RTNMC through their Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) turns over vegetable seedlings for farmers of Barangay Buliluyan (Photo courtesy of Melissa Didik, RTNMC)

Three thousand seedlings have been distributed to the indigent farmers group in Barangay Buliluyan for the plantation of vegetables as livelihood source of the community.

Community organizer Melissa Didik said that the association of farmers have initial members of 25 families and grew to 40 families in August.

The vegetables seedlings distributed to the indigenous people (IP) in the community of Brgy. Buliluyan is part of the livelihood support from the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) of Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC).

“Initiative ito ng community, sila kasi kung ano yong nakasanayan nila na hanapbuhay, yon na lang din ang pini-present nila sa amin na ganito yong gusto nila kasi ganito yong mapapakinabangan nila at saka madali sila magbenta,” she said Thursday.

The community relations started the meetings with the community in July and the complete turn over of seedlings, some kilos of peanuts and bananas was on August 17.

According to Didik, IPs usually plant corn, peanut, and banana. However, the corn was planted late from its timeline so they have to substitute it with vegetables.

She said that the peanuts could be harvested by the last week of September or first week of October as it grows fast.

“Policy namin na kunyare nagtanim sila mani, doon din sila kukuha ng seeds nila para sa susunod,” she said.

She said that the plantation area is one hectare for vegetables, bananas, and peanuts. The IPs have already planted 250 bananas, 80 kilos of peanuts and seedlings of vegetables around the tribal hall of Buliluyan.

She expected that the current members would increase on the next years as the community would witness the benefits of the program.

She said that this could also serve as additional income for farmers in upland farming who wait for their harvest season.

“Dati kasi yong iba parang walang pakialam, nakikita naman nila na ito ay lumalaki na, ang sisipag na ng mga tao, usually yong mga nagkakaaway-away, nagtatampuhan, lumalapit na gusto rin maghanapbuhay, nagkakaroon sila ng relationship na dapat tulong-tulong,” she said.

The program has an allotted budget of 46,000 pesos for the year 2019 distributed for the plantation of corn, vegetable and bananas from SDMP.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.