Lucy B. Espanilla or Nanay Lucy, 67, is the only parent to her grandchild and has done everything in her power including harvesting salago fibers (𝘞𝘪𝘬𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘢 𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘢; fibers used in banknotes and other fabrics) and weaving pandan (𝘗𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘶𝘴 𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘶𝘴) mats to earn a living. All these were accomplished while plowing and harvesting crops from her approximately two-hectare rainfed field in Mapalasan, La Libertad, Negros Oriental.
Despite no irrigation facility, Nanay Lucy continued to farm to provide food and support for her school-aged granddaughter, Anne Marie.
In 2018, a government project is a breakthrough for Nanay Lucy in terms of how she makes a living. On October 10 the same year, she and other 14 individual farmers in La Libertad received a total of Php 52,000 worth intervention from the Goat Production Project of the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program. The package included one buck, four does, grower feeds, and materials for goat sheds.
Table 1. Nanay Lucy’s Interventions received under SAAD’s FY 2018 Goat Production Project
She took a break from cultivating crops when she received the goats, focusing most of her time raising the herd.
Nanay Lucy uses the goat dung as an organic fertilizer for her crops. She doesn’t have to buy fertilizers for her bananas, coconuts, and the forages she used as a food source for the goats.
On June 7, 2019, she turned over four goats to the Mapalasan Women’s Association of which she is a member. She gave another one on February 7, 2020, completing the obligation to replace the same number of goats provided by SAAD so that other farmers may benefit from the program.
Eventually, she was able to sell four goats in December 2020. “Ang akong income sa upat (4) ka kanding nga akong gibaligya ni about ug Php 15,800. Ma-o ni akong gigamit para ipa-ayo sa among balay ug gipalit sa mga gamit sa panimalay,” Nanay Lucy shared.
(My income has reached Php 15,800 after selling four goats. The earnings were used for renovating our house – specifically the front part of their house and the flooring and for buying goods for the family.)
The house renovation started early in January 2021. She added that she had also spared some for her granddaughter’s allowance.
Nanay Lucy’s herd has grown from five to 11 goats because of her dedication and hard work.
Table 2. Nanay Lucy’s Goat Production Inventory
Table 3. Nanay Lucy’s Goat Production Income from 2018-2021
The last time she sold one of the goat kids was in April 2021 due to insufficient staple food as their family was greatly affected by the pandemic. Despite having inadequate resources, she still shared two goat kids to her two grandchildren.
Nanay Lucy still faces a hurdle because low-priced livestock is extremely common in their town. To help avoid opportunistic intermediaries, the Municipal Agriculture Office of La Libertad promised to help her find direct buyers.
She is currently very inclined to dedicate her time to herding her goats because this herd has the potential to make Php 40,000 in profit. She even plans to fence her farm to safeguard the herd from the attacks of stray animals. ###
Writer: Jolina Daño, SAAD Region 7 Information Officer
Editors: Myer Mula, Ulysses Lustria, Jr., Jhomai Canlas, and Natalianne Marie Delos Reyes
Source: Jehson Campos, SAAD Area Coordinator for La Libertad