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DOST-PCAARRD awards P5-M research grant to FU

Foundation University is the recipient of a two-year P5 million grant from the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) Livestock Research Division for a project aimed at the development of a thriving duck industry in Negros Oriental through ItikPINAS.

Project implementation started officially on March 1, 2024, informed project implementor Jobert R. Kleine Koerkamp, dean of the College of Agriculture. As this article was being written for publication, Koerkamp was on his way to Central Luzon State University, Nueva Ecija and to nucleus farms in Quezon Province, among other breeder farms for ItikPINAS.

“I’d like to see how these duck farms are being operated and how they do record keeping for breeding,” expressed Koerkamp, whose team did an impressive project proposal presentation before officials of DOST-PCAARRD in October of last year. Soon after, in November, 25-30 participants were trained by the faculty and staff of the College of Agriculture of Foundation University in animal husbandry and duck production, breeding, selection, and duck farming. The participants included adaptors, investors, interested private individuals, and representatives from local government units, among them Canlaon, Tanjay, and Dumaguete.

“ItikPINAS (IP) is the breed and there are three pure lines, namely IP Itim, IP Khaki, and IP Kayumanggi, which is the commercial line. We will help promote the breed and the economics of duck farming. We will incubate the eggs, hatch and breed them, not ducks themselves because of the threat of bird flu,” Koerkamp explained.

Foundation University, through the College of Agriculture, is envisioned to be the nucleus farm where the purest of lines of IP can be bred profitably. “There is a promising market for duck operation through duck eggs, which could be made into balut and salted eggs,” shared Koerkamp.

Fourth year Agriculture interns are going to be tapped by the second quarter of this year as they visit the university-owned Vicente G. Sinco Experimental Farms in Azagra, Tanjay City where ducks will be bred.

According to Koerkamp, by the time the project goes full swing, he hopes “it can profitably be on its own.” He said he is looking at the production of 2,000-3,000 duck heads by then.

The ItikPINAS, launched in 2016 by DOST-PCAARRD, may well be the first actual research project for Foundation University with funding from DOST. Among its objectives include training women’s organizations and the youth achieve financial freedom.

Negros Oriental is not a major duck-producing province. In 2022, an inventory of 84,000 heads was reported by the Provincial Veterinary Office of Negros Oriental. The Philippine Statistics Authority reported 171,153 ducks in Negros Oriental for January 2023, which represents a meager 1.2 percent of the national population. Despite the low production in the province, Negros Oriental received 3.9 million balut eggs from Central Luzon in 2022, according to the Bureau of Animal Industry. This amount is expected to increase as in January 2023, the Bureau of Animal Industry reported 1.1 million balut eggs entering Negros Oriental. (Cecile M. Genove)


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