HENS Project: Nurturing communities in Batangas through backyard poultry
“We now have access to eggs that we can eat and sell. On an average, we harvest 28 eggs in a day, wherein four eggs are for the family, and the rest are sold for additional income,” says Leoncia Anoyo De Vera, a resident of Batangas, Barangay Nutrition Scholar and HENS Project Partner.
Leoncia is one of the many backyard poultry farmers who have benefited from the Household Economy and Nutrition Security (HENS) project. The initiative has helped her in setting up a small poultry business. It has not only bolstered her income and improved household nutrition but has helped her in becoming more resilient to setbacks.
The HENS project has been a boon for the local community, adds Leoncia. “Being a local health worker, I am a frontliner during the onslaught of the pandemic. Through this project, we were provided access to right information and support for us to understand the benefits of the vaccine thus increasing our confidence to get the shot. Cargill and Save the Children have been a strong support for our community in the fight against COVID.”
On the livelihood aspect she adds, “The poultry starter kit and training provided to us under the project have helped gain the knowledge and skills to manage the small poultry business granted to us. We use eggs for consumption and sell them for extra income.”
The Household Economy and Nutrition Security (HENS) Project by Cargill and Save the Children is helping the backyard poultry farmers in the Batangas and Bulcan provinces in the Philippines by boosting their household income.
Erwin L. Diloy, coordinator of the HENS Project, mentions that the project is helping 300 farmer households and more than 10,000 community members by enabling them in understanding the importance of nutrition, particularly poultry-based protein.
The HENS project has two key components - egg production at home and nutrition awareness around protein. The first component is aimed at generating additional incomes for vulnerable communities, while the second focuses on eggs and poultry as affordable sources of protein.
Erwin also spoke about the training imparted under the project, “We are providing the poultry farmers with business and technical training. We are also training them on the nuances of disaster mitigation and climate resiliency, gender development and child rights, and financial literacy and management.”
Erwin adds “The community has been very receptive to the training. They are participating very well and attending the various training that we are giving to them.”
Agriculture is how we will address climate change and sustainably feed a growing population. Agriculture is powered by people – from farmers, ranchers and producers to factory and food service workers. We work with farmers around the world to build a resilient agriculture industry that improves farmer livelihoods and protects our planet. The HENS project is addressing the issues of poverty and malnutrition caused by disasters, along with stimulating economic transformation in struggling communities.
Erwin delves further into how the project is creating awareness around nutrition and the need for a balanced diet, “We are doing regular nutrition awareness roadshows and community feeding activities, which have been very impactful. We have seen an improvement in protein intake in the community, especially amongst the children.”
“They also do a community nutrition caravan and a feeding programme using the eggs. We hope to improve the nutrition status of our community through this activity,” adds Lucy.
The HENS Project has helped the local community in both earning and eating better. Families here have improved nutrition and livelihoods.