Barangay Pingan is one of the main eggplant and Chinese cabbage (pechay) producing barangays in the municipality of Gen. MacArthur. In 2020, farmers organized through the recommendation and support from the Office of the Municipal Agricultural Services (OMAS) of Gen. MacArthur to receive a project from the Department of Agriculture-Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) aiming to diversify and increase vegetable production in the locality.
Fifty-seven (57) skilled vegetable farmers of Brgy. Pingan showed interest in the recommendation. After validation and a series of meetings conducted by SAAD Eastern Samar and OMAS Gen. MacArthur, the Pingan Vegetable and Livestock Producer was organized and registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in 2020.
Prior to SAAD’s intervention, the farmers’ association (FA) had gone through training sessions on the Farmer Field School (FFS) conducted by OMAS Gen. MacArthur in Brgy. Pingan public plaza in February 2020. The training was intended to improve the vegetable production learning of the farmers through organic agriculture and also introduced modern technologies to manage pests in vegetables, as well as concoction making, a mixture to hasten the decomposition process of waste materials for soil fertilizer to improve vegetable farming.
In 2020, the association received the DA-SAAD livelihood package for the FY 2020 Vegetable Production Project worth Php 284,580.
Table 1. Inputs received by Pingan Vegetable and Livestock Producer for FY 2020 Vegetable Production Project
The association is operating their vegetable production in a 1 hectare (ha) communal area under usufruct agreement with one of the members. From March 2020 to June 2022, the group was already able to produce 376.35 kilograms (kg) of eggplants, 486.06 kg of bitter gourd, 1,487.75 kg pechay, 757 kg sponge gourd, 931 kg cucumber, 1,457.30 kg squash, 25 kg okra, and 120 kgs bean giving a total gross sale of Php 177,208.60.
Table 2. Pingan Vegetable and Livestock Producer production data (March 2020-June 2022)
The association then utilized Php 60,000 from their sales to build a poultry house while the remaining fund was used to continue their vegetable production.
Layer Chicken Egg Production Project
With the camaraderie and discipline the farmers showed to manage the Vegetable Production Project, they were then given an additional livelihood to supplement food and income resources through the FY 2021 Layer Chicken Egg Production Project worth Php 1,930,071.43.
Table 3. Inputs received by Pingan Vegetable and Livestock Producer for FY 2021 Layer Chicken Egg Production Project
The training on Egg Layer Production was facilitated by DA-SAAD Eastern Samar in collaboration with OMAS Gen. MacArthur and Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Roena C. Paceco of the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) served as the resource person for the training held on July 12 to 14, 2021.
The association operates their layer chicken egg production in their 250 square meter (sqm) communal area located at Brgy. Pingan, and from December 2021 to July 2022, the group’s egg production was booming.
Table 4. Pingan Vegetable and Livestock Producer’s Egg Production (December 2021-July 2022)
In handling the projects since 2020, the FA was able to come up with an effective management scheme for the ventures. They formed seven subgroups with each subgroup having its own tasks from feeding the chicken, cleaning, sanitizing the cages, collecting chicken dung for fertilizer use, harvesting the eggs, checking the health of the chicken, and monitoring and isolating weak RTLs for treatment. During their free time, the FA members then plant vegetables as well.
Using the income from the FA’s production, the group was able to financially support members in vegetable production costs, from freight expenses in delivering the harvested vegetables, to gasoline expenses, and buying assorted vegetable seeds for farming.
The remaining income then was divided among group members. This kind of scheme encouraged the members to produce more vegetables to regularly get dividends aside from the dividend received monthly from their Layer Chicken Egg Production Project.
Project Expansion and Impact
Due to the success of the FA’s projects, Pingan Livestock and Vegetable Producer ventured on swine fattening and bought 12 head of piglets at Php 4,500/each using their own savings in July 2022.
To ensure the long-term viability of all projects, the group is keen on managing its finances. The FA allocates 22% of its monthly net profit for the development of projects where 20% is for expansion, while the remaining 2% is for repair and maintenance. In this manner, the association members regularly receive their dividends, at the same time, save funds for expansion and other undertakings.
To gain more dividends, the association maintains its savings and is planning to acquire its own land to expand projects. The farmers believe that through their unity, perseverance and most of all discipline, all goals, and dreams of the association are within reach. ###
Writer: Marlyn D. Gordora, DA-SAAD Eastern Samar Area Coordinator II