The farmers remain steadfast and motivated to continually produce food for all despite the threats of the global pandemic, exhibiting the values of cooperation and solidarity among agriculture’s frontliners. Regardless of the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in the prior months, the 26 members of the Balete Chicken Growers Association (BACGA) managed to start their business.
BACGA, a newly-formed farmers group in the town of Bayabas, Surigao del Sur, is now starting to appreciate poultry production. The association is a recipient of native chicken production project with a total amount of Php 833,136 under the Department of Agriculture – Caraga’s Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program.
“While most of the small businesses are facing temporary closures due to the threats of the pandemic, our association is just starting. We think that it’s not yet too late for us to set-up this kind of agri-enterprise,” said Nenita D. Dalayan, BACGA president.
In August 2019, the members were trained to manage a small-scale poultry enterprise. This includes poultry health management, entrepreneurial development, and capability training to ensure an engaged workforce among its members.
Aside from the technical support, part of the intervention is the provision of two poultry houses, two plastic drums, incubator, and drugs and biologics.
On April 21, 2020, the group received 180 native chickens and feed support for two production cycles. Since then, they were able to produce an average of 60 eggs every week and sell them within their community for Php 7.00 each. After two months they were able to generate an income of Php 7,260.00, of which 30% will be given to the association fund while 70% will be shared by the members.
“We are now starting to provide fresh table eggs in our barangay. This excites us because we have now a sure market on our produce. The project also gives hope to the members as this provides supplemental income for them,” Dalayan said.
Barangay Captain Per Acierto said that the project benefited not just the beneficiaries but their community as well since the nearby barangays have the opportunity to avail BACGA’s fresh eggs.
“We are delighted for this very timely project. Residents don’t need to travel anymore just to buy eggs because it is already accessible here in our barangay at an affordable price,” Barangay Captain Acierto said.
Acierto added that the intervention given to the group does not only generate income but also strengthens the cooperativeness of each member as they actively do their assigned task in keeping their poultry ventures operational.
Presently, the association has pending orders. Part of their plan is to integrate egg incubation for them to also sell chicks and live animals to local buyers and food establishments that offer native chicken recipes.
“We are glad that the group became our partner in producing food for the people in this trying time. The SAAD project is the DA’s investment to provide food for each household and create jobs in the community. In just a few months, the project is already achieving positive responses from our beneficiaries. We are looking forward that eventually, this will also turn out to have positive impacts,” said Abel James I. Monteagudo, DA-Caraga Regional Executive Director.
Director Monteagudo said that the SAAD Program will continually assist the beneficiaries and monitor the intervention to ensure the proper implementation and execution of the operation to achieve the project objectives. ###
Writer: Rhea C. Abao, DA-Caraga Information Officer II
Photo by: Rosmyr Bulatin- Bayabas, SDS Area Coordinator