Zamboanga City – ZamPen native chicken is a lifeline not just to farmers and micro entrepreneurs of the Zamboanga Peninsula but also to San Ramon Penal colony inmates who anticipate productive reintegration after serving prison terms.
This is the promising future that this subsector of poultry and livestock industry is offering.
Raising ZamPen native chicken as a science-based countryside alternative livelihood resulted from the collaboration of the Western Mindanao Agriculture and Aquatic Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESMAARRDEC) and project funding agency Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).
In celebration of its 29th anniversary, WESMAARDEC held November 22-23 the ZamPen Native Chicken FIESTA 2016 themed “Manok ZamPen: Livelihood Option for every Juan in the Region.”
Dr. Teresita Narvaez, WESMAARRDEC director, said the event aimed to showcase and promote ZamPen native chicken in Region IX (Western Mindanao) on the concept of Farms and Industry Encounters through Science and Technology Agenda (FIESTA).
Promoting ZamPen native chicken was a package of technology transfer initiatives from production (breeding, handling, care, and management techniques) to commercialization (financing, processing, and marketing).
Dr. Narvaez expressed optimism that the ZamPen native chicken will be profitable for farmers and entrepreneurs because of its gourmet qualities of unique taste and texture; Plus, its health benefits will make it a fine choice for consumers, which leads to increase in market demand.
WESMAARRDEC’s Native Chicken FIESTA featured a techno-business forum at the KCC Mall of Zamboanga.
Farmers, entrepreneurs, students and other interested individuals attended to learn the native chicken’s breeding and management technologies from PCAARRD and WMSU scientists and researchers.
Mr. Julian H. Payne, president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, shared relevant entrepreneurial strategies in his presentation “Best Practices and Sharing of Plans on Native Chicken for Adoption and Commercialization.”
A direct beneficiary of the ZamPen native chicken project is this City’s San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm inmates.
In February this year, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) representing WESMAARRDEC, DOST-PCAARRD, and Bureau of Corrections (BUCOR) through the San Ramon penal farm for a research team to study the profitability and sustainability of the ZamPen native chicken as source of livelihood in rural communities.
An offshoot of the study was WMSU’s training for San Ramon inmates on ZamPen native chicken technology and marketing options. The BUCOR reminded that inmates to the project are expected to develop a sustainable livelihood once they leave prison and re-integrate into the community.
The inmates started raising ZamPen chicken in the San Ramon farms with WMSU providing breeders and grower stocks, as well as inputs such as feeds, vaccines, and other medications.
They were also provided technical assistance and other support services in the operation of the project, and in the marketing of live, dressed, and other native chicken products. WMSU also conducts a monthly evaluation on the status of the project.
On Day 3 of WESMAARDEC FIESTA, media and other interested individuals and groups toured the ZamPen native chicken farm site in San Ramon, observed developments of the project, and interviewed inmate-farmers.
One inmate lined up for release soon said he will step out of prison with renewed hope since he already has something to start a new life with – potential income from ZamPen native chicken.
Photo lifted from “PROFITABILITY OF RAISING ZAMPEN NATIVE CHICKEN” presentation of Dr. Teresita S. Narvaez, WESMAARDEC director, during FIESTA 2016 techno-business forum held in KCC Mall, Zamboanga City.
Dr. Edwin C. Villar, PCAARRD Livestock Research Division (LRD) director, speaks with San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm inmates who are beneficiaries of the DOST-PCAARRD, WESMAARRDEC and BUCOR collaboration to train them on breeding and management technologies of ZamPen native chicken. (Photo credit: DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Service)