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Lilibeth Arce
Lilibeth Arce opened her egg-layer machine for 1,000 chickens amid a pandemic but her hopes were high all for the advocacy of food sustainability in Surigao City.

An egg-citing story of an ex-OFW: If chicken do it, so can you

By DTI-Regional Operations Group
November 16, 2020

SURIGAO CITY – Meet Lilibeth Arce, an all-around entrepreneur who used to be an Overseas Filipina Worker (OFW) but is now embarking into entrepreneurship with many ventures.

From being the chairperson of Trinidad Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (TARBECO), a food processing cooperative located at Brgy. Trinidad, to managing her own carenderia and the local bagsakan outlet for farmer's yields Casa de Verdura, she is also the president of Marajaw Karajaw Local Producers and Exhibitors Association, the cooperator of OTOP Hub Surigao City, a pasalubong center located at the Luneta Park, this city.

Just recently, she added another feather to her cap when she put up the Memorada Farm, a 1.7 hectare of agri-tourism haven. It is a vegetation site for ginger, eggplant, okra (lady finger), string beans, chili and bell peppers, among others amid flowering and beautiful shrubs lined by several mango trees. It also has pigpens and chicken coup for fighting and free-range native chickens.

But what draws us into her world even more and prompted a visit from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Surigao del Norte OIC Provincial Director Elmer M. Natad was her recently opened egg-layer machine for 1,000 chickens. Nestled almost at the edge of her land bordered by the Surigao River was a structure built to supply the egg requirement not only within Trinidad but also Surigao City and nearby municipalities such as Placer.

Although it opened last March 2020 when COVID-19 pandemic had just started to be felt in the country, she was not daunted by its effect but instead gave her an additional drive to do right by it. She became hands on in the operations (procuring feeds and tending to the chickens) and meticulously keeps track on how the egg business works. She first started by selling eggs around the neighborhood and tap agencies such as DTI to help her market her eggs. Not long after, she started harvesting an average of 900 eggs daily. Pretty soon, egg dealers started stopping by at her farm to buy all her eggs.

Conversing with her about her return on investment, capacity to repay capital loan, business contingency plan and the next bout of increased harvest by putting up another egg-laying machine, it was very clear there is no stopping her just yet.

"I want to share what I have learned because I want to help not only in providing jobs for people of Trinidad but also because I am an advocate of food security for Surigao," Arce said encouraging other existing or would-be entrepreneurs by sharing her story and the thriving agri-business of Memorada Farm.