Agusan del Sur’s USAD program is Top 10 in Galing Pook Awards 2021

PROSPERIDAD, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 23 Oct) — The Upland Sustainable Agri-forestry Development (USAD) Convergence Program, the centerpiece program of the provincial government to uplift the lives of impoverished farmers in the upland villages, was picked as one of the Top 10 Outstanding Local Governance Programs in the country.

The Galing Pook Awards 2021 picked Agusan del Sur for its best practices in helping farmers in the hinterland areas become more productive in a sustainable way with proper technology interventions and for them to nurture these partnership as stakeholders for development.

Farmer Joseph Cajeras stands with his four-year old falcatta trees, Photo courtesy of USAD program – Agusan del Sur.

USAD was the brainchild of former governor and now District 2 Rep. Adolph Edward Plaza in 2013 after the December 4, 2012  super typhoon Pablo struck, devastating most upland farming communities.

The affected farmers were given farm inputs and proper technology and as “farmer-enrollees” had to commit to nurture their farms to become productive.

Gov. Santiago Cane, Jr. said more than 5,000 USAD “farmer-enrollees” have started to improve their lives especially those engaged in banana and falcatta tree farming. “Our main goal is to reduce poverty incidence of our people,” Cane said after he accepted the Galing Pook Awards 2021 virtual ceremony on October 20.

Expressing gratitude to Galing Pook Awards 2021 organizing body., Rep. Plaza issued a press statement saying: “This recognition is not only a testament to the hard work and strong collaboration of local government units, various government agencies and farmer-enrollees, but it is also an inspiration to launch more innovative programs that will improve people’s lives.”

The awardees were from different cities, municipalities, and provinces across the country, recognized by the organizers of  Galing Pook Awards from among 206 entries and later trimmed down to 22 until the judges chose the top ten.

“The province of Agusan del Sur’s USAD program was a game changer for Agusanons. Its recovery and rehabilitation strategy led to the conservation of resources and poverty reduction among upland barangays,” said a press statement from Galing Pook Foundation. (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)