Goat raising is low-risk profitable livelihood

By Arlene R. Obmerga
MediaCore, PCARRD

Goat raising requires low capital but increases farm income.

Farmers in Pangasinan's Balungao town proved that they can earn more in goat raising using technologies acquired during a six-month training on effective goat management initiated by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development, International Livestock Research Institute, and International Fund for Agricultural Development.

The three agencies invited Dr. Emilio M. Cruz, director of Central Luzon State University's small ruminant center in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija to serve as member of a project on the control of gastrointestinal parasites in small ruminants in South and Southeast Asia.

After analyzing the cost and return in goat raising, Cruz explained that an initial investment of P32,000 can mean extra income of at least P14,800 in sales of goat stock after two years.  This computation assumes that a goat raiser has five does and costs P2,500 each.

An 8-month-old doe can give birth to a kid in five months and it can have up to three kids in two years, tripling the number of goats.

Cruz stressed that goats adapt well to existing farming systems and feed on forages and other farm by-products although goat raisers also use feed concentrates that cost P8 per kilogram.  A goat consumes 150-gram feed concentrates per day.

Goats survive in almost any environment provided it's dry and feed resource is available.  But a goat shed is necessary to minimize disease and parasite problems.

Building a goat pen costs around P1,500.  But in most villages, almost every material needed in goat pen construction is available.

PCARRD-DOST, ILRI, and IFAD agree that there's an increasing demand for chevon or goat meat, and goat's milk.

The three agencies held the six-month training in the Farmer Livestock School on Integrated Goat Management in Balungao, Pangasinan.  Eleven farmers went through the program, which also benefited other goat raisers in the town by adapting the recommended technologies.