KALINGA, January 05, 2021 – Leonie Bassong, 42, a mother of five children and wife of Nelio Bassong, is one of the beneficiaries of the Duck Production sub-project of the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development Program (DA-SAAD). She is among the 34 members benefitting from the sub-project of the Tanglag Fisherfolks and Farmers Irrigators Association (TFFIA) in Tanglag, Lubuagan, Kalinga.
A 4th class municipality, Lubuagan was once the capital of Kalinga before Tabuk rose to its present status as the center of learning and government activities.
Tanglag is one of the 9 barangays of Lubuagan inhabited by a distinct ethnolinguistic tribe, with its own territory and peace pacts. It is composed of four sitios or clustered settlements namely: Liglig, Bannong, Gaang, and Sukiap. It is second among the 9 barangays with a high poverty incidence, according to the 2015 community-based monitoring survey, and one of the identified End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) barangays, according to the Department of Interior and Local Government.
In 2020, the DA-SAAD in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) expanded its program in Tanglag, Lubuagan, wherein TFFIA was selected to implement the Integrated Root Crop, Vegetable, Fruit Trees, and Poultry Production Project.
Leonie Bassong hails from a family engaged in farming. She spends her time doing farm work such as planting rice, monggo, eggplant, tomato, and other vegetables; and raising ducks and chicken at their family-owned 1-hectare farm mainly for food consumption.
In August 2020, 19 beneficiaries out of 34 of TFFIA received duck production inputs while the other 15 beneficiaries received intervention for chicken production.
Fruit trees and vegetable production interventions were also given to the group as a capital for their integrated farming. The interventions received by the 34 beneficiaries are valued at Php 1.9 million.
“Agyamanak ta maysaak nga napagasatan nga napili a benepisyario ti DA-SAAD Program. Kas maysa a benepisyario aramidek ti kabaelak tapnu maparang-ay dagitoy inted yu nga pag-sayaatan me (I am thankful because I’m one of the beneficiaries of the DA-SAAD Program. As such, I will do my best to develop these interventions that you gave me),” Leonie said.
Leonie implemented integrated farming near her home in about one-hectare area. Her poultry house is built beside her fishpond for the ducks to utilize. Her fruit trees and vegetable plants, on the other hand, are situated at the slope next to the pond.
Having experience in duck raising, she makes sure to give care and proper management by providing them with good housing facilities and sufficient nutrition. In addition to commercial feeds, she also uses locally available raw materials such as kangkong and freshwater snails to feed the ducks – helping to save on production cost.
Meanwhile, she gathers the duck manure for decomposition and later uses this to fertilize her crops.
“Mayat ti agtaraken ti patu basta adda nasayaat ken nalawa nga pangikabilan tapnu masigurado ti panag-adu da (Duck raising is good as long as you have enough space to ensure better production),” Leonie shared.
In November 2020, her ducks started to lay eggs producing 147 pieces (pc) in the first five months, wherein 37 eggs were apportioned for food consumption, 90 were hatched, and 20 eggs were unhatched.
In the following months, a better production rate was observed due to good management practices as she continued providing sufficient food and water to the stocks. The poultry house was also improved to avoid exposure of eggs to rainwater.
In March 2021, she started to sell her stocks. The price ranged from Php 250-500 per head depending on the size. A total of 46 ducks were sold as of September 2021 amounting to Php 16,420 with a net income of Php 10,410 (Table 1).
With the popularity of online selling or e-marketing, Leonie used this platform to promote and market her ducks that resulted in frequent farm visits from her friends to purchase stocks, eventually increasing her sales.
Table 1. Leonie Bassong’s Duck Production Income from March-September 2021
From her sales, Leonie was able to sustain feeds for her stocks, provide food for her family, and contribute 5% of her income to the organization for additional funds.
“Kas maysa nga agtartaraken ti patu dati, haan mi napanunot nga agilaku. Agtareken kami lang tapnu adda pagal-an ti sida ken ipasida nu adda ti bisita. Agyaman kami ta adda kau nga nangited kadakami ti kapanunutan tapnu agilako kami ti tarake (As a duck raiser before, we did not mind selling the duck we raised. We just raise ducks for our food consumption and the visitors. We are thankful for capacitating us to become entrepreneurs),” she stated.
During the rainy season in the month of June 2021, the duckling’s mortality rate increased. Leonie reported 157 mortality cases as the family needed to go to the city and no one was left to feed and attend to the stocks. The inattention on their part is a lesson learned which Leonie would not let happen in the future. An improved housing from roofing to flooring was installed to avoid chilling of stocks and also damage egg produce.
“Idi umad adu ti natay nga piyyek ti patu ket naawanan nak ti ganas ngem gapu ta adda kayo nga mangtultuloy nga agmonmonitor ken agiguide ket maengganyo ak nga ipapati nga alagaan dagitoy taraken mi. Akas kunada garud, Habang may buhay, may pag-asa (When I experienced the decreasing number of my ducklings, I was losing hope but due to your constant monitoring and guidance I was urged to continue raising them. And as they say, there is always hope in life),” she shared.
The monitoring team suggested improving the stocks’ housing as this was the hindrance seen to producing more eggs.
Additional skills and knowledge in the proper management of ducks were acquired by Leonie when she attended training on Duck Production and Salted Egg Processing conducted by the program from September 14 to 15, 2021. Value-adding processes were provided to help them market their produce at a higher price in the future.
“Agyaman kami ta adda daytoy naited nga training ket nadagdagan ti ammu mi nu kasanu dagiti ustu nga panagtaraken ti patu (We are thankful for the training because we were given additional technical knowledge in raising ducks),” Leonie said.
TFFIA members engaged in duck production are mostly women (13 out of 19). Being a member with the most produce, Leonie encouraged her co-beneficiaries to improve their duck production management for better productivity.
The association is implementing a policy of 5% sales contribution to the organization. The organization plans to build a duck enterprise supplying the community and nearby areas with a high demand for duck meat and eggs in line with the duck multiplier farm project in 2022.
“Dakkel nga iyaman mi ti DA-SAAD-CAR ken kadakayu nga implementor ti programa ta adda kau nga nakatulong ti organisasyon ken ti umili (Our deep gratitude to the DA-SAAD-CAR and implementers of the program in helping our organization as well as to the community),” Leonard Wacdag, TFFIA President shared.
“Nu dati ket agtaraken kami lang para kanyami. Tadta na engganyo ken na challenge kami nga agilaku (We just raised ducks for food consumption before, but now we are motivated and challenged to engage in duck enterprise),” he added. ###
Writer: Semion P. Beligan, Community Development Officer I-Kalinga