FARM­ERS LEARN IM­PROVED TECH­NIQUES FOR RAIS­ING GOATS

Agriculture - - Small Ruminants -

GOAT RAIS­ING, de­spite be­ing a prac­ti­cal busi­ness ven­ture re­quir­ing low ini­tial cap­i­tal, is not pop­u­lar among farm­ers as a liveli­hood op­tion due to their lack of proper skills and mo­ti­va­tion to im­prove goat man­age­ment prac­tices. To change farm­ers’ per­cep­tions of goat rais­ing, the Philip­pine Coun­cil for Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search and De­vel­op­ment of the Depart­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (DOST-PCAARRD), to­gether with its part­ners spear­headed the Farmer Live­stock School on Goat En­ter­prise Man­age­ment (FLSGEM).

De­signed by DOST-PCAARRD, FLS-GEM is a six-month modal­ity that teaches farm­ers how to in­te­grate the science be­hind proper goat man­age­ment and in­cor­po­rate the con­cept of entrepreneurship into pro­duc­tion.

The modal­ity is cur­rently be­ing adopted by lo­cal gov­ern­ment units (LGUs) in eight re­gions around the coun­try, specif­i­cally Re­gions 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, and the Cordillera Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­gion (CAR). It has also been adopted by the Fed­er­a­tion of Goat and Sheep Pro­duc­ers and As­so­ci­a­tions of the Philip­pines, Inc. (FGASPAPI) as its na­tional train­ing modal­ity ef­fec­tive 2014.

Goat rais­ing can pro­vide a high re­turn on in­vest­ment in just two years. In ad­di­tion, goat meat is a healthy al­ter­na­tive to con­ven­tional meat as it is high in iron and pro­tein but low in calo­ries, to­tal fat, sat­u­rated fat, and choles­terol.

More than 3,000 fam­i­lies have ben­e­fited from the modal­ity. In ad­di­tion to pro­vid­ing liveli­hood op­por­tu­ni­ties to these fam­i­lies, FLS-GEM has im­proved in­di­vid­ual and so­cial com­pe­ten­cies of par­tic­i­pat­ing farm­ers. The farm­ers who par­tic­i­pated in the train­ing were rec­og­nized as sources of qual­ity goat stocks and were tapped as speak­ers by LGUs and the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (DA), and were even in­ter­viewed on tele­vi­sion pro­grams about goat rais­ing.

FLS-GEM in­volves a se­ries of half-day train­ing ses­sions held for six months. The train­ing mod­ule in­cludes two vol­umes: Vol­ume 1 for the ses­sion guides and 2 for the tech­ni­cal hand­outs.

A dis­cov­ery-based sci­en­tific ap­proach to agri­cul­tural ex­ten­sion adapt­ing the farmer field school (FFS) method­ol­ogy, FLS-GEM is en­vi­sioned to en­cour­age com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion when it comes to self-learn­ing in the pro­mo­tion of ma­ture tech­nolo­gies in the coun­try­side.

With the suc­cess of the modal­ity, the Philip­pine Carabao Cen­ter of the DA is now de­vel­op­ing its own FLS on dairy buf­falo pro­duc­tion us­ing DOST-PCAARRD’s FLS-GEM as a frame­work. Goat en­ter­prise man­age­ment, among other pro­grams, is one of the Coun­cil’s ini­tia­tives to im­prove the state of R&D in the agri­cul­ture, aquatic, and nat­u­ral re­sources sec­tors. This is in keep­ing with its com­mit­ment un­der DOST’s Out­come One: to pro­vide science-based know-how and tools that will en­able the agri­cul­tural sec­tor to raise pro­duc­tiv­ity to world­class stan­dards. (Anna Marie P. Alo, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Ser­vice)

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