SURIGAO DEL SUR, November 4, 2022 – Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program awarded one (1) kilowatt solar power system unit to Balete Chicken Growers Association (BACGA) aiding in the incubation of stocks as power interruption frequents the community.
For long-term cost-efficient chicken production providing continuous power supply for chick incubation, the BACGA finally installed the solar power system worth Php 147,950.00 in their community and project site in Brgy. Balete, Bayabas in September 2022.
Aside from the poultry project given by the Program, BACGA members are also engaged in fishing, rice and coconut production, and backyard farming. The poultry project intervention is a goal to diversify variety of food and multiple sources of income for the beneficiaries.
Association President Nenita Dalayan said the alternative power system lessens egg damages from frequent power interruptions in the locality that usually last two (2) or more days.
“Dako nga katabang ang solar kay kung mag brownout naa na ang solar ug ma less ang among kuryente. Usa pud tabang sa among pag incubate nga ma minus ang damage gikan sa sige nga brownout,” Mrs. Dalayan expressed.
(The solar power system is a big help for us if there are power interruptions, we can simply use solar (unit) and it will lessen our electricity expenses. Also since we use an incubator it will reduce the damage (egg) from frequent power interruptions.)
BACGA is a recipient of the SAAD-funded native chicken production alongside eight (8) other FAs in the province. The project worth Php 3,225,724.51 comprises native chicken, poultry houses, incubators, and technical assistance including production and organizational development training provided yearly from FY 2019-2022. Their current product lines are eggs, liveweight chicken, and chicks.
BACGA is the first FA supported by the SAAD Program that received a solar power system in FY 2022. Former Program Director Myer G. Mula during his visit in August 2021, suggested the intervention upon learning the group pays an average of Php 2,000.00 per month for electricity usage.
BACGA was organized as an association in 2019 through SAAD’s assistance. The group started selling eggs, liveweight chicken, and chicks in 2020. As of September 2022, the association reported a total gross income of Php 181,544.00 (see Table 1).
Table 1. BACGA income from poultry project (2020-2022)
Towards sustainability: Post-SAAD
BACGA members also participated in training on low-cost feed production on October 10, 2022, conducted by DA-Caraga Regulatory Division. Making feeds sourced from locally available raw materials, aims to reduce expenses from buying commercial feeds.
The SAAD Phase 1 implementation culminates this year, which entails the end of input support to the FA by FY 2023. The solar power system is among the sustainable, cost-effective measures toward sustainability of the FA’s production in the years ahead.
Even with the exclusion of Bayabas municipality in the second phase of implementation, the Program will stretch to other provinces in Caraga, including Surigao del Norte, Province of Dinagat Islands, and Agusan del Norte to cater to new batches of beneficiaries for Phase 2.
During the SAAD stakeholders meeting last September, BACGA laid out plans for post-SAAD Phase 1 implementation.
Upon turnover of the SAAD project to the local government of Bayabas in 2023, the FA plans to register their farm as a learning site for other farmers to visit and learn from their production strategies. They also eye to disperse one pair of breeder chickens to all members to expand their production outside the project site. The members agreed to give one pair back once they produced enough chicks.
President Dalayan committed to sustaining the association and its projects even without direct assistance from the SAAD Program. She shared that seeking support outside the program is crucial to the sustainability of the FA.
Further, as part of the plan to formally conclude the Program in the municipality DA-SAAD will conduct a Turn-over Plan Workshop in November to discuss commitments and ways forward this time, with the Municipal Government of Bayabas for the sustainability of the FAs endeavors post-SAAD. ###
Writer: Mark Angelo C. Pineda, DA-SAAD Caraga Information Officer