THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 7 has earmarked P15.7 million worth of fishery livelihood projects this year for the existing beneficiaries of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (Saad) program in Bohol.
The details were revealed during the mid-year assessment of the Saad program in Central Visayas that was graced by the program’s national director Myer Mula, who visited Cebu City on June 28, 2021.
In attendance during the activity was BFAR 7 Director Allan Poquita, who in his address, expressed his gratitude to the Saad team for providing its full support to the fisherfolk beneficiaries in Central Visayas.
Bohol’s beneficiaries, which currently count to 618 individuals and 56 fisherfolk associations, will be receiving various livelihood projects and interventions this year, according to BFAR 7 planning officer and Saad regional focal Harlene Cañete.
Aquaculture-related projects will be implemented. These are seaweed grow-out, oyster culture, milkfish (bangus) and tilapia floating fish cage, and blue swimming crab culture.
Others projects are fish aggregating devices or artificial fish shelter, motorized fiberglass boats, and gill nets or handlines.
Cañete said the Saad program is also funding the purchase of postharvest projects, particularly processing equipment for bangus and oyster.
Bohol is the remaining province that will be completing the three-year project implementation in 2021; it is one of the three provinces in Central Visayas that was identified as among the target areas for the Saad program rollout.
The Saad program in Bohol began in 2019. It was first introduced in Negros Oriental in 2017, then in Siquijor in 2018.
From 2017 to 2020, the Saad program allocated P99 million for the 56 projects implemented in the three provinces. These projects provided livelihood interventions to 2,455 individuals and 151 associations.
Saad seeks to alleviate the poverty status of marginalized fisherfolk by providing projects that will augment the livelihood of the beneficiaries and increase their income.
This program follows a unique strategy wherein the recipients undergo a gradual and developing process for the implementation of the project awarded to them in a span of three years.
In the first year, the beneficiaries received individual projects that supported their livelihood. The following year they were grouped and immersed in training and preparation for social activities. In the final year, the groups are formed into associations capacitating them to handle their own fishery enterprise.
The Saad program intends to mold the beneficiaries by making them self-reliant and independent in order to sustain the project, maximizing the government-aided programs.