Northern Samar is considered a second-class province where communities in the rural and marginalized areas are usually engaged in farming. About 69% or 243,084 hectares (ha) of the province land are agricultural areas where coconut ranks first as the main produce, followed by palay, sweet potato, and banana.
Deodito Turga, 46 years old, married, and a father of five (5) from Brgy. Buenavista, Rosario, Northern Samar, has been a rice farmer for almost 22 years now. He started farming at 22 when his parents, who were also farmers, introduced him to farming. He ultimately learns the beauty of it by following the footsteps of his parents. Since then, it became his source of income, even until he started his own family though his income is only at Php 2,000 to Php 2,500 monthly.
Due to limited yield, Deodito tried to venture into hook and line fishing in order to have an additional source of income for his growing family, but he simply did not have enough resources.
Hog raising has always been his dream. In a conversation with SAAD field officers, he mentioned that “Maiha na kami gusto mag–ataman hin baboy, pero waray gud la kami sakto nga kwarta para makapalit hin baboy. Maupay nala nga napili kami han Department of Agriculture ngan han SAAD.”
(It has been our wish to raise hogs, but we didn’t have enough funds to purchase the animals. It’s a good thing that we were among those chosen by the Department of Agriculture and SAAD Program).
Though Deodito lacks financial means and does not have prior experience in hog raising, it did not stop him to pursue his dream. He attended social preparation activities and every meeting and seminars conducted by the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) and gained enough knowledge on livestock, especially hog raising.
In 2017, he was recommended by MAO to the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program. After validation and assessments conducted by SAAD Northern Samar, he was then chosen as a beneficiary for the FY 2021 Swine Fattening Project worth Php 67,540 (Table 1).
INTERVENTIONS AND RESULTS
In December 2017, inputs for the project were provided to Deodito. The package consists of three (3) swine fatteners and various feeds, along with drugs, and biologics through the Provincial Veterinarian’s Office (PVO) since the budget for supplies was downloaded to the provincial government. As a preparation, he also attended a separate Swine Fattening Training (Basic Management on Swine Fattening) that was provided by PVO in November 2017.
Table 1. Livelihood Interventions received by Deodito Turga under FY 2017 Swine Fattening
Originally, the hogs delivered were supposed to be sold once marketable. Deodito, however, saw an opportunity to earn more since the price of piglets was at Php 2,500 per head in 2017 and 2018. Two (2) of the three (3) head fatteners he received were sold, while the remaining was kept as a breeder. In 2018, the remaining sow started to farrow for the first time and the venture continues to be successful until today.
From 2018 up to October 2021, Deodito was able to sustain the swine fattening project and accumulated a gross income of Php 216,260.
Table 2. Deodito Turga’s sales (March 2018 to October 2021)
In January 2022, a sow farrowed for the 7th time with 15 weanlings. Unfortunately, there were three (3) mortalities due to stillbirth. Eight (8) pigs were sold in February 2022 for a total of Php 24,000.
One (1) piglet was given to the boar operator as payment for breeding while the remaining three (3) piglets are intended for grow-out or fattening purposes. The proceeds from the sale of the eight (8) stocks were utilized to purchase an aluminum roof for their home amounting to Php 7,000 while the remaining money will be used for the purchasing of feed.
In the previous years, he was also able to purchase the following items with the money he earned from hog raising: machine for the tractor, motorboat, and a carabao. He also had his house fixed and bought a mobile phone for the remote learning of his children.
For years now, he hopes to own a piece of land to expand his farming activities. With perseverance, Deodito believes he could achieve this goal in God’s grace. He works towards this goal to build a concrete house so his family will no longer have to fear whenever there is a storm. But, at the top of every parent’s dream is to have their children sent to school and finish their education.
“Bisan la ako parag–uma basta makapa–gradwar ako tak mga anak, malipayon na ako, kay amo la iton tak mapapamana,” Deodito Turga shared.
(Even if I’m just a farmer, I’ll be happy to see my children graduate from school because that will be my only legacy).
Deodito’s story is a message of hope where, hard work and persistence are the keys to achieving dreams… slowly, but surely. ###
Writer: Perlis C. Ramos, Area Coordinator II. PPMSO–Northern Samar