FEBRUARY 4, 2009
San Fernando town farmers introduced to goat raising
Taiheiyo Cement Philippines, Inc. (TCPI) has come up with a comprehensive and sustainable goat-raising program for farmers in the hinterland brangays of San Fernando town, southern Cebu.
The first phase of the program is designed to improve the breed of goats in the town by introducing bigger goats, said TCPI senior HR/administration manager Esther Cola, who oversees the program.
TCPI pursued the program with the collaboration of the Department of Agriculture in Central Visayas (DA-7) and the San Fernando Municipal Agriculture Office.
At least 20 farmers in barangay Bugho have already benefited in the initial implementation of the project realized under the Social Development and Management Program  of TCPI, together wih Solid Earth Development Corporation.
“If the first batch (in Bugho) becomes successful, then we will expand the (goat-raising) program (to other areas,” said Cola, referring to the mountain barangays of Cabatbatan, Ilaya, Magsico, Tabionan, Tañañas, Tinubdan and Tonggo, as well as the coastal barangay of Panadtaran.
The pilot beneficiaries first attended a training last Dec.16 at the TCPI recreation center on goat-production, management and processing by DA-7 senior agriculturist  Dr. Agapita Salces, beef keeping regional coordinator Emmanuela Bagares, animal products and by-products coordinator Alicia Laput and municipal livestock technician Rommel Pinatil.
Last Jan.8, the trainers accompanied the farmers to assist them during actual farm assessment, especially in checking the availability of good forage to ensure a sufficient supply of food and the availability of a goat’s shed.
In her remarks, Cola said the sustainability of the project will depend on the commitment of the goat-raisers, with the support of the technical experts from DA.
“The Taiheiyo Group is committed in this project, and we are providing you the opportunity. But it’s your endeavor and perseverance that will make the project work.” Cola told the farmers.