Enterprise Support to Seaweeds Farmers in Panglima Sugala
Tawi-tawi-Panglima Sugala is one of the top seaweed producing municipalities in Tawi-tawi. Aside from fishing, locals here rely on seaweeds planting where they usually sell dry seaweed.
With a vision of elevating more the lives of other small seaweeds farmers, the Balimbing Seaweed’s Farmer’s and Fisherfolk’s Producer’s Cooperative availed a P3.3 million subproject from the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rural Development Project under its enterprise development component.
Seaweeds farmers in Brgy. Balimbing encountered some challenges such as lack of seaweed seedlings, farming materials, and capital to support their production. Through this assistance, they now have an opportunity to improve and expand their existing seaweed farms and increase seaweed production thereby helping them raise their income and status of life.
To date, they already received eight (8) fabricated boats measuring 18 X 3 feet, eight (8) boat engines, and farm input materials such as seaweeds seedlings, stake, soft tie, nylons, knives, machete, goggles, and gloves.
They already have 58.60% physical progress and they are still waiting for the second tranche for the completion of this project.
According to Norata Soon, president of the seaweed farmer association, implementing the said project was quite challenging due to the demand of documents to be complied with, but they were able to accomplish it through the help of every member in the community.
“Because we badly want this project, all of us work hand in hand to ensure that we will implement it properly. I keep telling my members to take care of this project because it is us who will benefit from it,” said Soon.
Norata Soon has been an outstanding leader in their community where she formerly served as the barangay captain in Barangay Balimbing. Her leadership helped a lot in uniting its members and working towards one common goal.
The association’s objectives are mainly for the benefits, welfare and interests of its members and for the associations’ projects and related concerns. Since this project is in line with the nation’s thrust of rural industrialization and development (PRDP, 2014), its high time to help associations like in Barangay Balimbing, Panglima Sugala, Tawi-Tawi to provide livelihood opportunities and increase income of sustenance fishermen and coastal residents in in this municipality.
In the recent visit and monitoring of the PSO Mindanao and RPCO BARMM, the local government of Panglima Sugala expressed its support to the project especially that it will boost the production. (Joy M. Montecalvo, PSO Mindanao)