The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development is set to spur the local dairy goat industry via its National Dairy Goat Science and Technology (S&T) Program.
Compared to cow’s milk, goat milk is said to have higher nutritional value, is highly digestible, and causes less allergenic reaction because it lacks alpha-s1-casein protein. Found in cow’s milk, alpha-s1-casein protein is linked to allergic response in some individuals. Goat milk is also popular as an ingredient in beauty products because of its naturally occurring alpha-hydroxyacids—a good skin exfoliant.
To maximize these benefits, the National Dairy Goat S&T Program will address the issues that hinder the full growth of the dairy goat industry in the Philippines, namely, limited access of smallholders to good dairy goat breeds, absence of feeding guides for milking goats, increased prevalence of mastitis or intra-mammary infections in dairy goats, and the lack of standards on the production of goat milk-based products.
By selecting the best performing dairy breeds suited to the country and by providing appropriate nutrition for them, the program aims to increase milk production to 150% by 2017. Smallholders shall be given access to these breeds via artificial insemination to local goats and buck loan program.
In addition, an effective control protocol against mastitis will be developed. Considered as one of the greatest problems faced by the industry, mastitis can reduce milk volume and alter its composition, lower its hygienic value, and impair the processing of quality milk.
In three years, the program is expected to result to an initial increase of 60 % in does that can be milked, a reduction of 37% in subclinical mastitis incidence, and herd build-up of at least 58% from the deliberate infusion of good breeds in the countryside.
Program Leader Dr. Emilio Cruz of Central Luzon State University revealed that for an initial capital of P40,000, a dairy goat farmer can buy 3 breeder goats and earn P223,440 for 7 lactations in 5 years. In contrast, a cattle/carabao entrepreneur with the same amount of money can only buy one animal and earn less than P200, 000 for the same period.
If one goat dies, the farmer can still continue earning for the two remaining stocks, while if the carabao dies, the owner loses all of his investment, he added.
Moreover, goat milk has higher commercial value than cattle or carabao milk. In Region 3, raw milk is sold at P70 per liter to processors who will pasteurize, bottle, label and sell them in commercial stands at P150 per liter.
“All these advantages make goat production and goat dairying nowadays popular, propelling farmers to venture into such business and giving impetus for us at DOST to pour in investments to address the gaps in goat research and development,” said Secretary Mario G. Montejo in his message during the Memorandum of Agreement signing between DOST and its partner institutions. These are Isabela State University, Central Luzon State University, Bohol Island State University, Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Office-8, and University of the Philippines Mindanao.
“Ultimately, this will propel an increase in milk production in backyard and commercial farms and the availability of healthier milk in the market,” Montejo said.
In 2012, the country imported 1,995,410 metric tons of milk. Meanwhile, local production was merely 18,400 metric tons, of which only 1.4 % was produced by goats. On the other hand, the National Dairy Authority 2013 data show that there are around 3.67 M goats, with dairy goat population at only 6,379 heads. (S&T Media Service)
GOAT TO BELIEVE IN GOAT MILK. Goat milk is said to have higher nutritional value, is highly digestible, and causes less allergenic reaction compared to cow’s milk. (S&T Media Service)