BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Agriculture in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) continues to disperse cattle for milk and meat supply in the region.
Dr. Cameron Odsey, OIC director of DA-CAR, on Wednesday, said the dispersal is part of the livestock livelihood program of the department to provide additional income to farmers while producing meat for the needed supply in the country.
There were 20 heads distributed for November 2020 — 10 in Buguias, Benguet, and 10 in Lagangilang, Abra.
This came after the department also distributed 72 heads of cattle in June 2020 to six municipalities of Mountain Province namely: Sadanga with 28 beneficiaries, Sagada with five, Bauko with seven, Besao with five, Tadian with seven, and Bontoc with 20 under the Cattle Livelihood Project of the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program.
The DA is also expected to deliver 25 more heads of cattle in Mountain Province under the DA’s SAAD in the Cordillera.
Dr. Leisley Deligen, the livestock program coordinator of DA-CAR, said they dispersed 10 cattle in Buguias on November 14 to beneficiary members of the Lusong Vegetable Growers Association of Buyacaoan, Buguias; and another 10 to Balais Farmers Association in Lagangilang, Abra on November 16.
“It (cattle) is a loan,” the doctor added.
The beneficiary has to return an 18-month old female upgraded Brahman breed cattle weighing 180 kilograms within four years from the dispersal as repayment. Each cattle costs PHP27,100.
Deligen said an upgraded Brahman breed adapts well to a semi-temperate or tropical environment and has a longer productive life, resistant to diseases, and can withstand heat.
It has an intermediate size compared to other breeds. “Calves are small at birth, weighing 60 to 65 pounds, but grow rapidly and wean at weights comparable to other breeds,” he said.
He added that well-bred and properly treated Brahmans are easily handled and has established a considerable reputation for high “cut-out” value with minimum outside fat.
He said that for meat production, it would take two to three years after a calf is born for the owner to reap benefits through beef production.
“We thank the DA for this assistance as a source of additional income aside from vegetable farming,” said Martin Suldayan, president of the Lusong Vegetable Growers Association.
To ensure the sustainability of the program, the organization also signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the DA-CAR stipulating the responsibilities of all stakeholders highlighting the good animal husbandry practices and the “palit-baka” scheme requiring the farmers to return an offspring of the animals received.
“As president of the association, I always remind the members about the importance of the assistance so that when the cattle multiply, other farmers will also be given and receive the same benefits,” said Suldayan.
Dr. Miriam Tiongan, Benguet provincial veterinary officer, said they will assist in the animal health management of the Brahmans through vaccination, deworming, artificial insemination through the Unified Artificial Insemination Program (UAIP), and the provision of planting materials.
To further capacitate the association, training on animal management and silage-making will also be done to assure that farmers will know how to properly care for the animals and multiply their number. Liza Agoot / PNA – northboundasia.com