|Superior breeds of goat and sheep parade during the celebration.|
With the theme “Angkop na Teknolohiya sa Kambing at Tupa Panalo Ka,” the Federation of Goat and Sheep Producers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (FGASPAPI) held the 4th National Goat and Sheep Congress at the Cagayan Colleges Tuguegarao (CCT) in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan on 6-8 May 2009. The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), served as one of the sponsors and participated in the activity through an exhibit showcasing recent technologies supported by BAR.
The congress aimed to update goat and sheep raisers on new technologies, showcase superior genetic resources available in the market, and link farmers, animal breeders, and other major players in the industry.
Dr. Carlos Mendoza, director of Livestock Development Council (LDC) was the guest speaker in the program. In his speech, he said that raising goat and sheep is a very good business and an easy venture. However, he said that, to attain higher production, new technologies for proper care and maintenance of the animals must be adopted; hence conducting activities like the National Goat and Sheep Congress is very important in sharing valuable knowledge among raisers.
Mendoza likewise emphasized that, the Philippines has 4.2 million goats only based on the initial 2009 inventory and yet, it is slaughtering and consuming 2.6 million goats every year. The need to double our production rate is necessary, Mendoza urged.
He enjoined the private sector to raise more goats and sheep to support the demand of the market. He further said that, to attain good meat quality, breeding strategies and techniques need to be continually improved.
Highlighting the congress were the contest for Best Goat and Sheep, Best-dressed Goat and Sheep, and Best Kiddie Rodeo. Other highlights included an animal exhibit, forage and veterinary exhibits attended by farmers and other enthusiasts showcasing goat and sheep breeds. Among the breeds displayed were the Nubians, Toggenburgs, Saanens, French Alphines, and La Mancha-these are primary goat breeds; as well as the Boer goats – breed from South Africa, developed mainly for meat production.
Lectures and seminars were also conducted discussing the latest trends, status and prospects of small ruminant production in the Philippines; government support policies and programs; genetic selection and record management; and the profitability of goat and sheep raising. One of the presenters/resource speakers at the seminar was Dr. Jovita M. Datuin, manager of the Ilocos Integrated Agricultural Research Center (ILIARC). She discussed the goat enhancement program funded under the Community-Base Participatory Action Research (CPAR) project funded by BAR in Region 1.