BOHOL, May 27, 2022 – The Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program’s first carabao calf born from the FY 2019 Integrated Vegetable and Carabao Production Project in Region 7 meets its new owners on May 5, 2022 in Nueva Esperanza, Bien Unido, Bohol.
Nueva Esperanza Farmers’ Association (NESFA) with 65 active members is a recipient of the FY 2019 Integrated Vegetable and Carabao Production Project. The Carabao-based production project has a budget allocation of Php 2.11 million under the 2019 budget, of which Php 1.8 million was for the procurement of heifer carabaos through fund transfer to the local government unit (LGU) of Bien Unido. The remaining Php 310,000 was for the purchase of starter feeds (120 bags molasses, 180 bags pollard and 60 bags rice bran) purchased through DA Region 7 procurement received by the beneficiaries in the same year.
Table 1. FY 2019 Integrated Vegetable and Carabao Production in Bien Unido
There are 30 first-in-line beneficiaries for the carabao production where in September 2021, the first calf born and roll-over scheme fulfillment was given to Mr. Marcelo Ewican, one of the five next-in-line NESFA member-recipients of the said project.
Expressing his gratitude as a project recipient, Marcelo said he will teach the calf to plow the field accordingly.
“Salamat sa kabaw, dako kaayo ning tabang diri kanako. Ako ‘ning amumahon ug tudloan nakog daro samtang bata pa para makatabang nako sa pagpananum,” he shared.
(Thank you for providing the carabao. This is a huge help for me in my farming activities. I will take good care of this intervention and will teach her (calf) how to plow the land since she is still young [eight-months old]).
One of the NESFA’s strategies to manage and sustain the project is for a beneficiary to fulfill the roll-over scheme of two calves, one for the association, while another for next-in-line member who has not received an animal yet. The first recipient may own the animal following the fulfillment of accountability for the roll-over.
Mrs. Myrna Hayahay, another recipient shared her excitement about fulfilling the roll-over, and looking forward to the opportunity to own a carabao brings comfort to her. She used to pay Php 400 per day for carabao labor and now, SAAD provided it to her. The strategy motivates the farmers to take care of the animals for reproduction, leading to more farmers benefiting from the first set of the project, Mrs. Hayahay said.
Mrs. Hayahay extended her gratitude towards the program for the assistance given to her and her family. “Nalipay ko ug dako nga nakapass-on nako sa kabaw, usa nalang gid ka anak ang kulang ma-amoa na ang inahan. Pasanayon namo ang kabaw ug mahuman nami sa among obligasyon sa association,” she shared.
( I am very happy that I was able to fulfill my duty as one of the recipients of the program. I already turned-over one calf to our association. I only need to fulfill another one to successfully own the mother carabao. We will multiply the interventions we have to further fulfill the promise we made with our association).
Mrs. Hayahay is also a recipient of the FY 2019 Integrated Vegetable and Carabao Production. She received the following interventions amounting to Php 43,270.
Table 2. Interventions received by Mrs. Hayahay
In January 2021, Mrs. Hayahay’s carabao started plowing their neighbor’s 0.25 hectare (ha) land with the help of her husband where an eight-hour plow earns them Php 400. However, since February 2022, none of the neighbors have asked for their carabao’s service since they prefer to use a land cultivator machine for land plowing because it is cheaper and time-efficient.
Currently, the carabao is used as a draft in plowing their 0.25ha of land where assorted vegetables are grown for marketing within the community which is used to support their children financially.
Bohol Agriculture Program Coordinating Officer (APCO) Aurea Madrio looks forward to the impact of the project provided to the association since 2019. APCO Madrio also thanked the farmers for contributing to the success of the program, as well as the DA Region 7 for continuously supporting the farming community in Bien Unido.
“Nag pasalamat pod mi kay nakatabang ang SAAD sa inyong barangay ug kapunungan. Ug unsay gi hatag nga puhunan, ato pong ampingan hangtod mo lungtad. Sud sa tulo ka tuig nga puhunan, unta inyo pong palungtaron ug palamboon ang gihatag sa SAAD.”
(We are also thankful to witness the success of the program in the lives of the farmers in your barangay, particularly your association. In three years’ time, we hope to see you prosper through the interventions that the program has provided).
To date, NESFA has 65 active members, composed of 35 Integrated Carabao and Vegetable farmers, 10 native chicken farmers, 10 corn-peanut production farmers, and 10 banana-sweet potato farmers. As of writing, the association has a total of 21 carabaos, of which 3 are pregnant.
Writer: Jolina Daño, Information Officer, SAAD Region VII