About Minlasag Farfish Association
Minlasag, located in a 5th class municipality of Sibutad in Zamboanga del Norte is a home to fishermen, rice and coconut farmers, and livestock raisers whose produce are relatively utilized for family consumption.
Continually seeking more profitable ventures, in 2011, 34 farmers and 10 fisherfolk in Minlasag organized and registered as Minlasag Farfish Association (MFA) under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Through the years, MFA has been active in rice and coconut farming and even opened a sari-sari store, as well as engaged in a lending business among its members.
In 2017, after conducting a municipal-wide consultation with the assistance of the local government unit (LGU) of Sibutad, through its municipal agriculture office, the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program identified the MFA as one of the five farmer associations (FA) beneficiaries to receive agricultural inputs for livelihood production.
MFA initially started with a Mushroom Production project, followed by the Layer-Egg Chicken Production in 2018. Among the projects provided to the FA, poultry production became the group’s bread and butter.
Layer Chicken- Egg Production
SAAD granted the poultry assistance under the FY 2018 Layer Chicken-Egg Production project worth Php 295,800.
Table 1. Inputs received MFA for the FY 2018 Layer Chicken- Egg Production
The free assistance was delivered in February 2020 since the fund for the project was downloaded to LGU. The poultry housing shouldered by the LGU was only established in February 2020 as well.
Three months after starting the egg production, the enterprise was booming with a daily average harvest of 200 eggs. The FA gained regular customers among bakeshops and sari-sari store owners who visit the poultry and buy eggs in bulk.
However, the demand for eggs continued to increase while the MFA ran low on egg supply. To meet the demands of the local buyers, the SAAD Program provided a series of additional interventions to the group.
Table 2. Layer Chicken-Egg Production Project FY 2019-2021
“Para masiguro namo nga ma mentinar ang manukan, ang mga miyembro nag sabot nga mag gahin ug binulan nga budget nga at least Php 20,000 nga i-deposit sa bangko para sa replenishment sa mga manok. Isa pud sa strategy namo kay mag bahin ang mga miyembro para mag puli-puli nga magatiman sa manukan kada adlaw. Kada adlaw nay lima (5) ka miyembro nga mag bahog, limpyo, mag harvest ug magbaligya sa itlog ug maglantaw sa mga manok kung himsog ra ba sila. Tungod ana, imbis na makagasto mi, madugang pa namo sa amoang savings,” said Ms Yolanda Macas, MFA president.
(To ensure the sustainability of the poultry, the 36 active members agreed to allocate a monthly budget of at least Php 20,000 that will be deposited as savings in the bank intended for the replenishment of the chickens. Another income-saving strategy is that our members agreed to employ a rotational working schedule in the poultry farm to maintain and ensure the sustainability of this project. Every day, five members have a rotational shift in the farm, from feeding, cleaning, egg harvesting, marketing, and making sure that all chickens are in healthy condition. In that way, we can eliminate expenses in hiring a caretaker, thus this initiative will contribute to increasing our net income and saving on expenses.)
As the layer chickens reached 18 months, quality eggs become rare which calls for culling of the stocks. The MFA successfully culled and replenished the 10 modules (480 head) of layer chickens from their own income savings.
Because of the group’s consistency in maintaining the project, MFA was able to share Php 1,200 with each member quarterly without a miss.
A daily incentive of Php 10 for every tray sold by the members is also provided. In addition, the culled chickens were shared by members sold at Php 150 to Php 160 each.
Between April to May 2022, the association culled the second batch of chickens (8 modules) and replenished it with new stocks worth Php 222,720 from their savings. Another stock was delivered in June alongside feed supplements for the new batch, shouldered by the association.
The two-year project implementation has provided the association with a gross income of Php 1,946,436 from selling fresh eggs. At present, they have 917 chicken with an average daily harvest of 720 eggs. They also have Php 9,545 cash on hand and Php 94,805 savings in the bank.
Table 3. MFA Production table (February 2020- August 2022)
“We are proud that we managed to sustain this project and we still have Php 94,805 cash in the bank. We are very grateful that the DA-SAAD is present from the delivery of interventions until now to monitor our project. Indeed, this is more than just a support of our livelihood, we feel empowered realizing that we are capable of handling government projects as this, ” Ms. Yolanda Macas expressed.
As face-to-face classes began after a two-year hiatus, parents in the community are in need of fresh and affordable eggs for food of their students.
The demand for eggs continues to increase, thus the MFA hopes to expand the Layer Chicken Project and become the primary supplier of eggs in the municipality of Sibutad.
The success of Minlasag Farfish Association is just one of many testimonies that as long as there is constant synergy between program implementers and farmer-beneficiaries alike, the goal of establishing a self-sustaining community-based enterprise is certain. ###
Writer: Aimee Lou D. Madjus, DA-SAAD Zamboanga del Norte Information Officer
Source: Janeen Ivana S. Golis, Area Coordinator I
Maria Liza Miral, Technical Staff for Marketing