Agriculture - - Purified - BY JULIO P. YAP, JR.

A NEW CHICKEN STRAIN is now bring­ing hope to select in­mates of the San Ra­mon Prison and Pe­nal Farm (SRPPF) in Zam­boanga City, pro­vid­ing them with the proper knowl­edge which they can use af­ter serv­ing their sen­tences. This came af­ter the prison fa­cil­ity part­nered with the West­ern Min­danao State Univer­sity (WMSU) for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the “Eval­u­a­tion of the Sus­tain­abil­ity and Prof­itabil­ity of ZamPen Na­tive Chicken Pro­duc­tion as a Source of Liveli­hood in Ru­ral Com­mu­ni­ties.”

The project, led by West­ern Min­danao Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Con­sor­tium (WESMAARRDEC) Director and WMSU Vice Pres­i­dent for Re­source Gen­er­a­tion Dr. Tere­sita A. Nar­vaez, is a sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy (S&T) pro­gram of the pu­ri­fied Joloano strain chicken which has been val­i­dated for its breed­ing ef­fi­ciency, pro­duc­tion per­for­mance, and eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity at the SRPPF.

The project, which seeks the de­vel­op­ment of the chicken strain, is part of the In­dus­try Strate­gic S&T Pro­gram (ISP) on Na­tive Chicken that is ini­ti­ated by the Philip­pine Coun­cil for Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment of the Depart­ment of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (DOST-PCAARRD).

Based on the project, the ZamPen na­tive chicken raised at the fa­cil­ity is found to be more prof­itable by 26 per­cent on hard­ened chicks, and 86 per­cent on slaugh­tered chicken, in­clud­ing its fer­til­ity and hatch­a­bil­ity, as well as 90 per­cent sur­vival rate.

This can be at­trib­uted to the lo­cal feeds pro­duced by the in­mates that were used to sup­ple­ment by 50 per­cent the feed re­quire­ments of the chick­ens.

The ZamPen or Zam­boanga Penin­sula na­tive chicken is a prod­uct of a pu­rifi­ca­tion process of the “Joloano” chicken, which is pri­mar­ily cared for in the area.

The pu­rifi­ca­tion re­sulted in higher pro­duc­tion per­for­mance in terms of age and weight, age at point of lay, eggs pro­duced per hen, av­er­age egg weight, hatch­a­bil­ity, plumage uni­for­mity, and sur­vival rate of breeder chick­ens.

Un­der the project, at least 30 qual­i­fied in­mates un­der the min­i­mum se­cu­rity prison were trained and em­ployed in the farm.

Ac­cord­ing to Wilfredo B. Castillo, the SRPPF’s project staff for the ZamPen pro­gram, the se­lected in­mates are sched­uled to be re­leased within two years.

A to­tal of 150 heads of hard­ened chicks were ini­tially pro­vided from the na­tive chicken sta­tion of the WMSU Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture (WMSU-CA).

The in­mates then planted leafy veg­eta­bles to pro­vide ad­di­tional feeds for the flocks.

Fol­low­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the project, the pro­duc­tion per­for­mance of ZamPen na­tive chicken cared for by SRPPF and those cared by WMSU-CA were com­pared.

In terms of vi­able day-old chicks, that of SRPPF is higher by 5.66 per­cent at 68.18 per­cent, while WMSU-CA was at 62.52 per­cent.

The av­er­age weight for day-old and 21-day-old chick is higher at the SRPPF by 20 per­cent and 14 per­cent, re­spec­tively.

SRPPF recorded a higher net in­come for slaugh­tered chicken with a net profit of R143.78 per head, higher than WMSU-CA, which was sold at R77.28 per head.

The higher in­come was cred­ited to the feed­ing sys­tem adopted by the in­mates, which re­sulted in higher weight gain.

Com­mer­cial feeds were min­i­mized with the use of home-grown veg­eta­bles and kitchen left­overs.

The project was able to post a to­tal sale of R194,745 for breeder chicks and meat.

So far, a to­tal of 15 in­mates who par­tic­i­pated in the project and have al­ready served their sen­tences, were able to bring home five hens and one rooster each to start their own na­tive chicken back­yard farms.

This brings to 78 the num­ber of in­mates who were ca­pac­i­tated since the ini­tia­tive was im­ple­mented at the fa­cil­ity.

The fruit­ful re­sult of the project was high­lighted dur­ing the two­day ZamPen Na­tive Chicken Farms and In­dus­try En­coun­ters through the Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Agenda (FI­ESTA) which was re­cently held at the WMSU, spear­headed by the WESMAARRDEC.

Dur­ing the event, DOST-PCAARRD act­ing ex­ec­u­tive director Rey­naldo V. Eb­ora ex­plained the im­por­tance of the FI­ESTA as a DOST-PCAARRD tech­nol­ogy dis­sem­i­na­tion plat­form.

Eb­ora also af­firmed the DOST-PCAARRD’s com­mit­ment to con­tinue its sup­port on pro­grams and projects on the Coun­cil’s fo­cused com­modi­ties with its part­ners, es­pe­cially the state col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties (SUCs) and the lo­cal gov­ern­ment units (LGUs).

The ZamPen or Zam­boanga Penin­sula na­tive chicken is a prod­uct of a pu­rifi­ca­tion process of the “Joloano” chicken.

In­mates at the SRPPF who ben­e­fited un­der the project are ex­pected to de­velop a sus­tain­able liveli­hood once they leave the fa­cil­ity and rein­te­grate into the com­mu­nity.

The in­mates were pro­vided with tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance and other sup­port ser­vices in the op­er­a­tion of the project, and in the mar­ket­ing of live, dressed, and other na­tive chicken prod­ucts.

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