THE CENTRAL Philippines State University (CPSU) is expected to share practical technologies on the production of small ruminants in its effort to improve the lives of marginalized farmers in the countryside.
Ruminants are mammals that are able to acquire nutrients from plant-based food by fermenting it in a specialized stomach prior to digestion, which is principally through microbial actions.
The word “ruminant” originated from the Latin ruminare – which means “to chew over again.”
There are around 200 species of ruminants which include both the domestic and the wild species, and ruminating mammals include cattle, all domesticated and wild bovines, goats, sheep, and giraffes, among others.
Among the identified species, one of the most interesting small ruminants to tap is goat, due to its potentials in propelling the country’s goat industry.
It has been perceived that goat raising is a “Sunrise Industry” in the country which is described as slowly but steadily gaining the favour of the stakeholders and small farmers in the countryside.
Taking into account the rich potentials of the industry, the CPSU, with its main campus located in Barangay Camingawan, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, has already embarked on a project which will promote the goat industry in the community level.
The project will involve breeding and cross breeding species which are adoptable to the rural areas, at the same time, promoting organic agriculture in the countryside.
CPSU President Dr. Aladino C. Moraca recommends at least two breeds of goats that can be reared by both the local backyard raisers and the commercial growers in the province of Negros Occidental.
These include the Anglo Nubian for milk production, and Boer – a meat-type breed which can weigh an average of 70 kilograms.
Moraca emphasizes the importance of applying practical technologies which can boost the local goat industry, and its relevance in helping to improve the lives of the farmers in the countryside, and the rural economy as well.
This statement characterizes the importance of small ruminants like goat in tropical countries like the Philippines, and small ruminants are reared mainly for four basic functions – meat, milk, skin, and wool, based in the order of importance.
Goat’s meat is known to be lower in saturated fat than chicken, pork, and beef, low in cholesterol, but higher in protein.
Goat production also requires lower investment with a high rate of return.
The effort of the CPSU aims to promote practical technology and its products towards providing competitive and profitable business ventures for the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the agriculture sector of the country.
It can be noted that even the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology has emphasized the importance of goat production in the rural areas.
While majority of supply is sourced from backyard raisers, PCAARRD says the number of commercial investors has been observed to be steadily increasing.
Currently, farmgate and carcass prices of goat remain high, even higher than the prevailing prices of beef. ([email protected]/PN)