GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 Feb) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) has approved a grant of around P3 million for the establishment of a swine multiplier farm in South Cotabato province.
Dr. Flora Bigot, officer-in-charge of the Provincial Veterinary Office, said the preparations are underway for the implementation of the project, which will be spearheaded by the Allah Valley Small Livestock and Poultry Association based in the province’s upper valley area.
She said the local government is set to sign a memorandum of agreement with DA-Region 12 to facilitate its full rollout.
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan or provincial board passed a resolution earlier this week, granting authority to Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes to sign the agreement with DA-12, she said.
Bigot said the swine multiplier farm will mainly benefit small raisers in the municipalities of Tantangan, Norala, Surallah, Tampakan, and Sto. Nino.
She said the DA grant covers the provision of 40 heads of breeder swine, pig pen as well as one year supply of feeds, drugs and other biologics.
The provincial government of South Cotabato will provide technical assistance to the Allah Valley Small Livestock and Poultry Association, the lead proponent, as counterpart.
“The project will provide additional income to the proponent group when these breeders eventually produce piglets that will be sold to local farmers or raisers,” Bigot said in an interview.
The official said farmers who cannot afford to buy the piglets may avail of loans from DA through the Production Loan Easy Access or PLEA program.
Under the loan facility, she said farmers may seek a loan of up to P50,000 at a minimal interest rate of two percent.
The PLEA program, which is implemented by DA’s Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC), aims to address the financial needs of marginal farmers and fisher folk by providing them easy access to loans.
ACPC has established an office at the demonstration farm of the City Agriculture Office in Barangay General Paulino Santos in Koronadal City to make its services more accessible to farmers in the area. (MindaNews)