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Story by Jun Dom-oguen | Program Officer | Heifer Northern Philippines
Photos by Heifer Northern Philippines Team

Pigs are the main livestock of Heifer Philippines projects in Mountain Province. More than 1,000 original and pass-on families in the area have been affiliated with Heifer projects, so the possibility for inbreeding is high, which results in low-quality piglets. This threat prompted Heifer Philippines to request a new bloodline of boars from the Department of Agriculture-Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) regional office.

Dr. Anthony Bantog, regional chief of the Livestock Division and also a member of Heifer Philippines Country Program Advisory Committee (CPAC), facilitated the process.

DA-CAR delivered five F1 (first filial generation) Camboro breed pigs. The parents are pure Camboro breed, which DA-CAR purchased for 45,000 pesos, or around $1,098, per head. F1 junior boars cost 12,000-15,000 pesos, or around $293-$366, each. DA-CAR hopes to upgrade the pigs of partner families in the five covered municipalities of Mountain Province and eventually improve the breed of swine of other raisers in the community. DA-CAR requested Heifer to follow its Passing on the Gift® (POG) principle to ensure many families will benefit. The first batch of Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs) will pass on F2 junior boars to the second batch of CAHWs after 10-12 months. DA-CAR will also provide artificial insemination (AI) equipment after the boars have matured in two or three months.

The Heifer Northern Philippines team in Camatagan, Sabangan, Mountain Province, received the boars and turned them over to the deserving five CAHWs.

The CAHWs were selected based on their performance, their willingness to utilize the boar using AI and a spirit of volunteerism. The boars were given to Ronald Cardines, CAHW from WISE GIVER Project in Sabangan; Analyn Lucaney, CAHW of IGOROTA Project from Bauko; Wilfred Butigan, CAHW of CHATON Project in Tadian; Irene Pandosen, CAHW of UG-UGFHU Project in Bontoc; and Julia Corral, CAHW of SHARED Project in Sagada.

“My new boar is a blessing for me,” Ronald, who maintains two boars for AI, said. “I think it will grow bigger than my old boar and will provide better offspring because it has a new bloodline.” As a Heifer Philippines Golden Talent Award (GTA) winner for 2011, Ronald has provided excellent livestock services, not only to IGOROTA Project partner families, but also to other neighboring towns.

“The timing is really good,” Irene, who is also maintaining two animals for AI, said. “In fact, I was looking for a boar to replace one of my older boars that is a father to many pigs in our community and neighboring villages. I am sure my new junior boar will produce good breeds and eventually improve the breed of pigs in my village as well.”

DA-CAR will also provide five sets of materials for bio-gas digesters this year. Heifer staff are identifying partner families who can make the bio-gas digesters sustainable and maximize their benefit.

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Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.