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May Pera Sa Itlog: How this Negros Egg Farmer Earn More than P172k a Month

Rene Descalsota and his family grew up working in the sugarcane fields. When his father was awarded 2.8 hectares of land through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in 2003, the family thought they could finally escape poverty. Still, the economic crises only worsened as they had no financial capability to plow their land. His father rented the land out of other better options to their neighbor. Rene left his hometown Silay City, Negros Occidental, in 2005 after graduating high school and started working in Batangas. In this article, we will discover how this Negros egg farmer earns more than P172k a month,

Organic eggs

From 2005 to 2020, Rene jumped from one job to another. He worked in construction, feed mills, and other back-breaking jobs until he worked on an egg farm in San Jose, Batangas. But the experience did not last longer as COVID-19 forced him and his young family to return to Negros.

Now married with one child, Rene was out of work with little money left in his pocket. He wasted no time and started planning his future based on his latest experience as a poultry worker and former feed mill employee.

His father still owns half a hectare of land. This land is not part of the CARP but is a homestead and cannot be planted with sugarcane. It’s a perfect location for livestock and poultry as it is along the river and has abundant water.

With indigenous materials like bamboo and coconut available, he built a house suitable for 200 chicken layers and another house for free-range chickens. Ready-to-lay (RTL) chickens are expensive, so he opted to buy chicks. Chicks will take around four months to lay eggs, so he focused on developing feeds and adding more free-range chickens while waiting.

Chicks are sexed before they are delivered to customers, but Rene got three males out of 200. He kept these birds and made them breeders so he would not repurchase chicks.

Things started to change after four months when the layers and free-range chickens started laying eggs. Now, Rene has both white and brown eggs.

“I remember the first time I sold eggs. It was five trays of white and two trays of brown. I made a net income of P1,050 in one day. My wife, who was on the verge of depression due to stress, was very happy”, Rene recalled.

Rene said he spent around P12,000 from the start until he made his first profit. When they returned from Batangas, he had a little over P5,000, so he had to borrow P10,000 from his OFW sister.

Rene started his business during the height of the pandemic when food was scarce and expensive, but his customers have only multiplied since then. Three years later, he has dozens of retailers waiting for his eggs every day.

Today, Rene has 2,000 white layers and 700 brown egg layers. This gives him an average of 1,920 eggs daily or a P5,760 net income daily.  He employed his younger brother and two nephews. He also managed to retrieve the family’s land, which had been rented to their neighbor before.

Distaste Against the Sugar Industry

“I have no plan to plant sugarcane. There is no money in sugarcane, especially for this small piece of land. You must have 20 hectares of sugarcane plantation to support your family. My business can support 10 families if I turn this land into an Eco-farm,” he added.

With enough capital, Rene plans to expand his business and employ more neighbors.

“People living in rural areas of Negros Island have been living in sugar slavery for more than a century. I want to start changing this in my own small way. Sugarcane can’t provide real jobs and is a massive waste of land. I can make millions of pesos from two hectares of land while providing regular jobs to dozens of people. Egg demand is consistently increasing, and I can’t even provide half of my customers’ demands”, Rene said.

He added that he was planning to venture into swine, but the latest problem with African Swine Flu (ASL) put the plan on hold.

“ASL scares me at the moment but I am waiting for the good time to start,” he added.

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