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DA's poverty reduction program getting bigger budget.

The Department of Agriculture's (DA) poverty reduction program is getting a bigger budget for 2019 after being cited as having posted positive gains in addressing productivity and poverty in the rural areas.

A report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) stated that the DA's SAAD program, or Special Area for Agricultural Development, had greatly helped the rural poor with its intervention programs, including in the areas of poultry raising, food processing, fish drying and fish packaging.

The program, which started at the beginning of President Duterte's term, will get a budget hike of 57 percent to P1.71 billion in 2018 from P721 million this year.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol is hoping to double that figure by 2020.

SAAD focuses on the country's 10 poorest provinces as part of the President's directive to increase food production and alleviate poverty by looking at the weaknesses of an area and its potential in food production.

The DA also uses the strategy project to give livelihood programs that are tailored-fit to the needs of the residents.

'What we're doing is we're asking the recipients what they want. It's a program based on what the clients need... If they want carabaos, we give them carabaos. If they want livestock, we give them livestock,' Pinol explained.

The PSA has identified Lanao del Sur, Eastern Samar, Apayao, Maguindanao, Zamboanga del Norte, Sarangani, North Cotabato, Negros Oriental, and Northern and Western Samar as the poorest provinces in the country.

These areas, with poverty rates ranging between 67 percent and 43 percent, also receive priority with the agency's credit access programs.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jun 15, 2018
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