CABARROGUIS, Quirino, Feb. 21 (PIA)- Around 115 households in four Agta villages in Disimungal, Nagtipunan town are now benefiting from the seeds, swine and carabao dispersal project of the Philippine Red Cross here in partnership with the Spanish Red Cross under the funding supports of Eibar (municipality of Spain).
Aimed at promoting the economic security of the Agta community as well as increasing awareness on forest preservation, the project was started last year with the distribution of vegetable seeds, garden tools and swine to the first batch of recipients.
In a focus group discussion with the four communities, the villagers shared that they are now harvesting their pole sitaw, eggplant and cucumber, okra, squash, ampalaya and pechay with an average of three kilograms per harvest.
Furthermore, one of the beneficiaries said that the project helps them to sustain their daily needs as compared before when they were only relying on root cropping for a living.
"Most of the time whenever we harvest our crops, we either consume or sell them and the money will be used to buy our rice," one beneficiary said.
Ofelia Mariano, PRC Quirino chapter administrator said in August last year, the Agta community again benefited in the third seeds distribution. Monitoring of the project is continuous to ensure its sustainability to improve food security at the household level of this community by improving food production.
"Those beneficiaries who have s
old their swine has an average of Php3, 500-5,000 income. It was also found that there are beneficiaries who have now replaced their swine with a new piglet and others are waiting for the newly born piglets to be dispersed by their co-beneficiaries," Mariano said.
The carabaos that were distributed last 2018 in each of the sitios were utilized in hauling activity such as harvesting crops (ginger and banana), house construction materials and others.
The Agtas who are into farming and regular work as laborer have regular income of Php1,000 and above per month but for those who only rely on root cropping have Php300-500 per month.
"Through the project, an average of Php 60-100 (ranging three kilos of crops) was accumulated by selling the harvested crops as an additional income of the Agtas and they also have an average of Php200 monthly savings," Mariano said. (MDCT/TCB/PIA 2-Quirino)