WE had a very enlightening conversation with Dr. Jovita Datuin when we attended the technology forum and product exhibits of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) at the SM Megamall last August 8.
Dr. Datuin is the chief of the Research Division of the Department of Agriculture in Region 1 based in San Fernando City, La Union. She is the lady who headed the goat production project in Region 1 which developed improved technologies in production. The project called RED or Rural Enterprise Development won the Gold Award (first prize) given by the BAR.
She revealed that the improved technologies have significantly helped many goat farmers produce more goats that are bigger and more healthy. The problem is that goat meat is so popular, more animals are being slaughtered than what are being produced. As of now, goat population nationwide stands at 3.9 million. It has not increased because the extraction rate exceeds production, according to Dr. Datuin.
At any rate, BAR has provided a P10-million grant to fund a Community-based Participatory Action Research (CPAR) that is being implemented in two towns, particularly Sta. Maria in Ilocos Sur and San Jacinto in Pangasinan. Hopefully, this will somehow help increase goat population in the country.
With the fund of P5 million in each town, they will be producing slaughter goats as well as breeders. The participating farmers will be adopting the improved techniques developed under the RED project.
Aside from animal production, the new thrust includes the development of new products for commercialization. One product is about ready for commercialization. This is the Chevon Floss or minced goat’s meat that is dried. Why dried? So it will keep longer, according to Dr. Datuin. We tasted a sample of the product and it should become a winner. It tastes good whether it is spicy or not. Beer drinkers will love to have it. But it could also be eaten as a regular dish.
Another processed product under development is Chevon Sisig in a pouch. It is also a promising product that could compete with other processed foods in the market.
ANOTHER GRANT – Dr. Datuin also received a P1 million grant from DA-BAR as a reward for the Gold Award given by BAR for the RED project. This is being used to develop goat technology for commercialization in Region 1. The project is being implemented in three towns in Pangasinan, namely Balungao, Bayambang and Manaoag. The project has provided so far 30 breeder goats to beneficiaries so they can accelerate goat production.