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Thriving livestock communities: SAAD’s impact and continuing support in MIMAROPA

In MIMAROPA, the Department of Agriculture’s Special Area for Agricultural Development (DA-SAAD) Program Phase 2 has seen success in enhancing local livestock production. After more than three months, livestock distributed to seven associations have started producing offspring, marking a significant milestone. Last year, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA provided interventions worth Php 5,773,310 to 140 marginalized farmers in Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, and Palawan.

Goat Raising

Five out of the seven SAAD-assisted farmers associations (FAs) in MIMAROPA have been beneficiaries of the Goat Production Project. In total, 166 native goats and 125 rolls of cyclone wire, valued at Php 2,973,500, were distributed. These resources were allocated to the following associations of Talaotao Farmers Association (TFA) in Looc, Occidental Mindoro; Rural Improvement Club Caguisan (RIC Caguisan) and Carwang Danglis Maubas Farmers Association (CARDAMA FA) in Balabac, Palawan; Kalipunan ng Liping Pilipina San Jose, Romblon Municipal Federation (KALIPI) in San Jose, Romblon; and Samahan ng Magsasaka ng Sampong (SAMASA) in Concepcion, Romblon.

Members of KALIPI, SAMASA, RIC Caguisan, and CARDAMA FA are collectively managing their goats at communal farms, while those in TFA are personally tending to their goats due to limited grass availability on their farm. The said groups have organized their members to ensure proper care for the goats and to supply them with adequate grass for their sustenance.

Presently, the goats have produced 18 kids, with an additional 12 expected to give birth between March and June. The associations are dedicated to expanding the goat population before considering selling them in local markets.

Swine Raising

Meanwhile, the San Jose Swine Raisers Association (SJSRA) in Barangay Lanas, San Jose, Romblon, has also received interventions valued at Php 1,758,410 under the Swine Production Project. These interventions comprise 20 gilt heads, one boar, 200 bags of feed, 80 liters of veterinary medicine and vitamins, and a swine housing. As of February 28, the association has 39 piglets, with four gilts currently pregnant.

With the support of the local government of San Jose, facilitated through the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO), the association is steadfast in safeguarding their swine from African Swine Fever (ASF), especially with nearby islands like Tablas and Mindoro being affected by ASF. They have implemented stringent measures, including prohibiting the entry of pork and pork meat products to Carabao Island, while diligently attending to the pigs. 

Their objective is to boost the swine population within their municipality to meet pork product demands, extend assistance to neighboring islands, and participate in repopulation efforts whenever feasible.

Cattle Raising

To complete the interventions, SAAD MIMAROPA allocated Php 1,041,400 worth of interventions for the Cattle Production Project, benefiting the Samahan ng Magsasaka ng Bulacan (SMB) in Barangay Bulacan, Looc, Occidental Mindoro, which included 25 head of cattle. 

However, due to insufficient grass caused by dry weather in their grazing area, members are individually attending to the cattle. Since the arrival of the cattle last year, the association has welcomed four new calves, with three cattle suspected to be pregnant. 

SMB’s goal is to establish a multiplier farm, enhance the livestock population, and contribute to food self-sufficiency in their community. Beyond Bulacan, the association plans to market its produce to neighboring islands such as Talaotao, Ambil, and Lubang.

Farmers are thankful to the SAAD Program for offering them chances to enhance their livestock production. According to Mr. Carl Fabregas, president of SAMASA, this project offers them an alternative source of income.

“Sa DA at sa SAAD, maraming – maraming salamat po sa inyo. Napakalaking tulong po ito sa amin lalo na sa mga member. Maraming – maraming salamat po na nabigyan kami ng ganitong project.  Pinapangako ko po bilang president ng asosasyon na pangangalagaan namin itong project na binigay ng SAAD,” said Mr. Fabregas.

[To DA and to SAAD, thank you very much. This is a huge help for us, especially for our members. Thank you very much for giving us this kind of project. I promise as the president of the association that we will take care of this project given by SAAD.] 

In addition to livestock support, these farmers will also receive various project assistance from SAAD MIMAROPA. This includes crops specifically grown to feed animals, assistance with cultivating vegetables, provision of meat processing equipment, and training on effective marketing strategies to sell their products in the market. These initiatives aim to empower farmers to become agripreneurs, equipped with the skills and resources needed to succeed in agricultural entrepreneurship. ###

 

Writer: Melissa F. Lingco, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA Information Officer II

Sources:
Engr. Maiden Marie M. Segui, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA Associate Project Officer II; Jercel N. Catubig, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA Community Development Officer II; Relan S. Sabac, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA Community Development Officer II; Oliver B. Cosme, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA Community Development Officer II; and Frederick Villanada, DA-SAAD MIMAROPA Community Development Officer II
 

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