SULU, October 14, 2022- Twenty (20) coconut and vegetable farmers in Patikul, Sulu earned more than Php 400K from selling fresh eggs through the Egg Production Project granted by the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program.
Areas with armed conflict are usually difficult to penetrate because of security risks in monitoring and sustaining possible projects for the locals. However, given the scarce access to opportunities and impacts of peace and order issues normalized and embedded in their day-to-day lives, these communities are also the ones that have more need for assistance and empowerment.
Patikul is a third-class coastal municipality in the province of Sulu with a total agricultural land area of 15,750 hectares (ha). With good soil quality and water sources suitable for farming, Patikul is an agricultural town where rice, corn, and fish are the major products.
When SAAD Program conducted a municipal-wide assessment in Patikul in 2021, the team found out that there are no egg production facilities in the area and the entire province depends on the import of eggs from Cagayan and Zamboanga City. The program saw this as an opportunity to expand its scope in the province and introduce the project.
The Kabbon Takas Farmers Association (KTFA) is a namesake of their barangay, Kabbon Takas, an End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) area, 15 kilometers away from Patikul town center. Members of the farmers association (FA) are all coconut and vegetable farmers.
The Kabbon Takas FA received the Chicken-Egg Production project in September 2021 worth Php 1,066,633.60 and became one of the first SAAD beneficiaries alongside Pansul Farmers Association in 2021.
Table 1. Inputs received by Kabbon Takas Farmers Association
The association’s poultry facility is situated in a communal area with a 120 square meter (sqm) production facility where the members take 10 days rotational duty to maintain the project.
As SAAD’s provision of livelihood project targets to help farmers have a fresh start, maintain a livelihood, and develop a good quality of life, the FA underwent technical training on layer chicken-egg production prior to the delivery of the livelihood intervention, to sharpen their capability skills and help them be future-ready in managing the project.
In July 2021, localized training from SAAD gathered the poultry raisers at the covered court of Ahajani Elementary School in barangay Kabbon Takas, Patikul. The technical training on chicken-egg layer production was facilitated by SAAD Area Coordinator Mr. Alkhartemar Sangkula where suitable management practices of poultry project by means of proper feeding procedures, sanitation, biosecurity measures, watering and lighting system, and simple bookkeeping were discussed.
Within a year, Kabbon Takas Farmers Association earned Php 405,250 from selling eggs from the SAAD project.
Table 2. KTFA’s egg production harvest (September 2021-August 2022)
According to Ms. Mujerna Hajiri, KTFA Treasurer, the egg production started to accelerate after a month when the layer chickens arrived.
“Our chicken steadily laid eggs starting October 2021 and egg production went on full swing by November 2021. We were able to harvest about 16 to 17 trays of fresh eggs daily. And as of August, we were able to earn over Php 400,000.” said Hajiri.
Ms. Hajiri added that they sold eggs in various sizes within the community to individuals, restaurant owners in downtown Patikul, small retail stores, Sulu Electric Cooperative (SULECO) employees, local government unit (LGU) employees of Patikul, as well as to the 6th Special Forces Company of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) assigned in the area.
A tray of medium eggs was sold at Php 190, large eggs at Php 210, extra-large at Php 200, and jumbo eggs at Php 220.
Likewise, Ms. Rowena Sahi, Kabbon Takas FA President shared that in March 2022, they earned a total of Php 121,215 gross income from the project and shared Php 1,050.50 dividend to each of the 20 members of the association.
“Our members were very happy to receive the cash because we need it for our daily family expenses. Apart from that, our association was able to keep Php 21,010 for our association’s savings,” Sahi mentioned.
With the active support of LGU, and recently, the establishment of a federation of farmers associations within the municipality, the FA was able to contract a discounted price on poultry feeds.
“We are thankful to the LGU for supporting us in lieu of the increasing prices of feeds. We were able to buy directly from BMEG (feeds brand), and it costs less compared to a retail store. They also support us by providing a jeepney to pick up and deliver eggs to the market. They help us cut expenses in the fare,” explained Sahi.
The FA envisions to be a top fresh egg producer in Patikul, and later cater to the egg needs of the neighboring towns, not just in their own. The project opened a door to be a potential self-sustaining community-based enterprise in their municipality.
“Ing project sing DA-SAAD nahinang palmata sing barangay Kabbon Takas labi awla na ha manga LGUs iban dugaing upis parinta, sarta, bang awun manga bisita ing kitaun nila magtuy ing pag-iipatan singmanga manuk. Ha tungud ini, nahinang madtu suntuan pa kaibanan upis parinta amun nagdirihil isab manga tatabangan,” KTFA President Rowena Sahi stated in native Tausug.
DA-SAAD’s project has become the center of attraction in our barangay Kabbon Takas, especially to LGUs and other government agencies. More so, whenever there are visitors, the first thing they would like to see is the poultry project. As such, this becomes an example to other government agencies that also provide assistance.)
Mr. Ahajuli A. Ahajani, Kabbon Takas Barangay Chairman also expressed his appreciation to the SAAD project. “Bukun hat sadja ing manga farmers in makahampit sampil kawman sin barangay namuh. Ing manga itlug manuk baguh iban ikarayaw ha pamaranan. Mahuli magsarang sukul kami ha tabang iban tukuh sin DA-SAAD Sulu program,” he said.
(Not only did the members of the association benefit from the project but also our community as well. Fresh eggs are very healthy and nutritious. I thank SAAD for giving us this kind of project in our barangay.)
The SAAD Program in Sulu intends to provide another five modules of layer chicken (240 head) to the FA, which will be delivered by the end of October 2022 to support the expansion of the egg production project in Patikul, since they are still experiencing shortage of eggs in the market due consumer demand.
As of writing, the FA continues to work hard to maintain the poultry project and save their earnings for the replenishment of 15 modules of RTL which they plan to do in May 2023. ###
Writer: Ellaine Quiamco, DA-SAAD Region 9 Information Officer