6 to 158 and counting…

Created on Saturday, 01 June 2019 Published Date

The word “exponential” may well describe the remarkable growth of a farmer’s poultry production project in sleepy Sitio Cawilan, Brgy. Garden, Arteche, Eastern Samar, which has caused program implementors, technologists, and other stakeholders to be awed by noticing its unusual progress.

Neil M. Ladera, 49, is an unassuming individual who was formerly into rice farming as tenant.  Half of the harvest for every planting season was usually divided between him and his brother-in-law who assisted him, while the other half went to the landowner as his share.  Frequently, the income he earned was not enough to tie over his family’s finances until the next harvest, even if his wife contributed to the coffers by tending to a sari-sari store.

Hence, when the first chance to diversify his farming pursuits came his way, he immediately grabbed it.  For him, being an elementary graduate was no stumbling block; rather, he saw this as a challenge to improve his lot, absorbing every opportunity as a way to better himself.

Thus, when he was chosen as beneficiary of the 2018 SAAD Program Poultry Production Project, he immediately buckled down to work.  Initially, Neil received 6 heads pullets and 1.2 bags of feeds.  The pullets he mated with a brood cock, which he owns.  The eggs were then incubated naturally by the layer chickens, and the chicks multiplied exponentially and reached to 158 heads.  At the time of monitoring, there were also 72 eggs being incubated by 6 hens at the chicken coop.

Even if Neil has not attended any formal training on poultry production, he relies mainly on his stock knowledge derived from raising roosters, native chickens, and ducks in the past, though not of the same volume and magnitude that he has at present.  What he wishes for is to have his poultry inoculated against infections, but he was already assured by veterinarians from DA-RFO 8 that they will conduct vaccinations to protect the birds from migratory diseases.  He is thankful that since the start of the venture, there had been zero mortality in his poultry farm.

It helps that Neil obtained a PhP10,000.00 soft loan from another brother-in-law abroad, which he used to construct an elevated poultry house and sustain the feeding of the chickens, consisting of a mix of crumble and layer mash.  His immediate plan is to further expand his poultry house to accommodate his rapidly increasing chicken population.

SAAD Program continues to vigorously pursue its objectives by putting a stop to the culture of mendicancy – privileged endowment that has been instilled in the Filipino psyche since time immemorial, that the government owes them big time by providing for everything.  Farmer Neil is a classic example of the opposite – a chicken farmer who flexes his limbs and muscles, toils and labors unobtrusively in order to succeed, and uses whatever resource, however small, the government has granted him by putting it to good use.  (MICHAEL F. DABUET, SAAD Staff, FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO, Chief, RAFIS)

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