Gov’t eyes sustainable development of native animals; BAR lends R and D support

Prior to the creation of the Philippine Native Animals Development (PNAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) was already at work coordinating with the DA's Livestock and Poultry Program in supporting and funding various R and D projects on native animals.

Eventually, the PNAD was created through DA Administrative Order No.15 in 2010. With various livestock agencies of the government and selected State Universities and Colleges as program partners, the program seeks to promote the conservation and utilization of domesticated native animals for food. BAR is a member of PNAD and is the lead coordinator for research and development (R and D).

To date, the bureau has coordinated and funded a total of 21 livestock and poultry related projects, all geared toward the generation of technologies on livestock production, management and post-production, closely collaborating with the various project proponents and farmers' organizations.

The projects cover a range of efforts from strategy to refinement of techniques. These include sourcing of baseline data for native pigs, formulation of proper feeding rations for native animals, information on the existing native pig gene pool, breeding management and production, coming out with selected strains of native pigs, upgrading of organic and free-range native chickens, and development of processing technologies for meat and skins from selected native strains.

There is an existing niche market for native animal meat and other products and indications point to growth. Thus, there is need for efforts meant to strengthen the sector and, more importantly, empower the farmers to be locally-and internationally-competitive and enable them to lead in the niche's progress. Government is at the forefront and its support is essential for native animal production to be sustainable for the farmers. BAR supports the DA in ensuring that the country's native animals are, not only promoted, but conserved as well with the effective employment of its R and D arsenal.

Source: Philippine Information Agency