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From the rehabilitation program for the affected farmers of the Tyhoon Ompong under the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1 (DA – RFO 1) Livestock Banner Program, the DA – RFO 1 thru the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte distributed 1,200 heads of ducks, 30 heads of native pigs and 60 heads of cattle on March 6-7, 2019 at Laoag City and Solsola, Ilocos Norte respectively.

During the distribution, Hon. Angelo Marcos Barba – Vice Governor, Province of Ilocos Norte said that farmers in Ilocos Norte are lucky to receive such livestock (intervention) because it is given for free. He added that as a counterpart, there is a Hog Grower Pellets provided by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte for the recipients of native pigs.

“The DA quickly provides project for our farmers. This distribution of ducks and native pigs are just one of their projects not only for the farmers here in Ilocos Norte who were affected by Typhoon Ompong but all farmers in the Province,” Vice Governor Barba said as he expressed his gratitude to DA .

On the second day, the Livestock Multiplier Farm was launched in Barangay Nalasin, Solsona, Ilocos Norte hand-in-hand with the distribution of the 60 heads of cattles to the 60 farmer beneficiaries.

The Livestock Multiplier Farm was a project of the Livestock Banner Program last 2017 and it composed of Goat Multiplier Farm, Native Pig Multiplier Farm, Free Range Chicken Multiplier Farm and Foreign Cattle Multiplier Farm.

The project is a joint effort of the Municipality of Solsona and DA – RFO 1 that aims to increase the cattle inventory of the municipality, upgrade the indigenous breeds of cattle, increase farmers’ income and provide livelihood opportunities for the farmers.

Mr. Juanito Malazo, Jr. – Livestock Focal Person who represented Regional Executive Director Dir. Lucrecio R. Alviar, Jr. announced that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in particular has ordered DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol to propose a budget ten times to DA's current budget.

“So we expect that we will be having ten times increase in our budget,” Malaso said.

“Actually, before we establish a project we propose first to the Mayors. Other Mayors are sometimes reluctant to support the project as sometimes it is difficult to look for qualified recipients. But here in Solsona, when we proposed this Multiplier Farm, Mayor Calucag agreed immediately and asked for the needed requirements, then after two weeks they were able to facilitate the requirements. So immediately, the project came through,” he added.

Meanwhile, Solsona Mayor Alexander A. Calucag mentioned that the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) allocated 1.2M for the training on cattle raising and other related trainings in Agriculture. He envisions the Multiplier Farm to become an Agri-tourism site soon.

“Adu ti madamdamag kun nga um-umay ditoy agbisbista ken umay da agpicture picture. Isu nga kailangan lang nga adda ti ordinansa nga maaramid tapno agbalin isuna nga agritourism nga isu pay nga pangalaan iti pundo iti Municipyo ken agbalin nga livelihood iti umili,” (A lot of information regarding people coming over here taking pictures of the site and maybe we could create an ordinance to transform it into agri-tourism site as it can be a source of additional fund for the municipality and can also become a livelihood for our constituents), Mayor Calucag said.

To date, the Multiplier Farm consists of 11 heads of goats, 40 heads of native pigs, 8 heads of foreign cattle for fattening, and 60 heads native chicken.

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