Integrated management program raises goat productivity
GOAT RAISING is one of the most practical and low maintenance ventures that can be integrated easily with crop-based farming systems. It requires small capital with high return on investment in a short time.
But to be viable and sustainable, goat raisers must learn the proper management practices of goat raising.
Three barangays [villages] in the town of Camiling, Tarlac became the site of a test for a development program known as Farmers Livestock School on Integrated Goat Management. The program seeks to enhance goat productivity through FLS-IGM technologies.
A community-based participatory “learning by-doing” approach, the program is a joint initiative of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Extension, Local Government Unit, OPVet, and Tarlac College of Agriculture.
Farmer-participants agree to meet at least once a week for 3-4 hours in six months in alternating sites. As part of social preparation, TCA facilitators prepared the farmers on self-awareness and empowerment, and helped them realize that solutions on goat raising are just within their reach.
The facilitators also guided the farmers to re-discover their resources, believe in their capabilities and re-invent self-help to achieve goat productivity. The farmers were able to make maps, graphical calendars, and trace the bio-resource flow in relation to their current goat production situation.
This approach is an effective tool in changing farmers’ knowledge, attitude, and skills on goat production and entrepreneurship. They also learned alternative methods in goat production, significantly improved competence level, and enhanced their productivity by producing upgrades and abating diarrhea, reducing worm loads, which brought down goat mortalities.
TCA facilitators supported the farmers by developing a multiplier farm that produced upgrade goats as a source of reliable breeding stocks. Boer and Anglo Nubian upgrades are now produced in TCA goat farm, which are loaned to the farmers to improve the quality of their goat stocks.
A cooperative was also formed to manage all the programs or transactions and services that member-farmers needed to support and complement their development. These included buck swapping, purchase of veterinary medicines, raw materials for feed ingredients/urea molasses mineral block, and marketing of their produce.
Moreover, partnership between the cooperative and a private corporation was worked out to provide a stable marketing system for the farmers’ goats, which sells at P100 per kilogram live weight. The program’s success has spurred a spill over effect of the adopted technologies to neighbors and visiting farmers from all over the country.
The FLS-IGM program is a finalist in the best paper award (development category) in the National Symposium for Agriculture Resources Research and Development held last November 10 in Dusit Hotel Nikko in Makati City.
NSARRD is an initiative of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development that is held annually to recognize outstanding contributions to R&D in the country. STP