Ronald Costales, the award-winning organic farmer-entrepreneur, has come up with a novel scheme that benefits the beneficiaries of the so-called 4Ps program of the government. Usually, under the present program, the Department of Social Welfare and Development gives cash to poor families for as long as they send their children to school, aside from some other requirements.
Now, Costales who produces organic vegetables, pigs and chickens, has a better way of helping the poor. His scheme teaches the poor how to produce organic pigs which he will buy at a premium. This is how it works. The DSWD finances the initial three weanlings that the beneficiary raises, plus the feeds, simple housing and the training on how to take care of the animals, including how to compound cheap feed materials that are fermented. Costales and his staff do the training. No cash is given to the farmer, only the material inputs.
Costales will buy back the fattened pigs of the recipients at a premium, i.e., ten pesos higher per kilo than the prevailing price in the market. There is another plus. For every kilo that Costales buys from the hog raiser, P5 is set aside to be given to the farmer at the end of the year. That is his saving that he can use to celebrate during the holiday season, or for some other purposes.
There is another incentive to the farmer who makes good. He will become a beneficiary in the next level – that of growing organic native chicken. The farmer will be given 30 chicks to raise and he will also be taught how to make his feeds that include green forage like the Super Napier.
The DSWD has commissioned Costales to implement the scheme in the whole of Region 4. Maybe, he might be engaged next to implement the same program in Region 5.
The program in Region 4 started just about a month ago. So far there are 50 families enrolled in the program. The proceeds that the recipient will make from the initial three weanlings will now become his capital for his next batch of fatteners.
We will be monitoring the progress of this novel scheme. We have explained how the scheme works to a lady governor and she was so excited. She wanted to duplicate the idea immediately.