While others are depending on government aid to survive under the restrictions imposed by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) due to CoViD-19, a farmer from Pasil, Kalinga is reaping what she has sown from the livelihood project provided by the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Mrs. Imelda Bergancia is one of the 220 recipients of the Integrated Banana, Calamansi, Pineapple, Ginger, and Native Pig Production Project of FY 2019 worth Php 11,684,000.00. Among the inputs, she received 20 banana suckers, 10 calamansi seedlings, 40 pineapple slips, one (1) native female pig, three (3) sacks of rice bran, six (6) heads of free-range chicken, and one (1) sack of poultry feeds with a total value of Php 51,000 last September 2019.
Raising pig and chicken is not easy for Mrs. Bergancia, especially after the emergence of the African Swine Fever (ASF) and bird flu in the country. However, she took care of her animals by consistently feeding them, giving them vitamins, and ensuring that they are quarantined from people and potential agents that would likely transfer the virus to the animals.
An immediate impact was her income from pigs and a weekly ration of eggs. As of February 6, 2020, Mrs. Bergancia´s native pig farrowed eight (8) piglets wherein five (5) were sold at Php 2,000 each. She earned a total amount of Php 10,000 which was used for her father’s medication, daily subsistence needs, and feeds for her chicken and pigs. The money left was utilized to expand the pigpen to support the growth of the remaining three (3) pigs.
Also, she harvests 10-14 eggs weekly from her chickens since October last year. As of April 30, 2020, Mrs. Bergancia gathered a total of 336 eggs or 11 trays. She hasn’t sold any because the eggs are for her family’s consumption.
According to Mrs. Bergancia, the interventions may not be given as aid for the pandemic but a means of livelihood and income to support her needs and also for her bedridden father’s medication.
“Gapu iti ECQ ket marigatan kami mapan agbiruk ti kanayunan a kwarta nangruna ta adda pay dagiti kasapulan ni tatang ko a nasakit, isunga inlakok ti lima nga anak ti baboy nga inted ti SAAD,” Mrs Vergancia said.
(Because of the implementation of the ECQ, we had a hard time looking for additional income to support our daily needs, especially my father’s medication. That’s why I decided to sell my five piglets.)
“Namingsan datayu a tinulungan ti gobyerno, adda metten iti benneg tayu nga agsakripisyo a mang taraken tapnu matulungan tayu ti bagbagi kas iti kelaat a panagsangbay ti corona virus, saan tayu a mairuwam nga agu-uray iti ited ti gobyerno” added Mrs. Bergancia.
(The government helped us once; it should be our responsibility to take good care of the given intervention for us to help ourselves especially in times of crisis, just like the unexpected proliferation of CoViD-19.)
Aside from livestock and poultry, Mrs. Bergancia is also cultivating a 30 square meter land area planted with pineapple, calamansi, and banana as part of the integrated project. The pineapples will take about 18 months to harvest the fruit, thus expectedly in June 2021. The calamansi will start to produce fruits in 5 months while the bananas in 9 months. Mrs. Bergancia is hopeful that these plants will give her a bountiful harvest. ###
Writer: Merry Ann Wandas, SAAD Kalinga, Information Officer