DA-MRDP equips farmers to be productive PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 October 2010 14:08

Providing farmers with carabaos to increase food production among the members of the Samahang Magbubukid sa Balansag (SMB) as well as the Balansag Multipurpose Cooperative (BMC) in RT Lim, Zamboanga Sibugay is rewarding to the Department of Agriculture’s Mindanao Rural Development Program (DA-MRDP).

Today, in barangay Balansag, idle lands are turned productive.  This is after the two farmer-organizations were provided with livelihood fund to equip farmer-beneficiaries with carabaos to help them toil the lands they have.

The SMB received the full amount of P250,000 to procure 14 heads of heifer carabaos at P15,000 each.  While the BMC with only P100,000 purchased five heads.  The first batch of recipients identified as poorest among the members were drawn by lot, reveals municipal facilitator Gina Sudario.

The two organizations also procured biologics such as vaccines, vitamin supplements and deworming drugs needed to take care of carabaos’ health.

Pascual Pat proudly claims that since he received the carabao from MRDP, he fully cultivates the three hectares he owns. 

“Kaniadto, gamay ra gyud akong maisan sa una kay guna ra man akong gamit paglimpyo sa akong uma. Mientras karon, daku na kay daru naman ang gamiton kay naa naman koy kabaw gikan sa MRDP (I had a small farm before since I only used manual weeding while at present, I am producing more because I easily plow my farm with the carabao given to me by MRDP), 51-year old Mang Pascual testifies.

Mang Pascual is one of SMB’s 14 first batch recipients who has 12 children. Five of them are already married and he still has seven to feed and send to school.

“Daku kaayo akong pasalamat niining maong proyekto kay nakabaligya na kog mais ug wala na ko gapalit ug bugas  kapa-eskwela pa gyud ko sa akong mga anak sa high school ug elementary. (I am thankful to this project because I earn extra income from corn,  I don’t buy our staple food and able to send my children to high school and elementary),” he declares.

Another recipient Lilia, spouse of Danilo Gutang, for her part, praises MRDP, saying: “Daku kaayo ang gikatabang sa carabao sa among panginabuhe kay nalukop na gyud namog tanom ang among yuta (Carabao is a big help because now we have fully planted our area). ”

The Gutang couple has more than four  hectares of land – three hectares planted to corn, one hectare is devoted to banana and half hectare riceland.

As recipient of heifer carabao, Manang Lilia is fully aware of their obligation towards animal health care.  Based on the organization’s policy, she tells that they have to repay a two-year old calf to the organization for the second batch of recipients to avail of.

So far, the heifer assigned to the Gutang couple already bore offspring which is already nine months.  Fifteen months more to go, they will already turn-over the offspring to the association.

As to membership, facilitator Sudario says that SMB has at least 40 members while BMC has 106.

Of the 19 heads of heifer carabaos provided by MRDP, six had already produced calves, seven are still pregnant and the other six are yet to be impregnated, as obtained by municipal agriculturist Emil Ventura. -- Remai S. Alejado/DA9

By REMAI S. ALEJADO

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 October 2010 14:39