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All eggs in a basket: Dabawenyo FA’s im-peck-able investment from SAAD’s chicken project

DAVAO DE ORO, July 11, 2023 – Dabawenyo farmers association (FA) recipients of the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) convergence project constructed a roadside “bagsakan” to consolidate their upgraded native chicken and tilapia products.

This “bagsakan” houses consolidated products from members of the farmers association in Compostela. The Quarry Highlander Farmers Association spent more than Php 10,000 for the bagsakan structure construction.

Pagkusog sa itlog, nakit-an namo nga dako iyahang potential nga maka-income ang asosasyon. Nag-initiate mi kay para dili lang saligan ang manok, kani amoang gigastohan, kaning bagsakan” (When income from the eggs boomed, we saw that it has great potential for the group to earn. We initiated this so that we won’t be depending on the chicken alone, we started to fund this commissary), Joseph Esperada, chairperson for the group said. 

After finishing the building’s flooring, Mr. Esperada told SAAD Davao Region they plan to launch the “bagsakan” later this year.

According to Mr. Esperada, the decision to build a vegetable and fruit commissary stemmed from the increased influx of economic activity in Barangay Ngan from travelers going to and fro Davao Oriental. With temperate weather all year round except for the wet season, the barangay has seen a surge in tourist stops alongside highways in the past five years. Designed to carry 14 spaces, the bagsakan already has all the spaces reserved for its members. Each space costs Php 10/day in rent. 

A year after the chickens arrived, the association has listed more than Php 75,000 in income. Esperada said that most of it has gone to feeds. The association pulled from their seasonal income from the inland fishery, of which the FA was also a BFAR-SAAD Davao Region beneficiary. See the related article here

Higayon kaayo nga nag-invest mi ani. Amoang mga abot gikan sa bukid, diri ibutang. Among harvest sa mais, mga prutas, ug uban pa, diri namo i-display” (It’s opportune that we invested in this. We’ll put our produce here, the corn harvests, fruits, and other, this is where we display them).

Quarry Highlands FA

Formed in August 2016, Quarry Highlander FA is a locally-formed, farmers’ group in Ngan, Compostela, Davao de Oro. The association has more than 30 regular members as of  June 2023. 

In 2022, SAAD Davao Region chose the group to receive upgraded native chicken and Open-Pollinated Variety corn projects comprising 320 chickens, 50 sacks of feed, and veterinary drugs from the program as well as corn seeds.

The chicken started laying eggs in July last year. At peak production, Mr. Esperada reported that the association could harvest more than 80 eggs a day. The association has a standing arrangement with a local grocer that consigns the eggs at Php 6.00 across the board regardless of size.

But selling eggs alone could not sustain the upkeep of the chicken. The feed requirement for laying hens, if maximized, would sink the FA’s profit to a loss. 

Dako kaayo ang gasto sa feed. Amoang income sa itlog ibalik sa pagkaon, tapos naa pay pasweldo sa nag-maintain. Kinahanglan namo ug uban pang gikanan sa income” (Rising feed prices directly affected our production costs. The income from eggs will cycle as an expense for feed, notwithstanding the wages of the caretaker. We needed another income generator), Mr. Esperada related.

This is where the association looked into hatching and selling chicks for additional income. SAAD Davao Region, in turn, provided the incubator. “Mas dako amoang income sa mga piso. Diri pa lang mismo, daghan na ug mamalit” (We get most of our profit from the chicks. A lot of buyers here in our area alone).

The FA sells the chicks at Php 90 each and has started priming some to increase the existing flock. Once culling season starts, the current hens will reach their unproductive stage, wherein they will be sold off. The new hens will continue the next cycle.

Of the original 320 poultry stocks, 110 were dispersed to 10 individual members, with an arrangement with the FA to replace them with chicks. A hundred and thirty-eight (138) chickens remain with the association, situated in a coop coincidentally overlooking the bagsakan.

Kaning atong chicken program is para madugangan ang panginabuhian sa atoang mag-uuma,” Naomi Lamata, SAAD Davao Region Alternate Assistant Focal said. “Nalipay ta kay naa juy mga asosasyon nga napadako nila ang proyekto ug kana, natuman ang tumong sa SAAD” (Our chicken program is aimed to augment the livelihood of our farmers. We’re elated that there are groups that prospered through the project, hence the purpose of the program). 

The province of Davao de Oro has been the sole province of implementation of SAAD in Davao Region in its Phase 1 of operations. In some municipalities like Compostela, DA and BFAR converged to champion local farmers and fisherfolk groups, with the end goal of creating community-based enterprises (CBEs). Quarry Highlanders FA, for all intents and purposes, appears on the way to becoming one.

Writer: James Brian Flaga, DA-SAAD Davao Region Information Officer
Photo: Ronell Tangonan, DA-SAAD Davao Region Information Officer
Source: SAAD Davao Region

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