BUKIDNON, June 2, 2020 – Some 125 rice farmers in Kalabugao and Hagpa in Impasug-ong became twice as productive through the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), earning not just from their rice yield but also from their pastime, which is raising ducks.
On October 15, 2019, 125 members of the Hagpa and Kalabugao SAAD Farmers Associations received a total of 2,350 head of Itik Pinas (Native Philippine Ducks) amounting to Php 1.3 million under the Integrated Agricultural Livelihood Project of SAAD FY 2019.
Each member received a module of either 22 or 18 heads of ducks, promising extra farm income for the farmers.
“Amu lang gikalingawan og atiman ang among mga bebe. Karon nagsugod na sila og pangitlog nalingaw na gyud hinuon mi. Unhanay mi kada buntag pangolekta sa mga itlog. Maka income gyud baya mi ani nga project,” [We took care of the ducks as pastime routine. We started to appreciate it when the ducks started to lay eggs. Now every morning we race to the barn to collect our ducks’ eggs. Indeed, we can earn from this project] said Eugene Ragmac, a 52-year-old SAAD farmer in Barangay Hagpa.
In a span of 3 months, Mr. Ragmac and his family collected at least 2,458 duck eggs. The eggs are sold at Php 7 each. He earned a total of Php 17,206.
“Duck egg production has huge potential considering the untapped demand in the local and neighboring towns’ market. Significantly, the project is manageable by our farmers and highly suitable to our SAAD-adopted areas in Impasugong since it is predominantly rice areas with a ready water source,” Impasugong Senior Agriculturist Engr. Ruel Gomez averred.
Aside from a daily dose of protein for their family, other project recipients in the area also started to earn from their duck barn, harvesting eggs produced.
To maximize the project’s potential, the SAAD farmer-beneficiaries are considering to acquire incubators for them to engage in balut and day-old ducklings production.
Noting challenges encountered by the farmers, the local government unit is planning to train the farmers on alternative feed formulation to help them become cost-effective in managing the project.
Meanwhile, SAAD Region 10 will support the farmers by providing them animal feeds. The farmers will receive their feed subsidy in June 2020. ###
Writer: Azbie Talib, SAAD RPMSO 10, Information Officer