Other than providing enjoyment and education to its visitors, Paradizoo, a 12-hectare theme farm located in Mendez, Cavite, also aims to encourage Filipinos to embrace science and technology (S&T) in farming.
As part of its Power of Three Festival 2015, in a DOST-PCAARRD led activity, Paradizoo once more celebrated the Livestock Festival Week on February 7, 2015.
Dr. Melvin Carlos, director of the Technology Transfer and Promotion Division (TTPD), represented the Council and graced the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The Livestock Festival Week was formally opened last year with DOST-PCAARRD also taking the lead. The council has been providing technical assistance to improve the livestock of Paradizoo, which is part of the Zoomanity Group under the Yupangco Group of Companies.
Dr. Hermogenes “Boyet” Paguia of Bataan Peninsula State University (BPSU) shared best practices on goat farming in a lecture, which served as one of the highlights of the Livestock Festival Week.
“Goat farming is a viable business venture where S&T interventions are needed to address mortality rate, which is as high as 60%. With the correct intervention from DOST-PCAARRD, mortality rate could go down to as low as 20%,” Paguia said.
Paguia briefed participants on technologies and answered questions on goat management. Among these concerns are the time of feeding, feed ratio, scarcity of grasses for feeds during summer, and the ideal number of goats for grazing per hectare.
Paguia explained that feeding goats from 10 in the morning onwards prevent them from ingesting parasites; that the correct ratio of goat feed is 70% grass and 30% legumes; that the scarcity of goat trimmings during dry months can be addressed by fermentation; and that the ideal number of goats for grazing is 15 per hectare.
Robert Yupangco, President of Zoomanity Group and Yupangco Group of Companies, shared how Paradizoo was built from its initial plan of accommodating guests in a cabin to creating an integrated farming system that hopes to educate Filipinos about farming, conservation of the environment; and eventually contribute to achieving national food security.
Yupangco also expressed his plans for the theme farm, including a partnership with WIDACO International Inc. that will provide solar lampposts and a technology that will source out water underground and distribute it throughout the whole farm. With the lampposts, he said that the farm could cater to farmers by day and to lovers by night.
Just like the past year, visitors were toured around the farm and were shown the goat farm viewing area where different species of sheep and goat are kept. These include merino sheep from Spain; saanen goat from Switzerland, and dorper sheep from South Africa. The visitors were also toured to other parts of the farm such as the butterfly farm, honeybee farm, pet cemetery, and flower garden.
Clad in costumes, animals such as camel, ducks, sheeps, goats, horses, and greyhounds were paraded before the visitors.
Other components of the Power of Three Festival were the Flower Festival Week, Vegetable Festival Week, and the Amazing Animal Parade. The Festival ran from January 17 to March 14, 2015. (Rose Anne K. Mananghaya, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Service)