Bureau of Agri Research (BAR) Boosts R&D Support for Native Animals
MANILA: The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), in partnership with the Bureau of Animal Industry-National Swine and Poultry Research and Development Center (BAI-NSPRDC), is intensifying its research and development (R&D) to develop technologies that will address conservation, characterization, and commercialization of potential strains of native animals, through product development and promotion.
BAR has been supporting the development of production and management technologies and product development of native animals including pig, chicken, and cattle.
As one of the key agencies that coordinate and provide support to native animals R&D in the country, BAR has supported 25 projects since 2008.
The agency’s projects were implemented by the BAI-Animal Products and Development Center and NSPRDC; DA-Regional Field Offices 4-A, and 5; state universities and colleges including University of the Philippines Los Baños, University of Rizal System, and Southern Luzon State University-Judge Guillermo Eleazar; municipality of of Tagkawayan, Quezon; and civic organizations.
The technologies generated specifically covered: production and management which includes housing and feeding management; breed conservation and utilization; processing into different food products; value chain analysis; and information system.
To intensify policies and initiatives for sustainable conservation, production, and marketing of native animals, the Department of Agriculture institutionalized the Philippine Native Animal Development program in 2010.
One successful BAR-funded project under PNAS was the “Agricultural Systems Approach to Commercialization of Native Swine in Quezon” implemented by University of the Philippines Los Baños Foundation, Inc. (UPLBFI).
The project promotes the use of Gabing San Fernando (Xanthosoma sagittifolium), Trichanthera, common herbal plants, including kangkong, kamote as feed for native pigs. Through the “Dos Por Cinco”, a native swine module, a farmer can generate an additional PHP33,500 in two years from selling piglets.
The use of Sakwa as feed to native pigs lessened the expenses of inputs. Farmers can have an estimated income of PHP50,000 in a year from the selling of piglets for lechon.
Sakwa is a by-product and the main corm (a short swollen underground stem base in some plants) of Gabing San Fernando -- a tuber that thrives abundantly in plateaus and cogon-planted areas.
Members of the Rural Improvement Club of Bondoc Peninsula in Quezon, the farmer cooperators, found the project very helpful and are now planting herbs (use for treating common swine diseases) and forages under their coconut plantations.
Farmer-cooperators were able to increase their income and improve their lives and convinced other farmers in the area to be part of the project. In fact, the number of farmer-cooperators increased from 12 to 44 in the span to two years.
Another UPLB project under PNAD is the commercialization of Bohol native chicken production in the community level and re-educating primary students and parents in the patrimonial and economic value of science-based native chicken production.
On native cattle, one project is the “Commercialization of Philippine Native Cattle for Optimum Production of Siquijor Beef” that led to the partnership with the Catulayan Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative -- the farmer-cooperators for the project.
The project aims to: quantitatively describe the socio-demographic profile of native cattle raisers; develop native beef grading standard; develop native beef cuts; and develop native beef products and by-products.
The Provincial Veterinary Office of Siquijor has conducted partial survey on the supply and demand of beef in the province.
Based on the findings on a weekly basis, the province needs 567 kilograms of beef. This figure may be attributed to the demand of the foreigners visiting the province. The project will be developing beef floss and other possible products from the native cattle of Siquijor.