BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
Twenty-four farmers’ associations in Negros Occidental and Antique received P1.34 million worth of free-range native chickens from the Department of Agriculture Special Area for Agricultural Development program in Western Visayas.
The program, that will be funded from the DA budget this year, seeks to augment the income of marginalized farmers in Calatrava and Moises Padilla in Negros Occidental, and the uplands of Laua-an and San Remigio in Antique, who rely on farming for their livelihood and income, Dominador Marquez, DA-SAAD Region 6 focal person, said.
“We will not be able to reach our target if not for the support of our partner local government units. Despite the limited movement in the region, we doubled our efforts to promptly deliver the interventions which could somehow ease the burdens of the farmers who are also facing the threats of the pandemic,” he said.
The municipalities of Calatrava and Moises Padilla were added as project sites in the second year implementation of the SAAD program in the region due to the high poverty incidence rate.
A total of 360 heads of native chicken, worth P252,000, were distributed to six farmers’ groups in Calatrava, along with P36,000 worth of drugs and biologics, and 78 bags of chicken feed worth P109,200.
In Moises Padilla, six farmers’ associations received 420 native chicken stocks, worth P294,000, with drugs and biologics amounting to P42,000, and P127,400 worth of feeds.
As counterpart, the beneficiaries shall provide appropriate housing for the native chickens, and were urged to insure the project with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation so that they could avail of assistance if there are mortalities caused by natural calamities or disease outbreak.
“If the beneficiaries will provide the proper care and management, the free-range chickens will undoubtedly multiply in the coming months,” Marquez said.
For Antique, seven farmers’ associations in San Remigio will be able to expand their native chicken production after receiving 785 breeder stocks worth P592,000, P78,000 worth of drugs and biologics, and 83 bags of commercial feeds priced at P116,200, while four farmers’ groups in Laua-an received 300 heads worth P210,000, P30,000 in drugs and biologics, and P91,000 worth of feeds.
The native chicken production in the SAAD sites will address the shortage of supply in the two provinces where the demand is seen to rise during the Christmas season, Marquez said.*