CATANDUANES PROVINCE –  The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) recently distributed 105 goats to 30 beneficiaries in San Miguel, Catanduanes, a  5TH class municipality located at the mid-south of the province, the only inland municipality in the island. Each beneficiary was given 4 does and 1 buck, forages and  mulato seeds. Goat houses were also established at the recipients’ sites.

In 2018, the SAAD beneficiaries underwent series of training on goat raising, disease prevention and control as well as pasture development and  management.

Distribution of animals such as goats, carabaos, native chicken and mallard ducks are one of the many interventions of the SAAD program along with rice  and corn seeds, fertilizers, vegetable seeds and farm implements.

Goat is labelled as the ‘poor man’s cow’ because of its immense contribution to poor families. Goats can be easily managed by women and children due to its small size and friendly nature. Goats are also cheaper to maintain as they  thrive well on variety of leaves, shrubs and forages. It is also a resilient animal as it is more tolerant to hot climate than other animals.

Does can be bred at seven to nine months, so that they can begin to produce milk at one year of age. Like other mammals, goats have to give birth before they can start producing milk. After kidding, a doe will start producing milk for about ten months. As such, the SAAD beneficiaries’ children will have a free supply of nutritious and easily digestible milk. The goat’s milk is considered the best among all species of livestock.

Furthermore, the goat’s meat is accepted by all religions and it contains less fat that’s why it’s very suitable for health conscious people.  

The goat manure, on the other hand, is a very rich source of fertilizer. An average size goat produces over  a ton of manure annually.

Meanwhile, 77 native piglets were  distributed to the beneficiaries in San Miguel and Bato, Catanduanes. Each beneficiary received 11 piglets and a pighouse.

Another batch of native chicken totaling 1,250 were distributed to beneficiaries in Bagamanoc and Panganiban also in Catanduanes. Each recipient received 25 native chicken. While the 480 heads mallard duck were distributed in Baras and Gigmoto, Catanduanes. Each beneficiary received 20 mallard ducks.

Melrose Bernal, the SAAD provincial coordinator said that the beneficiaries have undergone social preparation and capacity building before the distribution. The distribution of the farm animals were facilitated by the staff of DA Bicol Regional Livestock and Poultry Program.

The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) is DA’s armor in poverty reduction particularly in far flung areas that have never been reached by DA’s regular programs. In Bicol region, three provinces – Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon are included starting 2018. (Lovella P. Guarin)