Friday, May 16, 2014

Joel S. Callano: A Marine Engineer Turns an Animal Raiser

Joel S. Callano of Tagbina, Surigao del Sur harvesting eggs from his poultry farm.
He said that hands-on management is the key to success for any ventures.
After sailing in vast ocean for almost 12 years, Joel Callano of Sitio Matin-aw, Poblacion, Tagbina, Surigao del Sur finally decided to follow his dreams to run a business and eventually led him into animal raising.

Joel,  54 years old and a father of two, has to wake up around four o’clock in the morning to check his 4.1 hectares farm land adopting Integrated Farming System.

Within his area, he ventured various projects such as hog raising, goat production, and poultry production. He also planted various fruit bearing trees such as durian, calamansi, and coconut intercropped with rubber.

Joel is also a lover of flowers. He has a small portion of his land devoted to orchids and anthurium which he sells to interested buyers.

Animal wastes were utilized through vermi composting and applied as fertilizer for his vegetation as a way promoting organic agriculture in his locality. 

Despite the heavy workload in his farm, Joel did not feel heavily laden as his loving wife Sonia supported him by taking in-charge of the marketing side of their farm operation. He is supported also with his 3 farm workers.

Joel said that at the start he don’t have adequate knowledge in raising small animals. This was the reason why he keep asking from his friends and also attended various trainings conducted by some private companies and the Department of Agriculture thru the Agricultural Training Institute and the Provincial and Municipal Agriculture Office.

Aside from the trainings and ideas from his peers, he personally conducted self-study or trial by error to verify various approaches and techniques suitable in his area.

To cut down expenses in commercial feeds, he established his own feed mill with the help of the technical expertise of DA-ATI.

As of now, meat and egg entrepreneurs in Tagbina and neighboring towns placed their orders from him. For faster service for clients, he utilizes his private car and a tricycle as a delivery vehicle.

Having established a good rapport with his costumers, Joel consistently posted an average Return of Investment (ROI) of 135% in 2012 while in last year 2013 his ROI was 179% across all of his agricultural ventures.

Known to have implemented the best practices in animal raising his farm is being tapped by the nearby Surigao del Sur State University (SSDSU) for their student’s internship program.

With the strategic location of his farm along the main highway, he envisioned to establish his own cake shop serving cakes and pastries, leche flan and other native delicacies with buko and calamansi juice as natural thirst quenchers, dream that is not far from reality as he is armed with dedication and a supportive family. (Aurell P. Arais/RAFIS DA Caraga)


Thursday, May 15, 2014

DA-LGU Caraga Ties Knot for Agri Development

DA-RFO13 Officers  headed by newly appointed RTD for Research and Regulatory
Nicandro Navia, Jr. (4th from right) answers queries from LGU participants in an open
forum during the Forum with Local Government Officials held in Butuan City.
Butuan City -  “Bridging the Gap, Touching the Heart. Focus our minds, deliver results.”  So goes the battle cry of the AgriPinoy framework.

Adhering to such rallying call and to bring the Department of Agriculture closer to the local government units in Caraga, the forum with the local government unit’s official was conducted in one of the convention center here last April 10, 2014.

The forum was attended by local chief executives from different LGUs in Caraga with the presence of no less than Governor Adolph Edward Plaza of Agusan del Sur.

Other attendees were vice mayors, sangguniang bayan members, agriculture and veterinary officers, planning officers, accountants and academe.

Nicandro Navia Jr. newly appointed OIC Regional Technical Director (RTD) for Research and Regulatory portrayed out the said forum as a marriage ceremony wherein open communication is vital for a successful union.

“DA and LGU are bonded together as one with mutual love, respect, help and support for a long lasting working relationship for the common good of Caraganons”, Navia said.

Agricultural situation in the region as well as various programs and interventions being offered by the aggie department was discussed by Field Operations Division (FOD) Officer in Charge Rebecca Atega for an easy access for the LGU for the betterment of their constituents.

It was clearly stated that the LGU have to submit a letter of intent or proposal for them to avail DAs projects and interventions from banner programs such as corn, rice, livestock, high value crops development program, infrastructure and organic agriculture as well as special projects.

To guide LGUs on the process flow and documentary requirements it was thoroughly tackled by DA RFO 13 Admin and Finance OIC Josefa Gidacan.  

A lively discussion ensued during the open forum wherein LGUs were given a chance to asked questions directly to the division chiefs, program coordinators and focal persons.

With the conduct of the said activity, DA RFO 13 is optimistic of stronger ties with the local government units for the development of the agricultural sector in Caraga. (Aurelius P. Arais/Info Section DA CARAGA)