MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/22 August) – Bukidnon Gov. Alex Calingasan launched the province’s Assistance to Low Income Communities and Settlers Program with the opening last week of the provincial government’s P2.2-million first goat breeder farm in Dicklum, Manolo Fortich town.
Calingasan said the 53-head breeder farm project is intended as livelihood assistance for the province’s poor families and communities.
An initial 13-heads, 10 does and three bucks, were delivered to the farm during the launch on August 17.
Calingasan, in his inaugural speech last year, said he will prioritize agriculture. Recently, he disclosed plans to develop the 40-hectare compound of the defunct Bukidnon Resources Company Inc. in Manolo Fortich into an agricultural support haven.
The Provincial Veterinary Office is managing the farm while distribution of the goats will be coursed through the Provincial Livelihood Program.
But the mode of the distribution is yet to be determined, said Dr. Kharinine Escarinas, project coordinator at the Provincial Veterinary Office.
She cited that they had initially distributed 30 does and three bucks in three barangays before the farm actually opened. But she said those goats were purchased from breeder farms owned by private individuals.
She added that the provincial government intends to breed the goats it will be distributing as part of their aim to encourage livelihood among the low-income earners of the province.
Escarinas told MindaNews they preferred goat because the people can just pasture them in backyards or grass lands and they don’t need to buy feeds like in raising hogs which means additional expenses.
She added that they are using crossbred goats for the project, a mix of Boer and Anglo breeds.
“But this will be distributed only to those who are willing to be helped, too,” Calingasan clarified.
The ALICS program, he said, uses an initial P10 million for the goat breeder farm, production of corn, lowland and upland rice vermin, tilapia, and mango, among others.
He said the program is also into the production of Adlai or Job’s tears, a grass that bears grains and is seen as an alternative to rice.
The governor said they want to use in the meantime the idle land in the former Bukidnon Industrial and Economic Zone, where BRCI is located, for agriculture to support the province’s livelihood program. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)