DA to support bird flu-affected farmers in Nueva Ecija

By , on August 21, 2017

DA Logo (Photo by Department of Agriculture, Public Domain)
DA Logo (Photo by Department of Agriculture, Public Domain)

JAEN, Nueva Ecija — The Department of Agriculture (DA) will extend financial assistance to families whose animals were culled due to avian flu contamination in Barangay Imbunia, this municipality.

Director Roy Abaya, of DA Regional Field Office 3, said the government will extend a PHP20,000 loan payable in three years with no interest to owners of the 79,000 quails, 7,900 chickens and 10,000 ducks within the one-kilometer radius restriction zone here.

On top of this, Abaya said, is a PHP5,000 assistance to each of them.

The government will also pay PHP10 for every head of quail and PHP80 each for chicken and duck, it was learned.

Abaya and local government officials met with the affected farmers on Monday to explain the importance of culling the fowls to prevent possible spread of the bird flu.

Mayor Sylvia Austria said that the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) led by Paperlyn Pablo also offered assistance to the affected residents.

There were at least 35 backyard quail houses in the village but only 20 of them were within the one-kilometer radius zone.

Village head Felicisima Pablo said her constituents engaged in quail backyard farming to augment the income of their respective families that are mostly into agriculture.

“They followed suit because of their desire to earn even for their daily expenses,” the barangay chairman, who was among the first to engage in quail farming, said.

A farmer will need PHP30,000 to invest on 1,000 birds from the start until they lay eggs, which spans 30 to 45 days. After 45 days, the continuous input will be on feeds but a farmer can earn PHP2,000 a week from eggs.

But despite their losses brought by the culling and initial reluctance, the farmers said they will take it as a challenge they will have to face.

“I hope the government will not indeed neglect us,” a housewife said. (PNA)