LGU Balaoan implements various agricultural and fisheries projects
In line with the anti-poverty program of the government, the Municipal Mayor of Balaoan, Atty. Aleli U. Concepcion, spearheaded the implementation of different projects on agriculture and fisheries to benefit farmer and fisherfolk beneficiaries of the municipality.
Several units of agricultural equipment and facilities were granted to farmer associations of Balaoan. Two units four-wheel tractor worth PhP1.2M each were awarded to farmer-members of the Pag-asangSamahanngmgaManggugulay, Inc. (PSM) and Balaoan Irrigators Association (BIA). The one unit came from the regular program of the Department of Agriculture Regional Office I in which 10% of the total cost was shouldered by the LGU. The other unit was obtained through the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) program of the national government. These tractors are farm vehicle-equipment designed to facilitate land preparation i.e. hauling, tilling, plowing, among others at a lesser cost.
A combine harvester and a rice processing center (Agri-Pinoy RPC) were likewise awarded to San Pablo Multi-Purpose Cooperative. These projects have a total value of PhP7.8M and will benefit 84 farmer-members of the association and can service about 170 hectares of clustered rice land around one kilometer radius.
The combine harvester is a farm machine that harvests grain crops. It comprises three separate operations – reaping, threshing and winnowing – into a single process thus makes harvesting easier and faster.
The Agri-Pinoy RPC located at Barangay Bet-ang operates as a rice mill which can produce well-polished and semi-polished rice grains. The well-polished grains have natural white color while the semi-polished grains, otherwise termed as brown rice, have natural brown color being moderately milled. Some of the bran component and germ layer are still intact that make the grains more nutritious than the white one. The RPC can process as much as 1 ton of rice grain per hour of milling and generates higher milling recovery and lower post-harvest losses.
Other projects of the municipality in the fishery sector were also implemented in partnership with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Region I.
Thirty units of artificial reefs were constructed under the Targeted Actions to Reduce Poverty and Generate Economic Transformation (TARGET) program of BFAR RO1. The structures were installed along the coastal waters of Balaoan to serve as fish refuge, breeding and nursery ground to fish. These structures will enhance fish productivitythereby producing more fish to catch in the area.
5.5 metric tons of seaweed (eucheuma) propagules were also distributed to around 70 fisherfolks or seaweed growers of barangays Almeida and Paraoir. This would boost alternative livelihood opportunity in the locality through farmingseaweeds of high economic potential.
Mangrove tree propagules (5,000 pieces) were planted along the coastal areas to rehabilitate the mangrove afforestation project of the municipality. The project has an estimated area of around 3 hectares. Aside from being used as protection from storm surges, the mangrove project would also establish wildlife diversity in the area and is seen as a future ecotourism attraction, one of the priority programs of the municipality.
Moreover, LGU Balaoan also implemented its livestock program vis-à-vis Cattle Dispersal and Re-dispersal and Anti-Rabies Vaccination.
As part of its continued promotion of livestock raising in the locality,fourteen heads of cattle worth around PhPP23,000.00 each were dispersed to 14 farmer-members of two associations (Ar-arampang Rural Improvement Club and Pagbennecan Rural Improvement Club) through the BUB program. Another 14 heads of cattle were distributed to 14 farmer-recipients from 14 barangays of the municipality, funded by the LGU. In addition, 14 heads were re-dispersed to 14 farmer-beneficiaries from other 14 barangays of the municipality. Re-dispersal refers to giving away of oneoffspring from each parent livestock awarded earlier to give opportunity to newprospective raisers.
Anti-rabies vaccination is also one of the priorities of the municipality to ensure the safety of the people against rabies. A total of 3,728 dogs from all (36) barangays of Balaoan were vaccinated. This is an annual activity to maintain a rabies-free environment in the municipality.