Story by Leslie Pascua | CORD Coordinator 
Photos by CORD Staff

Community Facilitator Roderick Campos conducts a family interview.

Community visits and information gathering culminated with the selection of three villages to begin implementation of the Developing Dairy Zones for Smallholder Farmers in Quezon, Isabela subproject. The umbrella project, Developing Dairy Zones for Smallholder Farmers in the Philippines, co-funded by Heifer International and National Dairy Authority (NDA), was approved on September 10, 2012, and this subproject will begin in July 2013 with the first 200 participating families.

Community One Resources Development (CORD) Inc., the partner NGO implementing the project, initiated the pre-implementation activities and social preparations. In April 2013, two community facilitators were hired, with salaries funded by CORD. CORD Coordinator Leslie Pascua and former Board of Director Member Roderick Campos and the Northern Philippines team conducted community visits to four barangays, or villages.

Information on the economic and livelihood opportunities, including peace and order and other relevant information, was gathered. CORD, NDA and Heifer Philippines finalized the selection criteria as a guide for community facilitators in conducting house-to-house visits and profiling interested families. After a series of meetings and data validation, the team selected the villages of Santos, Allunan and Manga, based on criteria such as geographical location, market access and production feasibility.

Community Facilitator Leslie Pascua orienting residents of Barangay Alunan, Quezon, Isabela.

The same team attended a monthly session of the Municipal Council and introduced CORD and Heifer Philippines, including the programs and services related to community empowerment and poverty alleviation. CORD introduced the dairy project to the Local Government Unit (LGU) and solicited sound recommendations to be considered in project implementation.

The municipal government demonstrated support for the project by considering cattle a priority product for its program One Town, One Product (OTOP), which promotes goods and products from Filipino villages, towns, cities and regions.

Visits to identify forage areas were conducted in order to personally validate and consider the distance from the forage areas to the communities, and the LGUs of Allunan and Manga offered additional forage plantation. In addition, the rigid selection of Community Animal Health Workers and Artificial Inseminators was completed. The Municipal Government of Quezon assured CORD, Heifer and the NDA that LGU personnel will be available to assist the project with animal health care and breeding.

The community facilitators are busy with self-help group formation in preparation for the first batch of trainings to cover topics such as Values-Based Training and Basic Dairy Husbandry/Dairy Production and Management, to be conducted by Heifer Philippines and NDA partners.

Community Facilitator Julio Sampayan conducting a family interview.

First meeting between the National Dairy Authority, the Local Governmental Unit,
Community One Resources Development Inc., and Heifer Philippines.

Learn how you can help participants in Heifer projects.

Author

Heifer International

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