To contribute to government’s bid on sustaining food security amid COVID-19, the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1 (DA – RFO1)’s Research Division through the directives of the Regional Executive Director, Lucrecio R. Alviar Jr., is continuing to give briefing and training to the farmer recipients regarding the Innovative Family Enterprise Development (IFED) project of the agency on June 11-12, 2020 to the 30 farmers from the different associations in the three (3) barangays of Bagulin, La Union (Barangay Barbarauis, Cambaly and Sumadag).

According to Ms. Melinda Calumpit, Senior Science Research Specialist, the recipients will be receiving twenty (20) chickens each (18 pullets and 2 cockerels) and seven (7) various vegetable seeds including eggplant, tomato, ampalaya, okra, pole sitao, finger pepper, and pechay. She informed that the project’s objective is to enhance productivity and profitability of farm-families in the Ilocos Region requiring a total of three (3) hectares in the Municipality of Bagulin.

A total amount of Php322,106.00 is to be awarded to recipients where Php295,440.00 is for free – range chicken and the remaining Php26,666.00 is allocated for vegetable production.

To improve yield and income on vegetables by at least 10% by 2022 as one of the division’s objective, community participatory action research shall be done to one cooperator per barangay where it will evaluate and showcase the effect of plant growth promoter in increasing productivity and profitability of growing vegetables following the improved Package of Technology (POT) for each crop.

Like vegetables, free-range chicken farming shall also be showcased using the improved Package of Technology on free-ranged chicken production.

To qualify as a recipient, farmers’ organization should be duly registered with Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) or other appropriate registering body and DA accredited Farmers’ Cooperatives/ Association (FCAs), has active set of officers and members, the FCAs must be willing to cooperate and participate in the project, preferably smallholder farm families with crops-poultry projects, receptive to innovative technologies/ development projects and have the interest to venture in the agri-based family enterprise.

To sustain the project, Ms. Calumpit said that roll-over scheme shall be followed at 1:1 to be rolled over within 1 year (ready to lay) from receipt of free-ranged chicken while received amount of seeds and fertilizers for vegetables will be also rolled over after 1 year. The repayment of the project shall be collected and managed by the association as stock/input capital and the rollover of project support shall be given to qualified household members as subsequent beneficiaries.

Other topics that were discussed during the briefing for the implementation of the IFED project were; Insect Pest and Disease Management on Lowland Vegetable, Lowland Vegetable Production, Chicken Production and Waste Management, and Utilization.