Capitol strengthens goat production

The Cebu Provincial Government looks at strengthening the production of the province’s farm animals, which is one of its priorities.

This time the Capitol focused on goats. The Capitol through the Provincial Veterinarian Office hosted a “Small Ruminant Production and Health Seminar” last Jan. 9 at the Capitol Social Hall.

Governor Hilario P. Davide III, who gave a welcome message, encouraged the farmers to increase their production since goats are easiest farm animals to manage. Also known as the poor man’s cows, goats can even be managed by children.

He added that goats are more suited in the island’s hilly agricultural lands. “This kind of terrain is exactly the kind of terrain ideal for goat-raising,” he said.

The seminar aimed to enhance the knowledge and capability of local livestock farmers in managing productive animals.

It was designed to reinforce the knowledge of small ruminant raisers, agriculture and vet students, and livestock technicians on improved production through herd health management, disease prevention and control, including herbal medicine, ethno-veterinary practices and organic goat farming.

The speakers were from the National Research Commission of the Philippines (NCRP) XIII. They are professors of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), including a scientist of the Philippine Carabao Center.

The activity was attended by 195 farmers, municipal and city veterinarians, and municipal and city livestock technicians.

In the country, goats are primarily raised to supplement household income out of their meat, milk, fiber, and skin.

Based on the 2012 data of Philippine Atlas of Farm Resources, the province is the top producer of goats in Central Visayas with 231,997 in both backyard and commercial production. Cebu is also among the top three goat-producing province in the entire country.

Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy said the Capitol continued its goat dispersal program that started in 2008 using the livelihood funds of the Department of Energy.

The Capitol also has various types of semen to improve the genetic composition of goats through artificial insemination (AI). Last year, the municipality of Ronda delivered the first AI baby goat or kid.

Dr. Claro N. Mingala, vice chair, NCRP XIII, emphasized the importance of a breeding plan as one strategy of climate change livestock adaptation.

He said the local breeds that have adapted to climactic stress and feed should be preferred. To improve the local genetics, cross-breeding with heat and disease-tolerant breeds like the Anglo-Nubian dairy goats is also advised.