To address this concern, the Department of Agriculture in Davao Region constructed an agri-water system that benefits farmers under Mahalyang Salaysay Farmers’ Association (MASFA) with 83 household members.
DA Project Proponent Rubylyn Gomez said that the construction of this project costs P1.1 million which was funded by DA-High Value Commercial Crops Program (HVCDP). She added that the purpose of the project is to provide enough water supply to the farms all through out the year. This is also in support to the Regional Convergence Initiative (RCI) program in Davao region which is part of the proposed projects under the CADP of Suawan-Kulafu Subwatershed.
Agricultural life in the highland
Gomez said that farmers of Sitio Mahalyang of Brgy. Salaysay, an indigenous community (ovu manubo tribe), who are producing high value crops such as banana, cacao, durian, coconut, coffee, and rubber among other crops are the primary beneficiaries of this project. They are living in a place where water is like gold (rare and expensive).
“Farmers in this highland depend solely on rainfall to water their crops. During dry season and in the absence of rain, these farmers fetch water from the river using bigger container, which is laborious and entails additional input expenses”, Gomez said.
She added that due to this constrain, the farmers just plant their vegetation when rain comes and giving all the hope that rain comes again to nourish their newly planted crop. Due to this practice, the mortality rate of their crops is high.
Water in the Household
Samuel Maga, 54, one of the beneficiaries, said that he is grateful for the project in which he benefited not only for his crops but also for his household use.
“Sa una sa wala pa ning water system, didto mi nagakuha ug tubig sa sapa para among gamiton sa balay. Layo kini, dilikado, ug langan sa trabaho (before this project, we fetch water that we use for household from the river, which is very far, risky, and laborious)”, Maga said.
He added that since this project is completed now, clean water is just flowing from the water source down in front of his house.
“Karon, nia na gyud ang tubig sa akong tugkaran, limpyo ug presko (now, clean and water is right here in front of my house),” Maga said.
He said that in his entire life, he never experiences abundant water right in front of his house as this. “Daku akong pasalamat sa DA tungod ani nga proyekto. Daku gyud ug gikatabang kanamong mga IPs” (I am grateful to DA for this project, which greatly help us IPs.
Gateway for more Interventions
MASFA Chair Ronald Resumadero said that since RCI was launched in their area, their livelihood becomes alive. They have now easy access to market because of the farm-to-market road, their crops improved through the provision of planting materials like cacao and other crops, and different trainings were given to the association members to improve their production and income.
“Lain-laing ahensya sa goberno ang nagabisita aron ma improve ang among pagpanguma. Nitaas usab ang palit sa among mga produckto (different government agencies visited us to improve our farming system. Our productivity also increases)”, he said.
He mentioned that almost all of his constituents in MASFA received cacao and rubber seedlings, attended trainings, and receives ‘ayuda’ among other government supports. Some other agencies like department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIPs), Agrarian Reform, and the Local Government of Davao City also enjoined their associations in all assistances they needed to increase their production and income.
“We are hoping that all other government projects that will be implemented in our area will anchor to this Agri-water system given by DA. We also need more of this kind of project so that all other farms will experience abundance of water for farm ang household use.”, Resumadero concluded. via Eve Gicole Deligero