Through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Sustaining Support Services Intervention (SSI) project, the Mangyan-Iraya Tribe of Sitio Alacaak, Brgy. Barogante was able to re-establish the first-ever grape orchard in Sta. Cruz, Occidental Mindoro, two years after it was hit by Typhoon Josie.
Last 2018, grape seedlings were given by the office of Atty. Macario De Villa, Chief of DSWD’s Risk Management and Quality Assurance Division (then Deputy Program Manager for Administration of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program). However, half of it was uprooted due to heavy rains brought by said typhoon.
The SSI Project is a part of the DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) intervention for the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) beneficiaries that aims to address food security among IPs by building their livelihood while maximizing resources within their community.
To assist the tribe, the DSWD in partnership with Municipal Agricultural Office (MAO) and Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), provided skills training on Grape Production and Management to 21 members of the Iraya tribe. The training was identified since they already have an existing grape farm.
The IPs also received supplemental grape seedlings from DSWD to re-establish and improve the grape orchard along with a training on Organic Fertilizer Production. After several months, the orchard started to produce grapes.
“Masayang-masaya po kami dahil namunga [na] ang ubasan. Napagkasunduan po namin na upang mapanatili ito, tuwing Sabado ang paglilinis at palagian ang pagdidilig pagdating ng tag-araw. Nagpapasalamat ako sa pagod at pakikiisa ng kapwa ko katutubo. Lalong-lalo na sa DSWD [dahil] naabot niyo kami kahit malayo ang aming lugar. Umulan [man] o umaraw”, said Genesis Aglanuhan, 33, a MCCT beneficiary since 2014.
Moreover, Tony Aglanuhan, another MCCT beneficiary, mentioned that the orchard will soon provide for their families as long as the community unites to improve its operation.
The tribe now plans to improve the existing farming system and eventually adopt a systemic farming operations that suit the area’s weather conditions.
The Iraya tribe maintaining the grape farm.
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