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Vegetable Growing and Integrated Rice-Duck Farming System in

Yolanda-Affected Areas in Eastern Samar:

A Concept Note
(working draft)
Carlos O. Tulali

Humanitarian aid projects by TFM for surivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Eastern Samar were delivered
in the form of coconut farm rehabilitation and livelihood support. Local capacity building interventions
help TFM organize its activities with the beneficiaries participation through their local community
organizations and self-help groups in partnership with the local government structures from the barangay
to the city or municipality levels. Communication and coordination efforts are also being undertaken by
TFM to tap the support of local and national government, local and international NGOs, peoples
organizations, cooperatives, and the private sector in the locality.
In recognition of the importance of a return to sustainable livelihoods and access to community and local
government services in bridging the gap between the relief phase and the longer-term recovery activities,
TFM has to reprioritize its planned activities which is the revitalization of food security through support
to livelihoods and re-establishment of productive capacity of surivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Eastern
Samar. More support is needed to help families in Eastern Samar recover their livelihoods and prevent
prolonged dependence on external assistance.
Eastern Samar, which was the first landfall of Yolanda (Haiyan), was one of the most severely affected
Province by the Super Typhoon. Of the 23 municipalities of the Province, 10 municipalities on the southern
half had been declared as severely affected.
Table 1. Eastern Samar: Severely Affected Municipalities
(by geographic proximity)
Cluster* A

Cluster B

Cluster C




Eastern Samar is among the top 10 coconut producing provinces of the Philippines. Based on data from
the Department of Agriculture, E. Samar had 140, 212 hectares of land planted to coconut or about 80%
of the Provinces agricultural land. This accounted for about 14 million coconut trees. Thousands of
hectares of coconut plantations are now wasteland of toppled coconut trees after Yolandas 350 kph


Following Typhoon Hiayan (Yolanda), Task Force Mapalad (TFM ) launched Project CPR in September 2014
in the Municipality of Lawaan, Eastern Samar. As the name indicates, the Project will support CLEAR debris
and severely damaged trees from coconut lands; rePLANT coconut to replace severely damaged treats,
and REHABILITATE by fertilizing moderately damaged trees for quick recovery and intercropping with
other short- and long-term crops. With coconut as foundation-economy of E. Samar, immediate attention
to coconut farming was urgently needed to achieve full rehabilitation of this Yolanda-affected Province.
TFM is a Philippine organization involved in organizing beneficiaries of agrarian reform to promote land
rights and support development of small landholders. Aside from its regular organization work in Negros
Island and the Davao-Agusan-Bukidnon Provinces, TFM participated in the rehabilitation of Yolandaaffected communities in Eastern Samar, Iloilo, Capiz and Negros Occidental.
TFMs PROJECT CPR is funded by the Interchurch Cooperative for Development Cooperation (ICCO) based
in Utrecht, the Netherlands. TFM for its initial effort, had mobilized 350 small land-holders tilling an
average of 1 hectare each, or a total of 320 hectares in the municipality of Lawaan. Lawaan has a about
40,000 hectares of coconut farms.
TFM had begun to expand project CPR to 6 other adjacent municipalities which account for more than
half of E. Samars coconut lands, of which more than 80% are reported damaged. These include the
Municipalities of Balanggiga, Giporlos, Quinapondan and Salcedo.
For the implementation of CPR, TFM signed on 17 September 2014 a Memorandum of Understanding
with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) of Region 8 which has jurisdiction over Eastern Samar. PCA is
the primary government agency responsible for the development of the coconut industry. The MOU
provided for joint and coordinated effort on 4 integrated activities for rehabilitating coconut farms: (1)
Debris Management, (2) Replanting, (3) Fertilization, (4) Intercropping
In the Philippines, agriculture is a crucial sector for poverty reduction. 70% of poor Filipinos are in the rural
areas where agriculture, often subsistence farming and fishing, is the primary and often only source of
income. Thus, creating a sustainable and competitive agricultural industry is a key focus of the Philippine
Development Plan, as this will bring inclusive growth to a large segment of the population.
But how can we help create a robust agricultural industry that will ensure that the current and next
generation of Filipinos, especially the poor, will have plentiful, nutritious and affordable food?
Two of the local solutions are vegetables and ducks.
a. Vegetable Production and Marketing
The economy of the Philippines is driven by agriculture. In 2006, it directly contributed 18.7%, with
flow-on effects about 75% of GDP as well as 40% of market transactions, and 70% of employment
(IBON, 2007).

The Philippines vegetable industry contributes more than 30% to total agricultural production, and a
major component of GDP. Production is based on highland and lowland cropping in the wet and dry
seasons. Some new enterprises are focusing on intensive cultivation and/or production under contract
for export, processing, or for high-end retail and food industry markets.
Production and marketing of vegetables flows along two types of channels, characterized as traditional
and modern. Under the traditional system, growers send their produce to wholesalers, who then trade
to retailers in the wet market. Occasionally wholesalers also supply to supermarkets as well as hotels
and restaurants (including fast food chains). The wholesale stage is still generally organized as a spot
market (for example, 58% of transactions in the large Northern Luzon markets of Benguet are traded
in this manner). Most Filipino consumers still prefer to purchase vegetables from the wet market, and
most vegetables are still transacted along the traditional route.
TFM and East-West Seeds Co., Inc. Partnership in Vegetable Production
In Eastern Samar province, TFM has an existing partnership agreements with the East-West Seeds Co.,
Inc. (EWSCI) for the conduct of farmers field school (FFS) trainings and the establishment of farmermanaged farm demonstration sites under the intercropping and vegetable production activities of the
project beneficiaries.
The TFM-ICCO Vegetable Production project which started in the municipality of Lawaan is on its
expansion phase in the two barangays (San Miguel & Sta Rosa) of Balanggiga, three barangays
(Poblacion 8, 9, & 10) of Lawaan town, Barangay Coticot of Giporlos town, two barangays (Sto. Nino &
Paco) of Quinapundan town, and Barangay Anuron of Mercedes town.
Under the agreement, EWSCI shall provide technical trainings on vegetable-growing technology,
supervise and monitor the proper use of technology and other inputs to 50 farmer-cooperators. TFM,
on the other hand would be responsible for the social preparation aspects of the project: enroll and
mobilize participation, clarify the duties and obligations as participants, assist EWSCI technicians
closely monitor the implementation of the plan of activities and outputs according to time table. TFM
would also coordinate closely with the PCA, the LGUs, relevant government agencies, and other NGOs
in the area.
Under the agreement, EWSCI shall assume 70% of the project cost while TFM shall provide 30% of the
project cost as its counterpart. On the part of the farmer-cooperators, they have to allot at least 500
square meters of their farmlot for vegetable production for every hectare of their coconut farm that
will be replanted by the Project CPR.
Project Location and Level of Implementation
Any location for vegetable production in the project communities will do as long as it has access to a
minimum of 6 hours of sunlight each day. It can be either morning of afternoon sun. As long as the
total sunlight received is a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight, plants will grow healthy.
TFM and EWSCI shall implement vegetable production activities at three levels:

household, such as backyard vegetable gardens and farm lots,

community, such as vegetable gardens and farm lots jointly managed by the community or
neighborhood groupings, and
institutional, such as vegetable gardens managed by schools, civic groups and the community
association/farmers[ organization itself.
The prposed vegetable production project shall support the TFM-ICCO Project CPR project by:
negotiating the use of public and private lands for use by the community or farmers
providing training in vegetable and crop management and marketing,
providing planting materials and access to financial support for needed inputs,
mobilizing resources to set up support infrastructure, and
monitoring and evaluating the project.
Choosing What to Plant
After having decided on the vegetable garden location at the backyard or farm lots, the next step is to
decide on what to plant. In determining the type and kind of vegetables to plant, one should take into
account the number of family members and their ages and nutritional needs. Vegetables as a group
constitute an important component in human diet. According to the Food and Nutrition Research
Institute (FNRI), Filipinos daily vegetable consumption in 2003 was 110 grams, which is well below the
recommended daily allowance of 189 grams. The below average vegetable consumption is seen as one
of the factors contributing to the inadequacy of energy and micronutrients in the Philippines.
According to the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), there are more than 20 vegetable varieties
recommended for planting for backyard vegetable gardening. These include common vegetables used
in vegetable dishes like pinakbet and chopsuey; culinary herbs like leeks; salad vegetables like mustard;
medicinal herbs like oregano and pringer, and indigenous vegetables, which are commonly grown in
the Philippines. Indigenous vegetables follow an acronym: MASK TALK PH. These are malunggay
(moringa), alugbati (Malabar night shade), saluyot (jute leaves), kulitis (amaranth), talinum (talinuma
triangulare), ampalayang ligaw (bitter gourd), labong (bamboo shoots), katuray (common sesban),
pako (fern), and himbaba-o (birch flower).
The major vegetables in the Philippines are peanut, mungbean, tomato, garlic, onion, cabbage, and
eggplant. One must however keep these proportions in perspective: even excluding rice and corn, the
major fruits and vegetables account for just 38% of agricultural output. Among the vegetables, only
eggplant and onion round off to 1% share of output value - the other vegetables combine for the
remaining 3%. The biggest shares belong to the lowland vegetables (e.g. onion, garlic, legumes); some
upland areas (notably Benguet province) specialize in growing temperate vegetables at a high altitude.
b. Integrated Rice-Duck Farming System
The integrated rice-duck farming system (IRDFS) is about growing rice and ducks together in an
irrigated paddy field. The paddling movement of the ducks stimulates the rice plants to produce more

grains, while the duck manure fertilizes the soil and eventually eliminates the need for any form of
The ducks also eat harmful insects and weeds, including the dreaded golden snail (kuhol), which is their
favorite snack.
Rice-Duck Production Method
Rice-duck farming starts with the preparation of the area. Mesh net, rpe and bamboo are the initial
requirements in putting up the fence. Fence is needed to ward off stray animals that might destroy the
paddy rice or eat the ducks. The mesh are installed outside the paddy field to enclose the rice plants.
The bottom of the net is firmly embedded in the ground with the paddy soil.
Farmers use ducks to enrich the soil at the least cost for double or triple the rice harvest in an
ecologically friendly way. The ducks fertilize the fields with their droppings, eat or crush snails, worms,
bugs, stem borers and green leaf hoppers, eliminating the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Weeks-old chicks are let loose as the farmers begin to plant rice. They swim and waddle on the
waterlogged arena, bumping and tweaking the plants, thereby helping produce healthy grains.
The aeration fanned by underwater flutter kicks kills the anaerobic bacteria, which beget methane gas.
Methane, along with carbon dioxide, traps heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming.
Around 150 ducks are needed for a hectare of rice. The expense is around P10,000, half of the amount
for the net to pen the fowl and the rest for the acquisition of the chicks and feeds. Because the net is
good for five years, that means cost will be cut in the succeeding years.
In comparison, investment in a rice field using fertilizers and pesticides is around P25,000 per hectare,
in addition to manpower to control weeds and snails. The harvest is more than 5.8 tons of rice per
hectare in the duck farm, nearly twice the yield from the chemical-energized paddies.
By the time the rice is harvested in about three and a half months, the ducks are full-grown, to be sold
in the market for their meat. Or the ducks are allowed to lay eggs, which are turned into balut.
Benefits to the Farmer and his Family
Rice-duck farming is an integrated farming system that linked together two normally separated farming
systems which become a subsystem of a whole farming system. Rice-duck farming works through an
interplayamong the farmer, the duck and the rice in the padddy field. There are three important
features of rice-duck farming: waste, space and labor utilization that will redound to improved
economic and social welfare of the farmer and his family members.
Better Income, Environment, Health
Based on the experience of more than 1,000 rice-duck farmers in the Philippines, most of whom are in
Mindanao, IRDFS has increased rice productivity up to 9 tons per hectare. The average is only 4.2 tons
per hectare when using conventional rice farming technology.
IRDFS also reduces the cost of production by 30%. It is the only organic rice farming technology that
can successfully be adopted on a large scale. Farmers gain extra income from the sale of duck meat

and duck eggs, whether raw or processed into salted egg or balut, a Filipino delicacy that is in very high
What is also exciting is that this farming system has inspired the growth of social enterprises along an
integrated rice and duck industry value chain such as rice-duck farms, duck breeder farms, hatcheries,
duck meat and egg processing and retail. All of these contribute to rural economic growth that is
sustainable and inclusive.
In the Philippines, ducks in the rice fields also help address schistosomiasis, a chronic public health
disease affecting farmers, local folks and freshwater fisherfolk and their families, and is endemic in
select parts of the country.
The ducks eat the schisto-carrying snails, helping decrease its population, and thus reducing infection
and re-infection of the disease to humans.
Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
As much as 21% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide consist of methane gas that is released
primarily by flooded rice fields. This is because flooding cuts off the oxygen supply to the soil and
accelerates the decomposition of organic matter, releasing methane into the atmosphere. (READ: How
climate change threatens food security)
Studies in China show that ducks in the rice paddies effectively reduce the emission of the greenhouse
gas methane, ultimately contributing to the alleviation of global warming. And because IRDFS
eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, and herbicides, the physical and
chemical properties of the soil are improved over time.
Prepared by:
Carlos Tulali
Oct. 14. 2015