A farmer beneficiary feeds his goat a bundle of hybrid-Napier grass.

The provincial government’s goat dispersal alternative livelihood program to alleviate poverty in rural communities in Palawan will continue this year after a brief respite due to the election ban.

Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) coordinator Ninfa Rubio said Tuesday through a statement released by the Provincial Information Office (PIO) that they will now re-start their promotion campaign for rural poor families to improve their income.

Under the program, Rubio said each poor family from the organized Grassroots People’s Organization (GPO) will receive P30,000 from the Gender and Development (GAD) fund of the province to purchase the animals and build shelters for them.

“This dispersal starts with five female goats and a buck. The remaining money is used for goat shelter and for the member’s dues to their association,” she said.

As of 2019, the provincial government was able to organize 250 GPOs province-wide with an average of 20 families each for members.

Rubio added that in 2018 alone, the PPDO was able to award livelihood assistance to 400 poor families from 21 GPOs, most of them located in southern Palawan.

Along with the anti-poverty program is also the distribution of hybrid Napier grass as a food substitute to farmer beneficiaries.

Rubio, who also acts as the provincial GAD focal person, said that this year, they also have P65 million obligated funds for 112 GPOs composed of 2,174 families.

“We’ve conducted an orientation if they wanted goat raising as their livelihood and most of them showed interest. So most of our organized GPOs are into goat raising” she pointed out.

An inventory of the rural poor was conducted before the PPDO came up with the goat raising project, which has a big market in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines (BIMP)-East ASEAN Growth Area.

“The purpose of the inventory of the rural poor is to determine where and who the poor are. After determining where they are, we organize them into GPOs for our livelihood interventions,” Rubio explained.

To ensure the success of the project, she said the PPDO is continuously monitoring the progress of the program.

The goat raising livelihood initiative is aimed at bringing down the poverty incidence in the province pegged at 52 percent in 2017 to 2018, to the national average of 25 percent.

She said the provincial government is confident that this initiative will help in achieving the target, along with other livelihood programs that have been implemented such as seaweeds farming, cacao production, and coconut program.

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