“From Fishing to Swine Raising for a Better Future” depicts the success story of One Kauswagan Farmers Association from the municipality of Baliguian, Zamboanga del Norte province. The group received interventions on the Swine Production Project.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy in the Philippines. Improving livelihood for vulnerable communities is the government’s priority.
Swine production plays a major role in ensuring the country’s food security by providing about 60% of the total animal meat consumption of the Filipinos.
The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program helped the organization of the One Kauswagan Farmer’s Association from Baliguian, Zamboanga del Norte on November 14, 2019. The group has 25 members whose main livelihood is fishing. In order to improve their living conditions, the SAAD Program provided them livelihood assistance for swine production.
The local government unit of Baliguian supported the project by providing the hogstel facility that will serve as the reproduction area of the upgraded swine distributed to members.
INNOVATION/ GOOD PRACTICES
The farmers’ eagerness to learn the different techniques in swine production is impressive. They are always joining DA-SAAD’s seminars and training programs to know the newest strategies and techniques on how to raise hogs.
In addition, the DA-SAAD also administered Financial Management and Project Management Training Activities to implement the swine production project effectively and efficiently.
The delayed implementation of the project due to the tedious government procurement process created animosity between members who are enthusiastic and those who lost hope on the realization of the project. However, that has changed now. The members are all smiles as they eagerly volunteered to take care of the hogs, especially the newborn piglets.
Another big challenge of the association is their geographic location. They are at least 100 kilometers away northeast to the municipality of Liloy, which is the growth center and the prospective market for the hogs. The non-operational status of the Sta. Maria Port in the nearby municipality of Siocon is also preventing them from exploring the much bigger market for hogs in the province of Cebu.
Undeterred by the challenges, the association looks forward to becoming a major supplier of fresh and processed meat products in the Triple SB corridor (Sibuco, Sirawai, Siocon, and Baliguian) in Zamboanga del Norte.
Risk is always a factor to consider in the development of the hog industry in Baliguian. The association strictly adheres to the basic rules in raising swine and that is cleanliness and sanitation of the hogstel facility.
Continuous learning sessions for the farmers are also provided to enhance their skills, knowledge, and ability in the comprehensive management of the project. They intend to develop a meat industry anchored on the “from farm to table” concept.
Internal policies, rules, and regulations have also been established to serve as the guidepost in the operation of the project. Each member is expected to adhere to them.
Currently, the project has existing 10 sows; 1 boar. It has distributed a total of 32piglets to 8 members. As of June 30, 2019, the association has established a P105,000.00 savings deposit in Kauswagan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multipurpose Cooperative.
Below are the simple policies that the association has adopted.
- Only four-month-old hogs are to be sold.
- Members are to remit as payment two thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) for every piglet received from the hogstel operation of the association. This is payable after selling of the marketable hogs. The amount shall become the revolving fund for the association.
- In every harvest, each member must give one thousand Pesos (P3,000.00) as an association’s share.
- Attendance of members is a must during monthly meetings.
The Special Area for Agricultural Development is a program of the Department of Agriculture that created a new livelihood strategy for many poor and disadvantaged people in our community. This transformed the members from idle and jobless bystanders to productive swine raisers.
The association expects that its members will eventually value hard work and be more productive with or without the support from various government agencies.
The association envisions to sell frozen fresh meat and other by-products. It sees itself as the main supplier of meat not just in Baliguian but also in adjacent municipalities.
It is highly recommended that government poverty reduction projects like the SAAD Program be sustained. This kind of program brings the government closer to the people and let them feel they have a government to turn to in times of need. The unstable peace and order situation in the area hinders government services in remote areas like the Triple SB. Without sustainable sources of income or livelihood, the youth are prone to join radical groups.
Written by Benhar Abunawas