Enterprising people in Iloilo might as well take a good second look at the prospects of producing Darag, the native chicken in Panay, in really big numbers to meet the big demand. It is one project that might as well be undertaken with collateral-free financing from the Department of Agriculture’s PLEA program.
PLEA stands for Production Loan Easy Access which charges just 6 percent interest. It is administered by the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC). Loans range from P5,000 to P50,000, depending on the project, payable in two to 10 years.
There’s really a big demand for native chicken in Iloilo City alone. On May 11, 2018 we interviewed Josephine Bayombong, manager of Tatoy’s Manokan & Seafoods, a favorite restaurant with three branches in Iloilo City founded by Honorato Espinosa. Josephine is his daughter.
She revealed that they need an average of 600 native chickens every day. Because no one can supply the demand from Iloilo, they have to source some of their requirements from Antique and Guimaras Island. They buy the fowls by the piece at P240 each, weighing about a kilo. Darag is prepared in different ways: Inasal, tinola, binacol, grilled and then made into sinigang or tinola.
Arsenio “Toto” Barcelona of Harbest Agribusiness who is also a member of the governing board of PCAARRD, said that PCAARRD has a project aimed at purifying the Darag to come up with fowls with uniform size and feather pattern. What is needed is to develop more breeders and more hatcheries to promote mass production of Darag.
One possible strategy to cut cost of production would be to promote EM (Effective Microorganism) and Bokashi supplemental feeding. This could be done by using fine (D1) rice bran fermented with molasses.