Region 6 will initially provide 45 heads of carabao for breeding to support the town’s livestock sector.
The number of animals will increase every year, Famoso said, adding that Toboso town will be the next recipient of the program in 2021.
“After helping the farmers in the production side, will eventually assist them to become entrepreneurs. Once there’s already a good production and demand, we will help them develop into an enterprise,” he stressed.
The DA, through the Saad program, aims to enable farmers in the region become competitive in terms of production.
“But we will not stop there, we will continue to support whatever potential enterprise that we can develop in these localities,” Famoso said.