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Saturday, July 13, 2024

LandBank loan enables retired cop to expand poultry business

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From his sworn oath to “serve and protect” the community for 25 years as a dedicated police officer, Ritchie Tenegra shifted his focus towards an equally meaningful purpose: food security.

He has since embraced retirement by pursuing his other passion of poultry farming, and is now one of the reliable food suppliers in this town.

While still in the police force, he had limited capital to start his piggery operations in Leon, Iloilo. He applied to be a beneficiary of the Swine Dispersal Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), and was provided his very first piglet that he grew and multiplied.

Encouraged by a fellow cop to diversify his farm with a chicken coop, Tenegra delved into poultry farming in 2013, starting with heads.

Upon retiring from the service in 2020, he went to full-time farming, and applied for a loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines to expand his piggery. A week after his loan was approved, the African Swine Flu outbreak hit the country, which devastated the local pig industry.

Eager to push through with his new purpose, Ritchie shifted his focus towards expanding his chicken coop through LandBank’s Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) Lending Program, where he secured a P1-million loan to fund the improvement of his poultry farm in 2022.

“LandBank has really been a huge help in growing my chicken coop. Where can you find a bank loan of one million, then the interest is only P20,000 every year? So I am really grateful to LandBank,” said Tenegra.

From the 20 chickens in a 4-by-6-meter coop in his backyard, the loan supported the scaling up of his poultry operations to an increase in his flock size to 2,000 breeders, and the expansion of his coop to cover an area of 2,000 square meters.

In less than a year since his expansion, Ritchie has become a reliable supplier for the DA’s Chicken Dispersal Project, where they give away hens to aspiring poultry farmers. He has also become an established supplier of poultry products for local eateries and restaurants.

“If it wasn’t for LandBank, our chicken coop wouldn’t grow like this. LandBank really helped my family a lot,” he said.

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