The province of Nueva Ecija is widely recognized as a rice granary, but some farmers now prefer to raise dairy carabaos rather than grow rice. Several farmers in Barangay Calabalabaan, Science City of Munoz, reason out that they derive more income from dairy farming than from rice production, as their farms are rainfed and rice is grown only once a year.
Take Marites, 31, and Danilo Avila, 39, who used to cultivate one hectare of rainfed farm for rice production. Although they don’t have any child, their income from growing rice was barely enough for both of them.
Marites even had to raise two swine fatteners every four months so that they would have cash to buy farm inputs. Her income from the fatteners, however, was very minimal because of the high cost of production. In addition to the cost of two piglets, P2,400, she also had to buy feeds. And yet she sold the pigs at only P4,000 each.