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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Chicken? This farm is anything but

POULTRY SUMS.  The Franjora poultry farm in Madridejos, Bantayan Island has repaired 40 of its chicken houses and built 12 new ones. Yolanda brought down 60 percent of its 100 houses last year, forcing the farm to sell its chickens for P10 to P20 each. They also ended up giving some away.  (SUN.STAR FOTO/RUEL ROSELLO)

MADRIDEJOS, Bantayan—In one poultry farm in Madridejos, the busy clucking of thousands of chickens is what recovery sounds like.

The Franjora Farms Inc. has recovered 65 to 70 percent of their egg production capability, a year after typhoon Yolanda wiped out six out of every 10 chicken houses the farm owned.

The farm has built 12 new chicken houses and repaired 40. The price of the eggs and chickens has slowly returned to normal.

Based on the damage assessment prepared by Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Doroteo Dorimon, all the 30 poultry farms in Madridejos were affected by the typhoon.

It damaged some P185 million worth of property.

In Franjora’s case, chief operating officer Roberto Almodiel said the farm’s losses ran up to more than P20 million.

“Sakit kaayo. Imong huna-hunaon imong bosses, imong kaubanan. Unsaon ta man, kalamidad man to. Wa ta’y mahimo (It was painful. We wondered how we would all recover. But it was a calamity. What else could we do?),” he said.

Prices recovering

Bantayan Island produces and delivers the most number of eggs to Negros, Bohol, Capiz and Masbate.

Before Yolanda, Franjora could produce up to 1,500 trays of eggs—each holding 30 eggs—every day. That immediately dropped to 500 trays after Yolanda. Now, they are back to 800 to 900 trays.

The farm gate price of a medium egg after the typhoon went to P4.25 from P3.85, then back to P3.90. These days, a medium egg from Franjora goes for P4.50; large eggs are P5 each.

When Yolanda destroyed 60 of Franjora’s 100 chicken houses, many of its chickens died. Those who survived were exposed to heat and stress.

At that time, the farm just sold the chickens for P10 to P20 each. Some, they gave away to residents nearby.

At present, the price of a chicken weighing 1.3 to 1.5 kilos has gone back to its normal range of P140 to P150.

And 40 of Franjora’s chicken houses have been repaired, for around P200,000 each.

Almodiel said each newly-built chicken house costs the farm P400,000, on the average. Aside from its 12 new chicken houses, five others are still being built.

Each house can accommodate 1,500 hens.

When Sun.Star Cebu visited the poultry farm, there were still chicken houses that used waterproof canvass for a roof.

“OK ra man sad mi maghinay-hinay. Di ra ni namo dali-dalian (We will rehabilitate slowly. We are not in a rush),” Almodiel said. So far, the rehabilitation work has cost them some P3 million.

He estimated it would take Franjora three to four years after the typhoon to fully recover. For now, they are supplying fewer eggs than they used to, to their buyers in Leyte and Negros. They’ve had to suspend their deliveries to Masbate.

After the typhoon, Franjora also suffered from the lack of workers, as many employees focused on fixing their houses or looking for other jobs that paid more.

From 70 workers, Franjora now has 45.

“Nakahinay-hinay nami og balik pero wa na mi nag-aspire nga mobalik pa jud mi sa (We are slowly recovering but we no longer aspire to return to our) original level,” said Almodiel. FMG
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