LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The COVID-19 affected farmers in Benguet province have received the 140 sheep from the  Department of Agriculture- Regional Field Office of Cordillera (DA-RFO CAR) through the agency’s  Livestock Banner Program.

Benguet Provincial Veterinrian Dr. Miriam Tiongan said this DA-RFO CAR’s program initiative in partnership with Local Government Units (LGUs) will help many farmers in the province engage in livestock raising amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a simple ceremony at the Benguet Capitol on Monday, September 14, 2020, Tiongan said the 140 sheeps with a total worth of Php. 2,769,202.00 including dewormers and mineral blocks were formally turned over to the farmers.
The sheep with dorper breed were purchased from Gerona, Tarlac.

She said the 50 heads of sheep were were given to the town of Buguias; 30 heads for Itogon, 40 heads for Tuba, 15 heads for La Trinidad, and 5 heads for Sablan town.

Under the DA Memorandum Circular No. 21, the Expanded Livestock and Poultry Production and Livelihood Project for COVID 19 response aim to contribute to food amidst the present crisis, provide live hood and additional income for poor farmer households, and provide protein source to poor farmer households in the peri-urban and ASF-affected areas.

Martin Suldayan, President of Lusong Vegetable Grower Organization in Buyacaon, Buguias lauded the efforts of the DA on giving intervention during this pandemic.

He said that this dispersal will serve as other sources of income of their association members aside from planting vegetables like cabbage and allowing them to venture out to small ruminant raising.

“It was our first time to receive sheep for raising and it was indeed a big blessing for us farmers who have experienced difficulty in marketing our vegetable produced”, he added.

Meanwhile, Tiongan said before the animals were received, training and capability building were provided to the beneficiaries by the Benguet Provincial Veterinary Office.

On September 11, 2020, she said that 870 heads of ready to lay chicken worth Php 435,000 and 175 bags of feeds worth Php. 252,2875 were given to Liang Goldfield Apeshay Twin River Mambolo Farmers Association of Itogon, Lusong Vegetable Growers Association of Buguias and Me’king Garage Service Association of Kabayan.

She added that a total of 200 heads of ready to lay chicken and 40 bags of feeds were distributed to Baguio Animal Raisers Agriculture Cooperative (BARACO) that benefitted 20 farmer members worth Php 157,800.

“With these livelihood projects, it shows that the DA will continuously intensifies its efforts to help farmers in producing food and allowing them to gain additional income amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tiongan said.