SAAD Program dev’t workers, top implementers honored

Posted by: RAFIS DA6 | Posted at: April 4, 2023

As the Department of Agriculture (DA) Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program concludes its first phase after a six-year of implementation since 2017, the National Program Management Office (NPMO) recognized the key regional partners and top development workers across the country during the ‘Pagtanyag: Pagkilala sa Dedikasyon at Paglilingkod’ awarding event on March 2 in Iloilo City.
Focused on alleviating poverty incidence among vulnerable sectors of farmers and fishers in the 30 poorest provinces, the SAAD Program implemented food production, livelihood, marketing, and enterprise development projects that served 429 farmers and fisherfolk’s associations engaged in agri-fishery enterprises and 19,047 individual beneficiaries assisted to become agripreneurs.
The SAAD Program provided 3,599 specialized technical training and values formation in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure project sustainability up to postharvest management and value addition.
NPMO Director Ulysses J. Lustria Jr. highlighted the significance of celebrating the SAAD Phase One accomplishments and commending development workers who acted as change agents and initiators, fostering a holistic upliftment in the livelihood of marginalized groups in the upland communities.
“Financial performance includes quantifiable indicators regarding utilization, obligation, and disbursement of funds allocated for the national and regional arms. This measure provides insights into whether the Program in the regions contributed to the goal of reducing national poverty among marginalized sectors. SAAD has improved during the Program’s implementation, identifying small roadblocks and friction points and translating this performance into figures,” said Director Lustria.
The NPMO recognized the outstanding awardees on the overall physical and financial performance of the SAAD Program. Top awardees commended during the Pagtanyag were development workers from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) from batch 2017, Bicol Region from batch 2018, and Western Visayas from batch 2019.
Meanwhile, program implementers from Eastern Visayas obtained the award for their outstanding regional information, dissemination, and communication activities, which documented the success and impact of the Program through different print, broadcast, and social media platforms.
The Caraga and Zamboanga Peninsula Regions garnered awards as the top performer in the Regional IT Database System and the top developer of SAAD Phase 1 community-based enterprise, respectively.
Moreover, the SAAD NPMO also conferred 11 other special awards to the following regions:

• With the highest number of women-led associations in the rural areas assisted – Caraga Region
• With the highest number of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in rural areas assisted – Soccskargen
• With the highest number of partially established community-based enterprises assisted – Cordillera Administrative Region
• With the highest number of fully established community-based enterprises assisted – Zamboanga Peninsula and Sulu
• With the highest number of beneficiaries in ELCAC areas served – Northern Mindanao
• With the highest number of women beneficiaries served – Western Visayas
• With the highest percentage achieved in physical performance – Davao Region
• Outstanding physical performance during the SAAD program inception in 2017 – Central Visayas
• With the highest number of Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas covered – Bicol
• National Economic Development Authority citation on the contribution to the overall poverty reduction – Eastern Visayas
• Most notable contribution to agricultural mechanization in rural areas – MIMAROPA
DA Western Visayas OIC-Regional Technical Director for Operations Dominador Marquez said the SAAD Program focuses on poverty reduction and local food production activation through livelihood assistance to marginalized farmers and fishers. The Program is committed to developing marginalized Filipino communities by improving their economic conditions and creating livelihood opportunities in agriculture and fishery.
On the other hand, SAAD Deputy Director Pedro Dumaraos Jr. urged project implementers to continue their efforts and strategies they employed as the program phase 2 is soon to commence.
He added, “SAAD is a unique program of the DA promoting food security, affordability, quality, safety and directly improving farmers and fishers’ living status. We should look into the needs of the agri-fishery sector with high poverty incidence amid the 8.7 percent inflation rate, decreasing farmgate prices, and increasing input prices.” ###By Sheila Mae H. Toreno/DA-RAFIS 6