Depicts the success story of Mr. Vicente Maglangit, a Senior Citizen and one of the members of Linamon Fisherfolk and Agricultural Cooperative (LIFACO) in Linamon, Lanao del Norte
While many Filipinos have profound attachments to plants to cope with the CoViD-19 pandemic, there are also a good number of rural farmers who have turned to fish farming.
Mr. Vicente “Manong Inti” Becoy Maglangit, 66, is one of the project recipients of the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)’s Special Area for Agricultural (SAAD) Program in Lanao Del Norte under the FY 2020 Tilapia Culture in Pond Project. He ventured into vegetable farming and livestock production, generated income, and built a house.
“Mao na ni akong abot, Sir. Salamat sa inyong SAAD Program. [This is all that I’ve got, Sir. Thanks to SAAD Program]” he proudly said. “Daku kayo ang natabang sa akong pamilya. Naa na gyud mi bag-ong balay [It helps my family. We have our new house now].”
Prior to his venture into fish farming, Manong Inti was a hardworking father of six, and a tenant who worked as coconut harvester and buko juice peddler. He spent most of his time working to support his family. As he aged, he has already stopped and ventured into vegetable farming. However, with limited financial capital, he was not able to expand his farm and his harvest is limited for family consumption only.
After the CoViD-19 pandemic outbreak, the impacts have led to severe and widespread increases in global food insecurity due to closure of businesses, limited access to transportation, lockdowns, and restricted marketing activities.
Vulnerable individuals like senior citizens, were not allowed to go out and almost everyone was out of work, not to be deprived of their liberty but to provide protection.
Manong Inti decided to rehabilitate his existing small pond and expanded it to 500 square meters.
During the second year of the implementation of the SAAD Program in Lanao Del Norte, Manong Inti was chosen as a beneficiary and received 2,500 pieces of tilapia fingerlings, 15 bags of feeds, and a training on tilapia grow-out culture and feeding management in July 2020.
On December 27, 2020, he harvested 300 kilograms (kg) of tilapia and generated Php 23,000 in the first cropping. With the cash on hand, he decided to venture into integrated farming with fish ponds, crops, vegetables, and livestock along with general farming practices which support each other in the farm he occupied as a tenant.
He also allocated a certain amount to buy piglets, chicks, and ducks for his livestock production, and organic fertilizers for his vegetables and crops. He also excavated three more backyard fish ponds within the farm.
In March 2021, he received the second batch of project inputs from the program through the BFAR such as 5,000pc tilapia fingerlings, 35 bags of feeds, and vegetable seeds and fertilizers through the Municipal Agriculture Office of Linamon.
He continued to work harder with his dedication and passion. Eventually his efforts bore fruit and already has his fair share from growing crops and vegetables and raising livestock.
He generated an income of Php 22,500 from his livestock, and Php 42,000 from his crops and vegetables while waiting for the 2nd cropping harvest of tilapia in September 2021.
With the income he earned from the program, he allocated funds for the third cropping of his fish ponds as well as the inputs for livestock and vegetable production. A new simple 2-storey house with a sari-sari store to support their needs is the greatest fruit of his labor.
Manong Inti could hardly stop expressing his emotion and shared, “Dako akuang pasalamat sa BFAR-SAAD ug sa LGU Linamon nga ako nahimong usa ka beneficiaryo niining programa kay usa kini nga nakatabang sa pagpaskwela sa akuang mga anak, nakatukod ko ug balay ug gamay nga tindahan.”
(I am very grateful to BFAR-SAAD and LGU Linamon for making me one of the project beneficiaries, because this program has helped me send my children to school, build a house with a small sari-sari store.)
“Mapasalamaton ako sa BFAR-PFO-Lanao ug sa SAAD staff sa maayong pagdala sa maong program bisan paman sa atuang kahimtang karun sa panahon sa pandemya, naa japun sila nga naga gabay aron pag-asis ug paghatag ug assistance,” he further said.
(I am also thankful to the BFAR-PFO Lanao del Norte and SAAD Staff for their good implementation of the project, even though we are now in a pandemic, they are always guiding us and providing (technical) assistance.)
From 500 square meters’ pond area, he now has 2,500sqm for tilapia, two sows, 15 chickens, and a hectare farm land for the production of assorted crops and vegetables. He also became one of the advocates of the integrated farming system and tilapia culture in ponds in barangay Magoong. He even started selling tilapia fingerlings in his locality.
Before, he has nothing, now he has something to share and contribute to their locality, proving success in integrated farming.
Writer: Al Jun Barbon Magamano, Focal Person, BFAR SAAD Lanao Del Norte
Editors: Myer Mula, Ulysses Lustria, Jr., Jhomai Canlas, and Jennifer Valcobero