“Mallard Ducks’ eggs, a road to success“ depicts the success story of LIBRIS D – 2BB Irrigators Association, Inc. from the municipality of Pigcawayan, North Cotabato province. The group received interventions on the Mallard Duck Egg Production Project.
Agriculture and service sectors are still the main sources of livelihood and income of families in the province of North Cotabato. Farming is the main source of living in the municipality of Pigcawayan. The Department of Agriculture (DA) selected Pigcawayan as one of the areas of its Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program.
The LIBRIS D – 2BB Irrigators Association, Inc. is one of the chosen farmer-beneficiaries in the Upper Baguer, Pigcawayan, North Cotabato. The group was registered as a non-stock corporation in the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 23, 2004.
The 30 members of the association consist of rice farmers, landowners, tenants, mortgagees, maintainers, and duly designated relatives or individuals who are actual cultivators or water users within the organization’s area of coverage. It is composed of seven (7) Turn-Out Service Area Groups (TSAG), the first level organizational structure of an irrigator association.
Through the DA-SAAD Program, the association received a Mallard Duck Production Project in November 2018. The project consisted of the provision of 330 head of mallard ducks and feeds.
The intervention aims to create a new venture for income to the association and its members, as an alternative source of income after land preparation and planting of rice. When the rice field is already established, the rice farmers have less workload to do. This creates a perfect opportunity for the rice farmers and the association as a whole to engage in other livelihood activities.
The LIBRIS D-2BB Irrigation Association has successfully managed the project by constant learning and tapping on linkages.
INNOVATIONS/ GOOD PRACTICES
Proper Feeding and Management
The LIBRIS D – 2BB Irrigators Association, Inc. managed the project well through proper feeding and management of mallard ducks.
The daily routine of the association makes sure of the consistent time of feeding, collection of eggs, and avoidance of stress-causing factors.
Given the condition at the Upper Baguer, Pigcawayan, North Cotabato, the association found that the golden snail (kuhol) and mungbean, which are locally available, are alternative feeds.
With these cheap feed supplements, the growth and development of the mallard ducks will continue despite the shortage in commercial feeds.
The association also practices proper record-keeping to monitor the project and track its progress. The daily egg production, expenses, and income are recorded and compared from previous ones.
The mallard ducks produce 170 eggs a day, enough to supply eggs in the community, especially to the balut vendors. They also have regular customers. The association sells the eggs at PhP 8.00 per egg.
Tracking the income from the egg production, the association earns PhP 13,682 every month.
Cooperation with Partners
As IBRIS D – 2BB Irrigators Association, Inc. managed the production of mallard ducks, they also ensured constant communication with the SAAD Program through the Area Coordinator assigned through regular meetings and monitoring of their projects together with the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist and the Barangay Local Government Unit.
Furthermore, the association aims to find an opportunity to cater to a bigger marketplace and more stockholders to be able to expand its membership.
The biggest challenge the association faced in receiving the project was the lack of knowledge and experience in handling mallard ducks. However, with the enthusiasm of the recipients to learn and the assistance of the SAAD Program through a series of technical and capacity-building training programs, the association had overcome such obstacles.
At present, the Mallard Duck Production Project of the association has a daily egg production rate of above 90%. The sizes of eggs vary from medium to extra-large. No significant mortality was recorded and no major setbacks were noted. All eggs produced by the association are sold in local markets and the daily revenue exceeds daily expenses.
RISK MITIGATION STRATEGIES
The biggest threat to the project is the fluctuating price of eggs. There are times when the price is too low to even compensate the feed expense. The association solved this by contract selling, thereby getting a fairly stable price despite changes in the prevailing buying price of eggs.
Also, the association conducts a regular monthly meeting. It serves as a venue for the group to present updates regarding project management and financial status as well as discuss issues and concerns among members.
From the net income of the project, the association had managed to construct a shelter for their machinery. It also generated additional income to augment the expenses of the association and explore possible expansion of the project. However, aside from the tangible gains from the project, the association also benefited from the valuable knowledge they learned, such as proper management of mallard duck production.
Based on the experience of the association, the group wishes to propose that the SAAD Program will have continued support for training on product development and value-adding, as well as marketing assistance.