Farmers are raising goats… and their livelihood too

The Negros Island Region is known for its agriculture and vast fields of farms, and none is greener than the town of Calatrava.

Having one of the most suitable plantation areas in the island, the community and families of this farming town in Negros Occidental have long heavily relied on the fruits and vegetables they harvest. It’s easy to see how important these crops and harvests are for its residents, but Calatrava’s farmers wanted to expand and take advantage of a hidden skill they learned from tilling their lands.

Most farmers in Calatrava town are native goat breeders with only a few other communities matching their knowledge in goat raising and rearing. However, for lack of facilities to improve livestock production and grow their livelihood, they were unable to take advantage of this opportunity.

In 2012, the Multi-Sectoral Alliance for Development (MUAD), an alliance of farmer organizations, initiated a goat-raising project in the region, starting with a goat breeding center along with technical training for local farmers. Farmers were taught how to raise the hybrid variety to be unique among other goat raisers and avoid competition with other livestock breeders on Negros Island.

MUAD’s program was simple. They provided high quality goats for farmers to breed, grow and fatten. With MUAD serving as a reliable buyer, the result of the project was immediately noticed by the residents. Their income from selling farm-raised goats rose. From the P 300 – P 400 they previously got per native goat from buyers, to earnings of P 2,000 to P 2,500 per hybrid goat.

With their initial success in 2011, MUAD aimed to share the benefits by encouraging more local farmers to get into hybrid goat raising and maximize the capacity of their breeding center to 300 goats.