Arfhaina Antayani, 37-year-old, is a mother of four (4), and president of the Sahaya Sin Kawman Farmers Association (SSKFA) based in Barangay Lumping Pigih Daho, Talipao, Sulu. She also works as a barangay healthcare worker with a monthly income of Php 1,500.
“In bana ko hambuok ha manga BPAT dii ha kawman namu, in gadji niya Php 500 hangka bulan. Magpakahinang da sab siya ha pag hinang manga dan, in gadji niya Php 350 hangka adlaw sah masuhul manga hangpu adlaw da. Bang pag pahambuukan in usaha namu magkulang mag labi Php 5,500 hangka bulan, sah di pa maka inihan ha pag balanja sin upat anak namu,” Arfhaina shared.
(My husband works in the barangay police action team [BPAT], and he earns Php 500 as his monthly salary. He also works as a seasonal construction worker earning Php 350 per day for a maximum of 10 working days. We have a combined family income of less than Php 5,500 and this is not enough to feed our four children.)
Currently, Arfhaina is leading a 23-member farmers association (FA) who manages a small-scale production and processing of crops such as cassava, banana, coconut, and abaca. Prior to SAAD’s intervention, each FA member earned an income of Php 5,000 monthly.
“Bilang ha nag-uuhan ha SSKFA, in iya angan-angan ko ha manga tarbilang sin parhimpunan namu sumambu in pagusaha namu. Sah ha tungud sin baran ko, mabaya ako awn hinang ko matutug iban usaha ha supaya hika tukbal ko in kagunahan sin pamilya ko,” shared Arfhaina.
(As president of SSKFA, I dream of our members to be successful in our small businesses. As for my own, I also dream of having my own stable business with good income to be able to sustain our family’s needs.)
With the help of the Talipao’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in 2019, the farmers were organized and got their Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) accreditation in the same year. In 2021, the Department of Agriculture – Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program reached Talipao and after a needs assessment, the chicken-egg production facility was found to be a viable project for the community.
Chicken eggs have high demand in a Muslim community such as Barangay Lumping Pigih Daho, it is a staple food in the locality, and used in most celebrations like weddings and birthdays, and even festivities and traditions celebrated by ethnic groups in the province, such as the Muslim festivals Maulud and Maligay.
Maligay is a wooden small house structure built to serve as a giant buffet tray decorated and loaded with various local delicacies as an offering to visitors. Egg is one of the essential food components in serving the buffet as it symbolizes birth or rebirth in Islam, moreover, it is convenient and can easily be cooked on any occasion.
“In parhimpunan namu naka tabuk daing ha DA-SAAD manok mag iklog daing sin September 2021, maraw in guwa sin pag usaha namu. Naka tawuh ako sin pyamimi kagunahan ha iskul sin manga anak ko iban pyagluun ko sin tinda tinda ko. Malaggu pag sarang sukulan namu pa SAAD ha tabang kya tukbal kamu,” Arfhaina recounts.
(Our association received the DA-SAAD Chicken-Egg Production Project in September 2021, and it has given us good results since. I was able to save the extra-income and spend it to buy supplies to build a small sari-sari store. We are all very thankful to SAAD for the help.)
Prior to SAAD, the province only depended on the importation of eggs from Zamboanga City and Cagayan de Oro to supply the demand of eggs in the province.
Recently, there are egg machines operating in neighboring towns of Talipao, but the supply of fresh eggs is still not enough for the entire community, as the municipality comprises 52 barangay units with over 100,000 individual population based on the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) 2020 data.
In September 2021, 16 members of the SSKFA received the FY 2021 Layer Chicken-Egg Production Project of the DA-SAAD program (Table 1) while the remaining 7 members became the recipient of the Cassava-Corn-Peanut Production project under FY 2022.
Based on the assessment of SAAD Region 9 during its pilot implementation in 2018, FAs with at least 30 members who manage 10 modules of ready-to-lay (RTLs) have fewer individual gain leading to decreased participation of members. Thus, SAAD implementers decided to limit the number of members to 15 so the farmers can have just dividends each for their production earnings.
Likewise, 15 modules worth (18 kilograms/module) of corn seeds were allocated to Talipao during the implementation of the Cassava, Corn, and Peanut Production project. To equally benefit from the project, the 15 modules of corn seeds were then divided to the two FAs: 7 modules for 7 beneficiaries from SSKFA and 8 modules for 8 beneficiaries from Kasanyangan Sin Samak Agricultural FA in Barangay Samak.
Table 1. Interventions received by SSK FA under FY 2021 Layer Chicken-Egg Production
The SSKFA established their egg machine from SAAD in a communal area utilizing a 120-square meter land to build the egg production facility. Members were divided into three (3) groups and took 10 days of rotational duty to familiarize them with poultry management, ensure the animals’ health and safety, and maintain sanitation.
“Pag iyanun ko in manga panaiban ko subay kami matuyu. Bukun hat ako lumingkud iban umatud kanila, magpakaun da sab ako sin manok, mag put itlog iban maglanu sin laum pagal manok. Biya sin kaibanan namu, maghidjatul da isab aku sin kasambu sin manga manok adlaw-adlaw,” explained Arfhaina.
(I encourage the members to work hard. I do not just sit and observe the members, I also feed the chickens, harvest the eggs, and maintain the cleanliness of the farm. Like other members, I also monitor the health of the animals by checking and observing them daily.)
Arfhaina also works part-time shredding abaca after her rotational duty in the poultry farm, and when she is off duty in the barangay health center where she earns additional Php 900 monthly.
Moreover, the active participation of each association member in maintaining the poultry project plays a vital role in the improvement and success of the project.
According to the SSKFA treasurer, Mr. Maksilin Gulam, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the association has been saving Php 10,000 monthly savings in the bank from their income that was agreed to be shared by members for their monthly dividends.
“Misan masi awun panandas sin pag dagang sin kabuhianan, pagtaas sin bi sin kakaun manok, in parhimpunan namu masi da naka tawuh ha banko Php 142,290.35 iban sin ha lawman lima namu Php 3,500,” shared Mr. Gulam.
(Even with the pandemic making it difficult to market our livelihood, and the continuous increase of poultry feeds, our association was able to save Php 142,290.35 cash in the bank and Php 3,500 cash on hand.)
Table 2. SSK FA’s sales from October 2021 to October 2022
“Daing pag tagnah sin pag-itlugan ini, naka tabuk ako hangibu pa hangibu tunggatus pilak bahagi ko daing ha parhimpunan namu iban nakatabuk ako ha lin ko paluwagan siyam ngaibu limang gatus pilak. Kya pamayad ko utang ko, in kaibanan amu na in pyag luon sin tinda ko,” shared Ms. Arfhaina delightfully.
(Since the start of egg production, I was able to receive Php 1,000 to Php 1,300 dividends from the association and an additional Php 9,500 from the paluwagan. I was able to pay my debt and build a small sari-sari store from the money I received.)
The paluwagan was established among the 16 members of the association who manages the egg production project with the purpose of helping the members in saving and making a lump sum for certain financial goals.
“Guwa daing ha pagdagang-dagang ko, in magkausaha ko dittu na kawaun ko in manga kagunahan si manga anak ko ha iskul. Mag sarang sukul tuod ako ha SAAD sabab awn na mahuwat-huwat namu supaya mapinda na in kabuhianan namu,” added Arfhaina.
(Aside from having my own sari-sari store, my earnings were able to pay for my four children’s school needs. I am very grateful to SAAD because they gave us hope to change our lives.)
After the group received SAAD’s FY 2021 Layer Chicken-Egg Production Project, a Php 1,227,270 gross income was recorded, allowing the members to receive an individual dividends of Php 1,000-1,300 and an additional Php 9,500 from their paluwagan.
To date, Arfhaina continues to work hard, and save her earnings and plans for the expansion of her sari-sari store. She also dreams to renovate her house in the future if egg production continues to flourish.
On November 9, 2022. SAAD provided the SSKFA with 87 sacks of layer feeds as additional support to the project, and another six (6) modules of RTL were delivered on November 26, 2022.
The SSKFA plans to replenish its 14 modules of RTL pullets by mid-May 2023. ###
Writer: Ellaine L. Quiamco, DA-SAAD Sulu Information Officer
Source: Sahaya Sin Kawman Farmers Association and Area Coordinator Analisa Dauring
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