DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 March) – The miniature cow project of the Department of Agriculture aims to begin studies on another breed of small cattle within the year for the Mindanao Beef Cattle Development Experimental and Research Project, according to the project head based in the University of the Philippines campus in Mintal.
In a telephone interview Tuesday, project head Antonio Obsioma said Jersey cows will complement a study on the Hereford cow project. Herefords and Jerseys are cattle originating from England.
While both are miniature cows, Herefords are used mainly for meat production while Jerseys are raised for milk.
Semen samples of the breed were imported into the country through the proponents of the study, with an aim to cross-breed the samples into native cows here.
The miniature cow project aims to figure out a way for local farmers to benefit from cattle even without having enough land for grazing.
Obsioma said the team was still finding out about the necessary costs to transport frozen Jersey cow semen from the United States that will be submitted to the DA.
“We hope to submit the report by this month,” Obsioma said.
Agriculture Secretary Proseso Alcala, at a press briefing last week at the Marco Polo Davao, said that Region XI was the first regional unit of the agency doing research on the breed.
Obsioma said the project is ongoing, and could take around 10 years to complete.
Funding for the project costs around P1.3 million, including funds to support the purchase of native cows, as well as fees for management, personnel and feeds.
The DA bought 24 heads of native cows last year, and the first batch of offspring numbering 10 cows is expected this year.
The project team is still monitoring seven other cows for signs of pregnancy.
The female calves will be grown and also inseminated with the Hereford sperm to produce another batch of offspring.
The project aims to see if miniature cows could thrive in farms with lower land areas.
DA officials said during the launch of the project that the cows could be raised in areas as small as backyards, with the cow’s average height at 48 inches with weight that could reach around 600 pounds.