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DA introduces localized animal feeds in Caraga

BUTUAN CITY  (PIA) – The Department of Agriculture (DA) in Caraga  has introduced the use of animal and aquaculture feeds that were produced from locally available raw materials. 

The development of the feed formulation was funded under the OneDA Sustainable Feed Development Program.

The DA Caraga organized a specialized team known as ‘Team Bahug,’ from the Bisayan word ‘bahug’ which means feed, to realize the breakthrough of feed formulation in the region.

The finished animal feed product, which was formulated from yellow corn, soybeans, and sardine fish, or tamban, was used to feed ducks and other poultry animals during a public demonstration. 

According to the DA, Caraga has all the resources needed to formulate feeds, so there is no reason why it cannot come up with quality and effective feeds. Aside from the production of yellow corn, the region is number one in soybean production throughout the country, with a 55.5 percent average contribution to the national production from 2016-2020,  as per data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The region is also rich in palm and banana, which could produce palm kernel meal (PK meal) and waste banana in large volumes that could reach 300 metric tons (MT) and 500 metric tons per month, as other ingredients of the feed formulation.

DA - Trento Research and Experiment Station led the formulation of the feed ingredients to be used for the feed trial. Shernelyn Palma, science research specialist, discussed the process of the feed formulation. Photo courtesy of DA-13 Team Bahug.

DA further shared that animal and aquaculture production in Caraga is largely dependent on commercial feeds, though available but often prohibitively expensive, which could reduce the income of the farmers. The cost of feeds, which contributes the most to operational expenses, emerged as the key constraint in increasing animal and aquaculture production in the region. 

The need for affordable and good-quality local alternative feed ingredients for feed formulation could benefit our animal and aquaculture farmers. Utilizing locally available ingredients further provided the added benefits of cost savings and reduced imports.

DA Caraga Regional Executive Director Ricardo Onate Jr. said “The innovation of Team Bahug is our way of  helping our local raisers who are engaged in animal production like poultry, livestock, and aquaculture as they desperately face the rising prices of commercial feeds.”

“We don’t want to see our animal and aquaculture farmers give up and lose hope in agriculture because they have difficulty managing the operating expenses in this type of business,” Onate shared. 

Team Bahug has already evaluated the composition and nutritional values of the locally available ingredients for various growth stages of pigs, poultry, and aquaculture species. 

DA - Trento Research and Experiment Station presented the different raw materials abundant in the region as potential ingredients in formulating affordable and quality feeds for animal and aquaculture production. Photo courtesy of DA-13 Team Bahug.

Gemma Asufre, Team Bahug project leader, said, “A database of 136 locally available raw materials was analyzed for their composition and nutritional values for feed formulation.”

“Team Bahug also completed the feeding trials with positive outcomes and results for ducks at the Jinayon Duck Farm in Trento, Agusan del Sur, as facilitated by the Trento Research and Experiment Station (RES), while the chicken and swine feed tests were conducted by the Tagbina RES in Surigao del Sur and Del Monte Rainfed RES in Agusan del Sur,” the team leader revealed.

The alternative and affordable feeds of Team Bahug were supported by Marvin Jinayon, the owner of the Jinayon Duck Farm, who said, “The innovation of DA on affordable feed options benefited poultry raisers like me. This is very inspiring, as it will put an end to our daily struggle with expensive feeds.”

“We commend DA for its discovery of feed formulation using ingredients we can find around us,” Jinayon said. 

For Team Bahug, locally available ingredients can expand the production of affordable and quality feeds, as this is crucial to the development and sustainability of animal production in the region. This also served as an immediate response by DA Caraga to the call of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to utilize local resources for food sufficiency and security.

DA Caraga foresees the success of Team Bahug in alleviating the lives of the animal and aquaculture farmers and their families in the region by increasing 30 percent of their income in 2026.  (NCLM, PIA-Caraga)

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Nora Lanuza



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