February 3, 2023

The Department of Agriculture-Cordillera continues to disperse cattle for milk and meat supply in the region.

DA-Cordillera OIC Director Cameron Odsey said the dispersal is part of the livestock livelihood program of the department to provide additional income to farmers while producing meat for the needed supply in the country.

Twenty heads were distributed this month – 10 in Buguias, Benguet and 10 in Lagangilang, Abra.

The department also distributed 72 heads of cattle in June to six municipalities of Mountain Province, namely Sadanga with 28 beneficiaries, Sagada – five, Bauko – seven, Besao – five, Tadian –seven, and Bontoc – 20 under the Cattle Livelihood Project of the Special Area for Agricultural Development Program.

The DA is expected to deliver additional 25 heads of cattle in the province.

DA-Cordillera Livestock Program Coordinator Leisley Deligen said they dispersed 10 cattle, given as a loan, in Buguias on Nov. 14 to beneficiary members of the Lusong Vegetable Growers Association of Buyacaoan, Buguias; and 10 to Balais Farmers Association in Lagangilang, Abra on Nov. 16.

The beneficiary has to return an 18-month old female upgraded Brahman breed weighing 180 kilos within four years from the dispersal as repayment. Each costs P27,100.

Deligen said an upgraded Brahman breed adapts well to a semi-temperate or tropical environment and has a longer productive life, resistant to diseases, and can withstand heat.

It has an intermediate size compared to other breeds. “Calves are small at birth, weighing 60 to 65 pounds, but grow rapidly and wean at weights comparable to other breeds,” he said.

He added well-bred and properly treated Brahmans are easily handled and have established a considerable reputation for high cut-out value with minimum outside fat.

He said for meat production, it would take two to three years after a calf is born for the owner to reap benefits through beef production.

“We thank the DA for this assistance as a source of additional income aside from vegetable farming,” said Lusong Vegetable Growers Association president Martin Suldayan.

To ensure the sustainability of the program, the organization signed a memorandum of agreement with the DA-Cordillera stipulating the responsibilities of all stakeholders highlighting the good animal husbandry practices and the “palit-baka” scheme requiring the farmers to return an offspring of the animals received.

“As president of the association, I always remind the members about the importance of the assistance so that when the cattle multiply, other farmers will also be given and receive the same benefits,” Suldayan said.

Benguet Provincial Veterinary Officer Miriam Tiongan said they will assist in the health management of the Brahmans through vaccination, de-worming, artificial insemination through the Unified Artificial Insemination Program, and provision of planting materials.

To further capacitate the association, training on animal management and silage-making will also be done to assure farmers know how to properly care for the animals and multiply their number. – PNA