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Masbate communities turn to poultry farming to beat pandemic woes

05:36 PM August 02, 2021

Residents of several barangays in Aroroy, Masbate, have embarked on food production to overcome problems brought about by the prolonged pandemic.

Much interest and substantial income to them is the egg production that assures supply to several poultry houses. Most of these eggs set a chain reaction of poultry production because these eggs produce chickens and these chickens, in turn, produce eggs in a never-ending cycle achieving a remarkable geometric progression.

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According to mining firms Filminera Resources Corporation (FRC) and Phil Gold Processing & Refining Corporation (PhilGold), the sustained supply of eggs and chickens have stimulated allied food production establishments even in neighboring barangays and towns. Such growth has also encouraged a growing network of retail and wholesale buyers supplying eggs and chickens to more municipalities in Masbate. A combined monthly income of close to a million pesos result in at least 12 million annual revenue stream for these micro or mini enterprises.

The bulk of the earnings – around 70% – are equally distributed to association members while 30% is being retained in the bank as part of the associations’ monthly savings, the two firms added. The project was set up in 2016 in the eight impact barangays in Aroroy, and soon, the project grew and expanded to include more barangays in Aroroy.

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“The humble egg serves as the staple in meals of households, and the essential source of food variations related to poultry,” said Filminera’s resident manager, Geronimo Badulis Jr. “Several livelihood associations in the two firms’ host barangays have continually earned income and enabled the families to have food on their table.”

More than five years ago, the mining companies sponsored and organized livelihood opportunities for the community folk which include the innovative hydroponics agriculture system, banana chips food processing, oyster production, bangus and tilapia culture, salted egg processing, egg production preparatory to poultry supply, among others.

The firms jointly implemented these through their Social Development and Management Program (SDMP), which receive sustained multi-million peso funding from the two mining firms every year.

Alongside equipping residents in egg and chicken production, the companies have been conducting training programs among the community micro entrepreneurs to enable them to operate and expand their cooperatives. The training programs include capacity building, financial literacy and management, hands-on technical trainings, and study tours.
The livelihood associations, with the guidance of the two mining firms, learned to expand their poultry houses, further grow their egg and chicken production to accommodate additional chickens to produce more eggs.

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