New Dairy Goat Program Launched

New Dairy Goat Program Launched
New Dairy Goat Program Launched
This is an Oberhasli goat at the Alaminos Goat Farm in Laguna. In the whole month of March 2014, it gave 4.5 liters of milk daily.

Now the government is finally recognizing the importance of dairy goats as a means to improve the income of the farmers as well as to hopefully reduce the dollar drain from importing dairy products.

Last Tuesday, July 4, the National Dairy Goat Science and Technology Program was officially launched with the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) among heads of participating government agencies. These include Isabela State University, Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Bohol Island State University, Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office-8 and University of the Philippines in Mindanao.

New Dairy Goat Program Launched
Photo shows Dr. Patricio Faylon at left, together with the signatories to the MOA on the National Dairy Science & Technology Program last August 4, 2014.

The program which is funded with a P45-million budget from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), seeks to solve the constraints facing goat dairying in the country.

The target are the small scale farmers who are just getting an average of half liter of milk a day from their lactating does for a period of 150 days. With improved genetics, nutrition and management, the farmers could increase their production to 1.35 liters a day for a longer lactation period of 180 days.

New Dairy Goat Program Launched
The value of Indigofera as goat feed will be validated under the program.

There is very little production of goat’s milk in the country today for various reasons. Out of the 6,000 milk goats in the Philippines, only about 600 are in the milk line giving small amounts of milk daily. Why the dismal situation in goat dairying?

The industry problems are many. Dr. Emilio Cruz of CLSU has enumerated the constraints in his presentation during the MOA signing. He pointed out that although the government had previously imported quality dairy breeders, most of these are at institutional and commercial farms and often inaccessible to smallholder. We also do not have a thorough analysis of the breed or genotype most suited to our conditions in the Philippines.

At best, he continued, only anecdotal accounts of the best performing dairy goat breeds are available making breeding a hit-and-miss venture for some raisers. This problem is complicated by the fact that documentation of dairy goat inventory and farm performance, especially at the backyard level, is limited and fragmented. He stressed that there is a need therefore for a unified documentation of stocks and evaluation of the performance of dairy goat breeds across the country as a start to improving productivity.

He said that interaction between feed given and dairy goat performance is undocumented and the true value of Indigofera in dairy goat feeding in the country is unverified. It should be noted that some progressive farmers have claimed that this species is responsible for the sustained high milk production of dairy herd. Hence, the need to validate the performance of Indigofera as dairy goat feed.

  1. Cruz also pointed out that one of the greatest problems faced by the industry today is the increasing incidence of subclinical mastitis. This is an apparent problem because mastitis can reduce milk volume and alter its composition, lower its hygienic value, and impair the processing of quality milk. Worldwde, mastitis is responsible for 70 percent of losses in milk production. At the moment, we do not have any local standards to screen and evaluate goats with intra-mammary infections (IMI), particularly at the farm level

ADVANTAGES OF GOATS – Raising goats for milk production is more profitable compared to other dairy animals like cattle and carabao, particularly to small scale farmers.

A smaller capital is needed to start a dairy goat project. For the price of one buffalo for milking, the farmer can buy about three milking goats. The goats will also produce milk within a much shorter time than cattle and carabao. The goat is bred at 12 months old and will start producing after giving birth five months later.

New Dairy Goat Program Launched
This is an Anglo Nubian goat which is good for milk and meat.

In the case of cattle, milking will start in the mid-second year and will usually produce 10 liters of milk per day for 270 days. In the case of the carabao, the animal  will start milking at the mid-third year and will produce an average of 6 liters a day for 270 days.

Goat’s milk command a higher price than those of cattle and carabao. As practiced in the commercial goat farms in Central Luzon, particularly in Tarlac, raw milk is sold to processors at P70 per liter. This will be pasteurized by the processor, bottled, labeled and sold for P150 per liter in commercial stands. For cattle and carabao, farmgate price of raw milk is cheaper and their retail price is lower than goat’s milk.

  1. Cruz said that looking at production per unit body weight, we can see that goats will produce 33 percent more than cattle and 67 percent more than carabao. Thus, value of production per unit body weight will be more financially rewarding for goat than cattle and carabao.
  2. Cruz concludes that goat dairying is more profitable than either cattle or carabao milk production. He said that for an initial capital of P40,000 (which can buy a farmer a dairy carabao), a dairy goat farmer can buy about 3 breeder goats and get a total income of P223,440 for 7 lactations in five years. The dairy cattle and carabao entrepreneurs can only buy one animal and earn less than 200,000 in four lactations with returns realized only on the third year.

SECOND PROJECT –  A second project for the improvement of goat dairying will be implemented in four regions, namely Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Region 3 (Central Luzon), Region 7 (Central Visayas) and Region 8 (Eastern Visayas).

Based on the performance analysis of breeds in Project 1, additional breeder bucks of the same genetic composition as those bucks showing the best performance in Project 1 will be purchased to serve as source of the semen for insemination in the countryside.

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