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Uplifting Filipino farmers one chick at a time

In a fertile and rich environment such as the Philippines, farming can be an equally rich trade. Poultry, in particular, has risen to become the leader in the local farming industry and serves as the backbone of the backyard farming enterprise.
However, this enterprise is plagued by the fact that most chicken breeds used by Filipino backyard farmers are susceptible to destructive poultry diseases and parasites, which in some cases are only further aggravated by poor management.
The simple solution lies in providing proper education to the farmers as well as a stronger breed of chicks. To address this issue, contract growing has become increasingly popular.
Contract growing or, simply put, rearing chickens for bigger poultry producers, is an opportunity that allows backyard farmers to have access to the technology and chicken breeds necessary to foster a flourishing poultry farm, and in turn, allow the corporations to source poultry locally.
Vitarich Corporation, one of the country’s leading producers of animal feeds, which has branched out into the poultry business via their hatcheries, Halal-certified dressing plants and Cook’s Dressed Chicken, is championing the trend of contract growing as a large part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) program.
Aptly called their “Supplemental Broiler Growing Program” (SBGP), Vitarich provides small- to medium-sized entrepreneurs with all the needed materials to start their own poultry farm.
Farmers need only provide the basics; housing, manpower, electricity, water, and miscellaneous expenses. Vitarich provides the essential and more technical aspects like feed, support, vaccines, tech services, and of course, day-old chicks.
Since the breed of chicken is arguably the most important variable in ensuring a strong and healthy flock, Vitarich uses world-renowned Cobb broiler chicks. These chicks are superior due to their good initial body weight, excellent growth rate, stronger immunity, low mortality rate, lower cost of brooding, and they grow to be the customer-preferred round double-breasted meaty broilers with big short legs.
Vitarich employs a strict process of quality control from hatchery to delivery. Because the SBGP aims to benefit all parties involved, Vitarich maintains a policy of returning any chicks that are deemed unfit after delivery.
To ensure success, Vitarich regularly sends out tech groups composed of highly-trained farming specialists that assess the feasibility of each project (including the farm lay-out, poultry building design and construction) and other details that will directly impact the general flock health and management.
So that attendants on hand will also have a confident grasp on poultry farming, regular seminars on the latest advancements are also sponsored. Making sure all bases are covered, Vitarich also gives tips on proper brooding management.
Regular farm visits are also implemented to make sure that everything is in tip top shape. Vaccinations and a biosecurity plan are provided for each farm, too.
In case the entrepreneurs are unsure about how to proceed with the more office-centered aspects of farming, Vitarich also helps with accounting, recording, administrative procedures, and logistics support.
When the chickens are ready, Vitarich harvests the flock and handles the final marketing of the finished products. Indeed, hitting two birds with one stone, the SGBP allows burgeoning entrepreneurs to have their own business while also giving large corporations a home-grown source for their world-class products.

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