: Animal husbandry interventions for SACADA WORKERS and their dependents



BACKGROUND The SACADA workers or sacadas coming from this municipality are one of the marginalized work groups that need dramatic interventions from the government. The LGU so far has not made any interventions to develop improved land use practices by these workers that could lead to increased household income and increased animal husbandry for market uses. An underlying constraint to achieve this objective is chronic shortfalls in food production, contributing to about 20-40% of resident households having insufficient food during the last 2 to 4 months that were worsened by the El Niño phenomenon. The LGU, in view of the opportunity coming from the Department of Labor and Employment, deems it high time to make the necessary steps to address this problem. It has some ideas but lacking the fund to introduce in the context of rural livelihoods and resource production some models for development, such as those implemented in similar communities, particularly those which have adopted the so called “Community Markets for Conservation and Rural Livelihoods”, or COMACO. The basic approach of COMACO is to target households who are most vulnerable to food shortages and to organize them into formalized producer groups as a basis for learning improved farming skills. If they adopt these skills and if group members also adopt by-laws, which define specific obligations the group will make to reduce threats to the production of key natural resources in their area, then the group is eligible to receive farm/livelihood input support. The LGU has initially identified the sacadas through its Balete Labor Market Information System which database were generated through skills mapping conducted during the summers of 2009 and 2010. It aims to organize the same in the context of rural livelihoods and resource production. Considering that these workers are for the most part of the year outside of Balete, the LGU deems it proper to involve their other household members in the organizing and skills trainings for them to become first a food secure household and then to expand their livelihood skills to develop marketable goods (rice, hogs, poultry, goats, honey, etc.)

OBJECTIVES LGU is seeking the use of DOLE funds (Php. 299,170) to assist 30 households of sacadas in the Municipality of Balete, initially in Barangay Cortes. This support will make available required inputs to promote three important needs of food security and income generation in these areas and will lead to reduced threats to hunger and poverty in this barangay: 1. Poultry The first is backyard poultry production, which is significantly below levels adequate to sustain families with a reliable, year-round supply of nutritional protein. While it shows that on the average, all households in Cortes numbering to more or less 455, own and raise native chickens, seldom a household harvested them in bulk and sold at the local market. Demands for native chicken are high and yet the actual contribution to household income from the sale of chickens was minimal at the average of Php. 500 per household per year. On average, households owned at any given time 8 to 15 chickens, which also contributed an important source of animal protein to a family’s diet. The present market price of native chicken is at Php. 150 per kg live weight.

2. Goats Secondly, the LGU seeks to improve goat husbandry and market support for goats to promote alternative meat and milk sources as well as alternative income sources. It is said that the goat is the poor man’s cow because children and old folks who cannot afford cow’s milk prefer drinking goat’s milk. Yet, it is a known fact that a hybrid goat now is sold at Php. 450 per kg live weight while the native one is pegged at Php 180 per kg live weight. Inventory per the Community profile of Barangay Cortes shows that not a single household in the barangay is raising goats as to date. In the municipality, goat raising is undertaken by small farmers. On the average, goat raisers have one to two goats in their backyards. No commercial-scale goat farms exist in Balete as of today. It can be noted that these potentials derived from goat raising have not been fully utilized although demands for goat meats and milk are now becoming higher compared to the last decade. In a study conducted by a government agency, it was found out that goats are multipurpose ruminants producing 58.4% milk, 35.6% meat, 4.3% hide and 1.7% fiber. According to them, these small ruminants can provide the answer to improved nutritional requirements of the predominantly rural farm families of Balete. 3. Native Hogs Thirdly, the LGU finds it necessary to encourage the raising of native hogs considering its low input requirement and potential income generation. Raising of native pigs demands little attention as they are not susceptible to diseases. They easily adapt to the weather conditions and suited to foraging as they are omnivores. Native pig is the prepared breed by both the lechon makers and the gastronomes for its distinct taste and quality. Demands for it is generally at its highest during the peak season of December to January. Yet lechon makers and traders have the hard time finding for one as most hog raisers have shifted to raising hybrids for its marketability and higher profitability.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION The project is dispersal type starting with 30 households of sacadas and is designed to spread out to other households in the community in due time. It takes the Bahay Kubo paradigm as its springboard even as it attempts to adapt the COMACO model in implementing this animal husbandry intervention. Program components for goat raising involve the setting up of forage grass nursery, skills training on planting and maintaining of forage grasses such as Napier grass and grazing management.

STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION This animal husbandry intervention shall be implemented by the LGU through the collaboration of the Public Employment Service Office and the Municipal Agriculturist Office. The DOLE will provide the funding requirement needed and provide other technical and administrative assistance should the project demands for additional skills training and replication. Monitoring shall be done by the Agricultural Technician assigned in the area. Assistance from the Barangays officials may be tapped from time to time. The sacadas shall be organized to facilitate the dispersal of the project returns. Household beneficiaries shall have the obligation to turn over two piglets, two pairs of chicken and a kid during the first instance. Identification of the next beneficiaries shall be decided by the LGU and the DOLE in consultation with the organized SAKADA workers.

BUDGETARY REQUIREMENT 1. Poultry 30 mature native roosters @ Php. 300 per head 30 mature native hens @ Php. 250 per head 30 sacks crack corn @ Php. 1250 per sack Total 2. Goat 3 One year old Bucks (Anglo Nubians) @ Php. 6,750 Per head 27 One year old Does (Anglo Nubians) @ Php. 5,400 Per head Total 3. Hogs 3 male native uncastrated piglets @ Php. 1,500 per head 27 female native piglets @ Php. 1,500 per head 30 sacks rice bran @ Php. 360 per sack Total

Php. 9,000 7,500 37,500 Php. 54,000

20,250 145,800 Php.166,050

4,500 40,500 10,800 Php. 55,800

4. Skills Training on Forage Grass Planting and Maintenance And Grazing Management One-day onsite skills training 32 Meal packs @ Php. 150 per head Honorarium of Trainer @ Php. 250/hr Planting materials (varieties of forage grasses) Total

4,800 1,750 500 Php. 7,050

5. Forage Grass Nursery Establishment 2 Laborers @ Php. 160 per head 2 Meal Allowance @ 100 per head Rental of farming implements (or draught animal) for one day 2 rolls barb wire @ Php 2,500/roll 25 pcs. Madre de Cacao posts @ Php 10/post Total 6. Administrative Expenses Grand Total

320 200 500 5,000 250 Php. 6,270 Php. 10,000 Php. 299,170

PROJECT SUSTAINABILITY AND REPLICATION POTENTIAL The sustainability and replicability of the project are on the top of the concerns of the LGU. It sees the project as a pilot project that could be replicated among clusters of farmers/families in Cortes as well as in other barangays. The resolved to strengthen the sacadas’ organization is geared towards the sustainability of the project to provide a stable and adequate source of income for its members/cooperators.

Al F. de la Cruz
May 31, 2010 Balete, Aklan Philippines

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