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More organized backyard livestock and poultry farms will rise in the countryside in the succeeding months with the Department of Agriculture (DA) implementing the expanded livestock and poultry production and livelihood project.

In a press statement on October 28, DA Sec. William Dar said the initiative aims to help farm families recover from lost jobs and unemployment due to the pandemic.

He said beneficiaries who will qualify will receive initial stocks of livestock and poultry animals to raise and propagate as sources of food and sustainable income.

“With this initiative, we aim to help farm families recover from the loss of jobs and unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and those whose hogs and poultry stocks were depopulated due to the African Swine Fever or avian influenza (bird flu), respectively,” he said.

Beneficiaries may receive chicks for broiler production, or ready-to-lay pullets for table egg production, or free-range chicken, ducks, swine (for ASF free areas), goats, sheep, cattle, and carabao.

The initial budget for the DA’s expanded project is P337 million and will form part of its national livestock program (NLP).

Qualified beneficiaries are required to group into clusters with at least 15 members, or be or be a member of a farmers’ cooperative, association, or peoples’ organization to attain the project’s purposes, the statement said.

Tasked as project implementer, the DA-Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has identified initial beneficiaries who will be clustered per area.

Beneficiaries may start realizing gains as early as two months for those engaged in broiler production, and four to six months for those in chicken egg production, and raising of hogs, goats, and sheep.

Included, too, in the project guidelines is the provision of animal feed for three months to enable beneficiaries to nourish and fatten their stocks into marketable weight or age.

Farm tools, equipment, and machinery may also be given to selected beneficiaries.

The project beneficiaries per module may receive the following:

  • Broiler production – 100 chicks worth P15,000;
  • Native chicken and egg production – 40 hens, 10 roosters, feeds, and incubator, worth P55,000;
  • Duck and balut production – 40 ducks and 10 drakes, worth P35,000;
  • Hog production – three piglets (weaners) and eight bags of feeds, worth P25,000; and
  • Livestock production – three does and 1 buck, one cattle or one carabao, at least P30,000 up to P120,000.

In all, the national livestock program (NLP) aims to promote animal and poultry breeding and production, particularly of meat, eggs, and milk, said DA Undersecretary for Livestock and Poultry William Medrano.

His team is tasked to ensure the smooth implementation of the NLP in coordination with the DA regional field offices in collaboration with the local government units.