A native chicken-raising project of the government that promotes better yield and higher income is targeting at least 200 beneficiaries in Negros Oriental through a local partner.
The Darag native chicken project is being implemented in the province through the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) and the College of Agriculture of Silliman University.
At a “Kapihan sa PIA” late Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Michaelito Naldo, project leader from the SU-College of Agriculture, said 14 raisers in the second district of Negros Oriental have started the project in April and May and are now in the production stage.
The Darag chickens are now in the ready-to-lay (RTL) eggs stage, and if hatched, the fowls will be ready for “slaughter” for their meat in four months, Naldo said.
A Darag native chicken is expected to yield 120 eggs per year, higher than the estimated eggs produced by the traditional local native chicken.
Native chickens are always in demand for their distinct taste that is better than their broiler counterparts, but the Darag chicken is a product of scientific study and years of finding the right breed mix to increase production, Dr. Synan Baguio, Livestock Research Division Chief of the DOST-PCAARRD said.
“I can assure you that the Darag native chicken is not genetically-engineered or genetically modified but is a result of scientific study and laboratory experiments to help backyard farmers increase their yield in terms of eggs and chicken meat,” he said in mixed English and Cebuano.
The project targets a total of 200 beneficiaries or “adapters” spread out in the three districts of Negros Oriental, with each one of them receiving a starter kit of 25 hens and five roosters, Naldo said.
Those interested in availing of the project are encouraged to attend seminars/training on the Darag native chicken production and be registered for the project with the SU-College of Agriculture, he said.
On Tuesday, about 15 to 20 people attended a seminar on Darag native production at the SU-College of Agriculture prior to the forum in the afternoon.
Naldo said they have the breeder chickens available at the Silliman Farm, which will be distributed to future adapters once they have completed the requirements. (PNA)