OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, May 05, 2020 – Department of Agriculture – Region 4B and DA-SAAD (Special Area for Agricultural Development) officers, along with staff of local government units (LGU) and farmer-beneficiaries in select municipalities of Occidental Mindoro convened last March 10-11, 2020 for consultative meetings in response to DA’s strengthened measures to contain and manage African Swine Fever (ASF) in the province.
Since the confirmation of the outbreak in 2019, strict monitoring and lockdowns have been implemented in different areas of the country prompting regional and local arms of the DA to reach out to beneficiaries in the municipalities of Magsaysay and Abra de Ilog for necessary arrangement and modifications on affected interventions.
Consultation meeting with beneficiaries in the Municipality of Magsaysay
The consultative meeting was conducted in Magsaysay, last 10 March, 2020 between the DA-SAAD provincial arm with Vilmar Robes (SAAD Area Coordinator in Magsaysay), the LGU, and 24 beneficiaries of Brgy. Calawag and Laste.
According to Ms. Josephine de Sales, DA-4B Planning Officer, in accordance to a directive from the DA-SAAD National Program Management Office (NPMO), this consultation aims to adjust swine production program to alternative available interventions for the beneficiaries.
“Kinansela na lahat ng swine procurement, buong Pilipinas po iyon. Kahit wala pa sa ibang area ay talagang itinigil na ng DA (swine procurement has been totally refocused, this applies to the entire Philippines for SAAD program. Despite not having confirmed reports in some areas, the DA decided to stop [swine-related interventions]),” she added.
Results and Agreements: Fifteen (15) identified beneficiaries from Brgy. Calawag who attended the consultation decided to venture on ready-to-lay chicken program. This grant comes with feeds and vitamins and a chicken shelter. On the other hand, Brgy. Laste beneficiaries selected the improved native chicken program, where each member is bound to receive a total of 11 chicken heads (10 female and 1 male) supplemented with feeds (patuka or crack corn and darak).
Consultation meeting with beneficiaries in the Municipality of Abra de Ilog
In another meeting, four (4) groups of beneficiaries from Brgy. Balao and Brgy. Lumang Bayan were called for a consultation the following day, March 11, 2020.
Results and Agreements: Brgy. Lumang Bayan, consisting of two groups of beneficiaries elected for goat-raising project that comes with shelter, fencing and development of potential habitation or pasture.
On the other hand, one of the two groups of beneficiaries from Brgy. Balao preferred ready-to-lay chicken project with shelter, feeds and vitamins, while the other group insisted on pursuing swine production.
Thus, the municipal agriculturist, Mr. Julius Judelito Amodia, settled on a re-dispersal of swine multiplied from the 2019 swine production project which has produced 50 sows (adult female pig) and 5 boars (adult male pig). Beneficiaries from Brgy. Balao agreed to return (2) piglets, one (1) for the LGU and one (1) for the member. Presently, piglets are ready to be distributed to the next batch of swine production beneficiaries.
Aside from intervention arrangements, the DA officers discussed production and enterprise opportunities to the beneficiaries.
Writer: Marshall Louie Asis, DA SAAD-4B Information Officer
Sources: Photos by Marshall Louie Asis, DA SAAD-4B Information Officer