Puentespina Farms pushes for backyard livestock farming

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/6 July) – A family-owned farm company here is pushing for backyard livestock farming among small farmers and even white-collar workers.

In a news conference here, Roberto Puentespina, director of the family-owned Puentespina Farms Company at Malagos District here, said
that many of the farmers and even non-farmers may have missed the opportunity of starting up even a small livestock farm given that
Davao region is an agricultural area.

Puentespina, a veterinarian by profession, said even white-collar workers can start in their own backyards, especially those residing in subdivisions and also those who already have farms in the outskirts of the city.

All they need, he said, is plenty of fresh grass to feed the goats or cows to be able to produce fresh milk. “This is what some of us may have overlooked. We have vast idle grasslands that can be utilized to feed our livestock, the fresh grass is already a big capital,” he pointed out.

Workers collect milk from dairy goats  at Puentespina Farms in Malagos District, Davao City. The fresh milk from the dairy goats are used in manufacturing cheese. Ruby Thursday More / AKP Images for MindanewsPuentespina said a dairy goat needs five kilos of fresh grass daily to produce a liter of fresh milk.

This farming technology, he said, is among the topics that will be shared in a two-day event at Malagos Garden Resort on August 7 to 8. On the first day, dubbed the Malagos Farm Fair, will also feature seminars on cheese in the Philippines, renewable energy application in the farm, and creating micro habitats.

On the first day also, there will be food tasting, farm games such as fish catching, pig catching, palo sebo, “dunk me” and adventure race games.

“Many of the kids now are into electronic games. They don’t know or already forgot these farm games. So at Malagos Garden Resort, we will show it to them,” said Puentespina.

The following day, August 8, there will be seminars on raising organic chicken and pig, fresh water fish farming and cacao farming.

This two-day event costs P250 per day but there will be additional P500 for the wine and cheese appreciation sessions.

Puentespina added that they are targeting local tourists and local farmers to join the event since they will be selling some of their
livestock animal.

He said that local livestock farmers in Malagos and other parts of Calinan will be invited to showcase their farm animals during the event, Puentespina said.

“I will go around and ask them whatever available livestock they have and sell them during the two-day event,” he said, adding that
Puentespina Farms will also sell different varieties of livestock. “We will start from our neighborhoods first; then, we will invite other
livestock farmers from Bukidnon, the Davao provinces, North Cotabato and those from Luzon and the Visayas.”

Among the livestock that will be sold are Anglo Nobian goats and Holstein-Sahiwal cows, both common sources of dairy milk. The
organizers will be also selling peacocks, ornamental chickens and ostriches.

Puentespina said that the participants of the two-day event will have the opportunity to observe the milking process of goats.

“This is our way of sharing our knowledge to the people, to show them how the milking process is done. But our main point here is to
encourage the people to raise even just a pair of these milking goats for their own consumption at home,” said Puentespina.

“As a farmer, we would like to share to other people the benefits of having a small farm as a lifestyle weekend activity. After a stressful week day, they should come to their farm on weekends to relax and at the same time enjoy the benefits of having a few farm animals,” he
told MindaNews. (Keith Bacongco / MindaNews)