THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Central Visayas allotted close to P80 million on the projects and activities implemented under the Special Area for Agricultural Development (Saad) program from 2017 to 2019.
More than P15 million was allotted in 2017, P27 million in 2018 and P37 million in 2019.
According to BFAR-Central Visayas, the Saad program benefited 157 fisherfolk organizations and 2,372 individuals.
The agency implemented 61 projects in the provinces of Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor. The projects include aquaculture, capture fisheries, and post-harvest technology projects.
The Saad program is an initiative of the Department of Agriculture intended to help alleviate poverty among the marginalized sectors in agriculture and fishery.
BFAR-Central Visayas said the program is designed to empower fisherfolk by providing them better opportunities to improve their livelihood and increase their income.
It is composed of four major components: program management, social preparation, production and livelihood interventions, and marketing assistance and enterprise development.
Saad projects were rolled out first in Negros Oriental in 2017, Siquijor in 2018 and Bohol in 2019.
BFAR-Central Visayas said that various projects were established, such as pond culture, marine fish cages, freshwater fish farms, seaweed culture, and shellfish culture.
Under the capture fisheries sector, beneficiaries received fishing gears, gill nets, fish corrals, and fiberglass boats with a marine engine, among other fishing materials.
Post-harvest technologies were also distributed, such as fish processing equipment, stainless table, value-adding materials, and an ice-making machine.
BFAR-Central Visayas said that the Saad program is implemented within three years:
• First year - beneficiaries are provided individually with projects that help augment their livelihood
• Second year - fisherfolk are formed into organizations and provided with skills development training
• Third year - they are trained to handle fishery enterprise that they will have to manage independently on their own. (SunStar Cebu from PR)