During one of the regular monitoring activities of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD), a farmer-beneficiary caught the attention of the assigned Area Coordinator in Southern Leyte. Fifty-year-old Rolando G. Pelobueno of Brgy. Dao, Bontoc, Southern Leyte is full of determination to succeed with the FY 2019 Mallard Duck Production Project.
The said project consists of 390 mallard ducks, 13 rolls of green polynet, and 39 bags of layer feeds worth Php 5,342,100.00. On June 25, 2019, each of the 13 farmer-beneficiaries received 30 ducks, a roll of green polynet and three (3) bags of layer feeds amounting to Php 32,901.25.
A single-parent, Mr. Pelobueno is one of the recipient of the project. He takes care of his three (3) children by working as a tricycle driver that meagerly earns Php 400.00–650.00 a day.
In a week’s time, a number of ducks already laid eggs. Mr. Pelobueno said that he collects an average of 25–27 eggs/day. Most of the beneficiaries were able to sell them to local residents at Php 6.00/egg.
Due to less income, the beneficiaries had difficulty in supporting the basic needs for the growth and egg production of ducks. As an elected President of the Dao Integrated Farmers Association, Mr. Pelobueno came up with an idea to add value to their product.
Mr. Pelobueno wanted to engage in ’itlog na maalat’’ or salted egg and did inquiries on how to make this. However, no one is responsive. In his eagerness to succeed, he formulated ten (10) trials to find out the right taste. He tapped the assigned SAAD Area Coordinator and the Provincial Veterinary Office of Southern Leyte to validate his output and was not successful.
Fortunately, one of the staff members of the Provincial Veterinary Services Office shared his expertise to the association and performed an actual demonstration of the salted egg processing. Two weeks after the demonstration, the output of Mr. Pelobueno was subjected to free taste test among its members and staff of SAAD Regional Program Management Support Office who were at that time conducting a monitoring visit, to determine which has better flavor considering the egg’s maturity and saltiness. The SAAD Monitoring Team must have liked the salted eggs so much that several orders were made.
As of March 2020, Mr. Pelobueno and his co-recipients already delivered and sold a total of 85 trays directly to RPMSO 8 at a selling price of Php 9/egg. An additional 50 trays were also sold to the local market in Bontoc with a price tag of Php 10/egg.
Mr. Pelobueno is currently earning as much as Php 5,000–7,000/month on this enterprise alone. His future plan is to raise more ducks so that substantial number of eggs will be processed into salted eggs. After having a positive outcome of the project, he is planning to value-add by venturing into balut which can be sold at a price of Php 17.00/egg, 7 pesos more than the salted egg. Meaning to say, a bigger profit would be generated if this will be pursued.
“To be one of the recipients of SAAD Program is such a great privilege for us, knowing that we need extra income to support our family every day. That is the main reason why we need to strive – in order to survive,” said Rolando. ###
Writer: Rovelyn V. Timkang, PPMSO–Southern Leyte Area Coordinator