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Southern Leyte vegetable farmers’ resiliency amid typhoons proves fruitful


Esperanza Bontoc Farmers Irrigators Association (EBFIA) is one of the active rural-based associations in the municipality of Bontoc, Southern Leyte. The farmers association (FA) with 57 rice-farmers members was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in November 2013.

During the first quarter of 2021, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Region 8 conducted an assessment led by Area Coordinator (AC) Rovelyn Timkang. Validation, profiling, and verifying the association’s status and members are done where 27 members of EBFIA qualified as beneficiaries of the Program’s Vegetable and Mallard Duck Production and Marketing Project.

The qualified beneficiaries are small-scale farmers who earn a monthly income of Php 5,500 to Php 6,500.

SAAD allocated Php 2,829,808.76 to four FAs in Southern Leyte for the said project and from June to July 2021 EBFIA received a package worth Php 707.452.19.

Table 1. Inputs received by Esperanza Bontoc Irrigators Association

Mallard Duck Production

To properly manage the integrated livelihood project, EBFIA decided to divide the group into two; 1st group was composed of 7 farmers for mallard ducks; 2nd group was composed of 20 farmers for vegetable production.

EBFIA collected an average of 3-4 trays of eggs daily. The FA sold these fresh eggs in the locality and to DIFA (Dao Integrated Farmers Association) who processed salted eggs and balut.  Within six months of operation, the association earned a gross income of Php 109,102.

However, after the devastation of super typhoon Odette in December 2021, the mallard ducks’ housing collapsed, and most of the ducks were injured (150 head) while some died (60 head).

Table 2. EBFIA’s Mallard Duck Production (2021) 

Vegetable Production

EBFIA utilized the association’s .75 hectare (ha) land for vegetable production and started their land preparation in July 2021. Soon after, they planted the pinakbet seeds such as ampalaya, eggplant, string beans, sweet pepper, and squash provided by SAAD.

From October 2021 to February 2022, the group started harvesting their produce and gained a total gross income of Php 73,390. Sadly, just like their mallard duck project, their production was greatly affected by typhoon Odette. Vegetables in their flowering stage and those already bearing fruits got rotten. The association’s nursery also collapsed due to the typhoon.

Table 3. EBFIA’s First Cropping (October 2021-February 2022)

Though EBFIA was severely affected by typhoon Agaton in April 2022 and super typhoon Odette in December 2021, the group did not lose hope. Their savings from the previous production and cropping allowed them to start their 2nd cycle of vegetable production in April 2022. EBFIA started harvesting their vegetables from May 2022 onwards and gained a total gross income of Php 98,444 (Table 4).

On the association’s livestock and poultry, the Provincial Veterinary Office of Southern Leyte promised that the group will be included in the typhoon Odette rehabilitation program and will receive a package of intervention for broiler production which will be distributed in the last quarter of 2022. 

Table 4. EBFIA’s Second Cropping (May 2022-September 2022)

“Daku akung pasalamat  sa SAAD nga programa alang sa pagdasig ug pagmonitor permi kanila nga nahimong rason para  mabugkos ang ilang grupo ug  mapadayon ang maong interbensyon,” shared Mr. Antonio Rojas, EBFIA president.

(I am beyond thankful to SAAD program for its encouragement and monitoring that binds us together to sustain the intervention.)

For now, the association saves their income as preparation for their plan to acquire more land to expand the group’s vegetable production in 2023.###


Writer: Rovelyn Timkang, DA-SAAD Southern Leyte Area Coordinator

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