Poverty in the Philippines and the Need for Economic Solutions
In many areas of the Philippines, poverty has a significant impact on the local population. For example, Olango Island is a region where the primary industry is fishing, and residents earn an average income of around $100, which falls below the poverty line as defined by the United Nations. The income is not only low but also highly dependent on the weather, making it difficult for locals to improve their economic status.
The Small-Scale Chicken Farming Project: Adapting to Local Circumstances
The Small-Scale Chicken Farming Project originated from a local experience shared during a seminar, aiming to improve the economic situation of farmers. However, raising sheep, which was the initial idea, is not feasible in the Philippines due to its tropical climate. Instead, the project adapted to local circumstances and the country's deep-rooted culture of sabong (cockfighting). Filipinos have a certain level of knowledge about raising chickens, and the weather and environment are favorable for their growth. By combining local knowledge and favorable conditions, the Small-Scale Chicken Farming Project became a viable economic solution for local communities.
Combining Microfinance and Chicken Farming for Economic Growth
Starting in February 2014, the Small-Scale Chicken Farming Project was combined with microfinance to launch a community loan program. The program provided funds to locals to purchase and raise chickens, which can be sold for meat, and eggs for a sustainable source of income. Additionally, the association collaborated with local organizations to buy chickens at a discounted price directly from farms, reducing the cost burden for locals from the original price of 45 pesos to 25 pesos per chicken. The program not only provided a new economic opportunity but also helped alleviate the financial burden of starting a chicken farming business.
The Success of the Small-Scale Chicken Farming Project and its Impact on Local Communities
The Small-Scale Chicken Farming Project was an immediate success, with over 30 households participating in raising chickens initially. Each chicken reaches maturity in approximately 45 days, weighing 1-3 kilograms, and selling for 140 pesos per kilogram of meat. On average, each chicken could earn a profit of 160 pesos. The initial investment in the project was only a little over $100, but profits from selling mature chickens amounted to more than $2,000, a remarkable 20-fold increase. By the end of 2014, the project had raised nearly 700 chickens and generated about 112,000 pesos in income for local residents, an average of 3,734 pesos per household, equivalent to almost $100 per household. The success of the project not only improved the economic and living standards of local residents but also demonstrated the long-standing connection between Filipinos and their relationship with chickens, making it a worthwhile "sabong bonus" for the community.
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