Learning and Earning Site Entices Maribojoc Folks to Engage in Farming

Created on Monday, 09 June 2014

engageIn the past, majority of the populace in the Municipality of Maribojoc in Bohol is left without a choice except to be employedin the urban area for a living.

The rocky terrain of the municipality makes it unsuitable for agriculture. Engaging in agriculture was simply impossible, says ReylanJabonillo, Center Director of the BinhiSaPanginabuhian Farm and Training Center.

The miserable situation urged the local chief executive, Mayor Leoncio Evasco, Jr., to design an organic agriculture program that would entice people to engage in what seems to be an unappealing endeavor.

Joan Alimana, 39 years old, has been helping her husband earn a living by selling in a sari-saristore. She recalled she was one of the hardest to convince to join the program, due to her stance that planting crops and raising livestock are not lucrative businesses.

Nevertheless, the persistent wooing made her join the program. She was surprised that on the first cropping season of swine raising, she had a return of investment (ROI) of 66% and the second cropping was even more promising with an ROI of 88%. Poultry raising has even a brighter result with an ROI of 80% on the first year , which almost doubles on the second year. Joan was amazed for earning P25,000 for the ten piglets she raised on the first cropping.

Initially, the program targets 70 beneficiaries, who would immerse on a hands-on training at the center on organic livestock production. The four-hectare facility showcases organic crop production including several kinds of forages, vermi-culture beds, breeding areas for swine and chicken, goat and cattle sheds, feed-mixing area, incubation room with customized-design egg cabinets and an organic vegetable garden.

Teaching the beneficiaries on the cycle of livestock production is a unique feature of the facility. To raise livestock, a forage area must be considered. In fact, every beneficiary is required to plant vegetables and forages in their homes as part of livestock production.



Above shows some beneficiaries feeding their self-made feed mixtures.

Attracting scores of farmers is the scheme of theprogram which started a year ago.A family-based beneficiary is given 10 piglets while an individual is given one or two piglets. The livestock will be fed and cared in the facility, where every beneficiary learns to mix the right feeds based on the animals’ age. Participants are required to report once a week to the center for a hands-on activity.

Record keeping is part of the training, to teach them real business in the farm-- all ingredients in the locally-mixed feeds are costed. The beauty of the program lies in the fact that beneficiaries are provided with inputs up to the third cropping while all inputs of the succeeding cropping seasonare owned up by the recipients.

For constituents who live in remote areas, the local government will set up laboratory areas right in their place. These serve as training centers in their localities so they will not be deprived of the program of the municipal government.

To encourage the youth to join the program, barangays have created a policy to include basketball players who can raise livestock. According to ReylanJabonillo, the program have stirred agriculture enthusiasts among the youth. With more constituents signifying to join the program, the LGU of Maribojoc is hopeful that the demands will be met as the program needs sufficient funds .

According to Jabonillo, market of the ‘Mariboy andMarinok’ (short for MaribojocBaboy and Manok which are raised organically) is rising. The local market alone cannot cope with the demand and requests outside of Maribojoc are coming in. Every week they deliver around 500 pigs and close to 1,000 chickens to the local market.

The program has been a realization to the hundreds of farmers in Maribojoc that agriculture can happen even if the land terrain is at odds with it. It only takes to design a program where people learn and earn at the same time.