Goat production in the country is a bright industry, as goats only require minimal investment and simple management practices compared with producing large ruminants, poultry, and swine. However, high slaughter rate and low productivity hinder the growth of the industry. Low goat productivity is associated with farmers’ limited knowledge on proper production, appropriate feeding options, and lack of access to quality breeder animals. 

To address this challenge, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) implemented the National S&T Program on Slaughter Goat with one of the components aiming to promote mature products to farmers and future entrepreneurs. These products include forage-based pellets and portable pelletizing machines. 

The initiatives in the promotion of the products were detailed in the study, “Promotion of forage-based pellets for goats as a feeding option and portable pelletizer as potential enterprises,” which was conducted by Maria Excelsis M. Orden, Matilde Milicent S. Recto, Jackielou R. Gallarde, and Edgar A. Orden of the Central Luzon State University (CLSU). 

Forage-based pellet feeds for goats is a mixture of leaf meal, copra meal, rice bran, and minerals. These are pelletized using a portable pelletizing machine. Two kinds of pellet feeds were promoted – one for growing and another for lactating goats. 

In terms of investment, for an annual production of 115,200 kg of forage-based pellets, a farmer entrepreneur needs a total initial investment of P1.53 million, of which P1.03 is for working capital and start-up cost and P0.50 for capital investment. The computed internal rate of return (IRR) is 43%, the net present value (NPV) is at P535,223, and benefit cost ratio (BCR) is at 1.17. Meanwhile, for an 86,400-kg production level, IRR is 15%, NPV at P121,022, and BCR at 1.09. These data were detailed in an investment portfolio developed under the program. 

To further promote these two products, information, education, and communication (IEC) materials were developed and were translated into four dialects including Tagalog, Waray, Ilonggo, and Ilocano. Videos, a Facebook page, and a dedicated website were also developed to support the promotion of the products. Promotional activities in regions 1, 2, 3, 8, 10, and 12 were conducted, involving 9,424 participants. A total of 7,570 IEC materials were distributed as of March 2016.  

As a result of these promotions, 12 units of pelletizing machines that cost P48,000 per unit were fabricated by CLSU as of November 2016. 

In terms of producing forage-based pellets for goats, Sean Cristobal of the Farm by the Sea bought the first pelletizer fabricated by CLSU. He produces 1,000 kg of pellets per month, which he sells to a commercial goat raiser in Pangasinan. His net margin is 30% or P7 per kg. 

The project, “Promotion of forage-based pellets for goats as a feeding option and portable pelletizer as potential enterprises” is one of the finalists in the National Symposium on Agriculture and Aquatic Resources Research and Development (NSAARRD).

A DOST-PCAARRD R&D initiative, NSAARRD showcases the most outstanding contributions of individuals and institutions in the improvement of the agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources sectors through research and development (R&D) awards. 

NSAARRD is one of the highlights of the DOST-PCAARRD’s 6th anniversary celebration, which will be held at the Council’s complex on June 27-30.( Rose Anne M. Aya, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Service thru Estrella Z. Gallado)