Mountain Province is the poorest among the provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region with a 17.2% poverty incidence rate recorded by the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2018.
Bontoc, located at the heart of Mountain Province, has an agricultural land with a total area of 9,214 hectares. Its people are engaged in farming rice, corn, and other grains as well as backyard gardening of fruits and vegetables. Aside from farming, most women in the municipality leave their town to look for jobs in the cities or become on-call domestic helpers.
In Barangay Dalican, most families just make ends meet with little income because they don’t want to leave their families.
Thankfully, a little hope was given to the Dalican households when staff of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) reached the place in 2019. To be a beneficiary of the program, 20 farmers grouped themselves into an organization, which was named Channeg Farmer’s Association (CFA).
Channeg refers to the strip of bamboo used to manually bind palay using “lekem” which is a piece of sharpened metal mounted in a short piece of wood, good enough to be gripped in between the second and third finger to cut the palay stalk during harvest season.
Dalican was chosen as the covered area of SAAD in the province and CFA was one of its group beneficiaries. The identified farmers are so grateful for the agricultural livelihood project in store for them.
|Table 1. CFA Project Interventions|
In June 2020, the association received 1,000 quail birds, poultry feeds, multi-vitamins, dewormers, two units of pre-fabricated cages with waterer and feeder, two units of quail housing, and cyclone wire worth Php 285,092.00.
Production and income
After two months since the birds were provided, the group was able to gather 52,304 quail eggs and sold with the assistance of the Provincial Veterinary Office. They earned a total of Php 104,608.00 from selling quail eggs at Php 2.00 each.
“Arapaap mi nga i-sustain ti feeding ken i-expand ti quail egg production nga business mi manipud iti sales mi ken Kayat mi agbalin nga pioneer iti quail egg production haan lang nga iti munisipyo nu di ket iti intiro nga probinsya,” said CFA bookkeeper Jennifer Foyacao.
(We are looking forward to sustaining while expanding our quail egg production business through buying additional stocks and feeds from our sales while slowly aiming to become the pioneer in quail egg production not only in the municipality but in the whole province.)
She added that they wanted to focus on their production until such time that they can explore and get into production expansion by hatching and brooding to replace their original stocks.
Table 2. Profit Computation of 1,000 quail layers from July to August
|Month||Total quail eggs gathered
|Feed Cost (Php 31.00/kg)
*For every 50 quail birds consume a kilo of feeds per day
From 1,000 quail layers, the group made a profit of Php 67,408.00 in two months. In 2021, they are planning to purchase an additional 200 birds and feeds using their own savings.
Ms. Focayao said that, economically, quail raising is a very promising project because of their surprising advantages over their larger cousins and even other animals, namely:
a) They are cheap.
b) Their eggs are smaller (around a quarter the size of a chicken egg) but can be used just like chicken eggs and are good candidates for canning or pickling.
c) Quails are easy to maintain. They require less space than chicken.
d) These birds aren’t choosy when it comes to laying their eggs so there’s no need to construct a separate nesting box.
e) They’re not picky eaters.
f) Quails aren’t picky homeowners.
g) You can use their waste to fertilize your garden.
The group looks forward to gradually expanding their business and supply other private individuals or groups, who are planning to engage in the same business. Part of their long term goal is becoming the quail egg supplier in the province.
According to Divina Dangilan, the CFA Chairperson, a lot of their customers are now interested in joining their quail production. She sees that as an advantage as many members would mean more suppliers of quail eggs, which could potentially reach municipality-wide. ###
Writer: Dinah Ay-yango, Information Officer, Mt. Province
Copy Editor: Jennifer Valcobero, SAAD NPMO Public Relation and Comms Officer
American Survival Guide. 2017. Why You Should Start Raising Quail. November 15.