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« on: July 21, 2008, 04:17:45 AM »

Monday, July 21, 2008
Chronic arthritis of goats
By Henrylito D. Tacio

THE livestock industry is one of the fastest growing agricultural sectors in the Philippines and other parts of Asia. It is a vital industry linked to millions of jobs in related industries. However, the health and growth of this industry are being threatened by the emergence of animal diseases.

One animal disease that is getting attention among goat raisers is the caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE), a viral infection of goats, which may lead to chronic disease of the joints. It sometimes also causes encephalitis in kids between two and six months old.

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This disease was first diagnosed in goats in 1974. Since that time, it has been diagnosed in North America, Europe, Kenya, Peru, Australia, and New Zealand.

According to the Taiwan-based Food and Fertilizer Technology Center for the Asian and Pacific Region, the disease was introduced to the Philippines through the importation of 54 goats from the United States (bought from Texas) in 1998.

A serious disease for the goat industry, CAE adversely affects health, production, and life expectancy in both dairy and meat-type goats. CAE has a long incubation period lasting from a few weeks to many months. Infection usually lasts for life.

CAE is caused by a virus that doesn't infect only goats but sheep as well. "The CAE virus is intimately associated with white blood cells; therefore, any body secretions which contain white blood cells are potential sources of virus to other goats in the herd," warns the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) of the Washington State University.

Primarily, the CAE virus is transmitted to kids via colostrum in the first few feedings after birth. Blood (examples: contaminated instruments and open wounds) is regarded as the second most common way of spread. "Contact transmission between adult goats is considered to be rare except during lactation," WADDL assures.

In a milking herd, shared milking machines, milk contaminated hands or towels can also increase the risk of spreading the disease. In a meat herd, transmission can occur via needles, tattooing instruments, or dehorning equipment. Other possible methods of transmitting the disease include head butting to the point of drawing blood, eye-licking, biting, snorting and coughing, and urinating too near another goat's race.

Gail Bowman, coordinator for the International Boer Goat Association for the Northwestern United States who has contacted extensive research on the disease, found out that the risk of infection during sexual contact between the animals is possible in the exchange of saliva, estrus mucus, urine, semen, and nasal secretions.

The Merck Veterinary Manual claims that only 30 percent of infected animals develop a disease. There are three different forms of the disease: arthritis, mastitis, and encephalitis. Symptoms of arthritis include lameness, weight loss despite a normal appetite, poor hair coat, and reduction of milk yield. Arthritis is mainly visible on the carpal joints and may also involve the tarsal joints.

Mastitis, on the other hand, is characterized by a hard, hot and probably uneven udder with a dejected look and blood in milk. Signs of encephalitis include weakness, coordination disorders, and paralysis of hind limbs. Among kids between two and four months, there is complete paralysis. Lung involvement results in chronic pneumonia.

Since not all goats that become infected with CAE virus get the disease, it is important to test goats routinely for infection by means of a serology test, which detects viral antibodies in the serum. Bowman cautions, "However, CAE virus infection may not be serologically testable for months or years, and some infected animals that can transmit the disease may never show clinical symptoms at all."

A concern among Filipino consumers is whether it is all right to drink milk containing the CAE virus. The WADDL assures, "There is NO evidence that the CAE virus is transmissible to humans. However, there are other serious human pathogens which have been transmitted through raw milk."

Chris Cyr, of the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of Purdue University, and Bowman have listed the following recommendations to help control CAE virus in goat herds:

1. Remove kids from their dams immediately after birth to prevent contact with nasal secretions and nursing. "Be sure to prevent the does from licking their kids," Bowman adds. "Then take the kids inside and wash them in warm water, in a clean sink."

2. Feed kids only pasteurized milk and heat-treated colostrum. CAEV can be inactivated by heating colostrum at 56 degrees C (133 degrees F) for 60 minutes. Temperatures lower than this failed to prevent disease transfer. Using cow's milk and colostrum is acceptable if it is also heat-treated and pasteurized to prevent other neonatal infections.

3. Establish a serologic surveillance program. "Testing every six months appears sufficient in small herds with low seroprevalence," Cyr says.

4. Separate all possibly infected animals from uninfected animals by a double fence with at least 10 feet between the fences. "Do not use common feeder, waterers or salt blocks," Bowman points out.

5. When possible, do not breed infected animals to uninfected animals. "If negative and positive animals are mated, use a single hand-mating allowing minimal oral contact," Bowman suggests.

6. Avoid transmission by disinfecting equipment.

For more Philippine news, visit Sun.Star Manila.

For Bisaya stories from General Santos.Click here.

(This section is updated every Monday)

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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2008, 10:36:29 AM »

Large-Scale Goat Raising in Tarlac Shows the Way
By pinoyfarmer | July 10, 2007

For ANGIE MENDOZA of Tarlac, City, goat raising started as a way of making a 3.5-hectare mango farm productive during its early gestation period when the trees are not yet bearing.

Today, she has no less than 260 heads already, most of which are does, and yet she intends to have at least 200 does in her farm. This is because she found that indeed there is a good amount of money in large-scale goat production.

In a paper presented during the Second Small Ruminant Congress at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) last March, Angie narrated in Filipino how she and a business partner went into large-scale goat raising, saying they already recovered their initial investments on this venture. She said a 3.5-hectare farm in the mountainous portion of Burgos, Tarlac bought in 1999 was planted with mangoes but she could not wait long enough for it to become productive.

While they were searching for ways of making the farm productive while waiting for the mango trees to bear fruit, a priest, who was a family friend, suggested that the most practical thing to do is to raise goats. “We were told that goat raising does not incur much expenses because the animals are not very delicate and they survive on grasses,” Angie said.

They started with a pair of Anglo Nubian doe and buck, which they bought from Rodinel Wong of San Jose City in Nueva Ecija. After that they continued to look around for stocks of large and beautiful goats. In the process, whenever they saw goats near the road, they would stop and asked people if the animals were for sale.

“We were able to buy many goats this way,” she said.

She added they were able to increase their purebred breeding animals last year by importing the Kiko breed from Texas and Boer from Australia. They also got Anglo Nubian breeders from the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center in Davao.

Most of their present stock,however, consist of upgraded does, which they bought from local raisers. The other does are offspring of their stock.

Of the more than 260 head that they had at the time of the goat congress, 180 upgraded does and their offspring were in the farm in Burgos. They also had 42 purebred Boer and Anglo Nubian in their farm in San Rafael, Tarlac City, which is located just beside their house. Another 41 upgraded bucks are in a rice farm in Batang-batang, Tarlac.


Angie revealed that they went through a host of trials and errors as they increased their stock and learned to raise goats.

For instance, she said the first house they made for their animals was made of cement and steel, thinking that durability is most important. “We found out that what is most important is sanitation because it is bad for the animals to step and sleep on their wastes,” she said.

They also learned that the flooring must be elevated and has holes so that the wastes could pass through them. Now their new goat houses are made mostly of cheap, locally available materials like bamboo, coco lumber and sawali. It’s only the flooring that incurs considerable expense because it is made of plastic, which is better than wood. It is much easier to clean and dry, hence the animals are free from diseases.

Although they had great difficulty keeping their animals healthy at the start, they soon learned to cure health problems like scouring, colds, coughing and internal parasitic worms with the help of veterinarians and specialists of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) and CLSU.


In Burgos, the main goat house, 150 square meters ( sq m), serves as the quarters for the does and their offspring, which are below three months old. The kidding pens, 1 (1.5) sq m each, are located in this building. One to two weeks before a doe is expected to give birth, the animal is brought to the kidding pen so that kidding would not occur elsewhere.

The doe and her offspring stay in the pen for two weeks after giving birth to make sure the kid is able to suck milk from the mother.

There is a separate house where they keep their doelings. They stay there until they become one year old. Then they transfer the doeling to the main building when she has been bred already.

The bucks are also kept in a separate house where each of them is in an individual pen. They bring the does to the bucks for controlled mating.

To keep their animals healthy, they deworm every three months during the dry season and every other month during wet season. The animals were also given vitamin injections once in a while. Most of the time, the caretakers now perform deworming and vitamin injections as taught to them by BAI and CLSU veterinarians.

The goats in the Burgos farm are brought to the pasture between 9 and 11:30 in the morning, and between 2 and 5 in the afternoon. In between the two pasture periods, the goats are brought back to their pens to rest and drink water.

However, the bucks and does that have kidded only recently as well as the sick animals are given cut grasses in their pens.

The goats are fed early in the morning. Each goat is given 100 grams of feeds, using a small can of sardines for measurement.

Angie said that although they can get grasses from some places at the moment, they are also going to improve their pasture and forage production through the help of specialists from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD). This way they will be assured that if the present pasture areas and sources of grasses will be gone in the future, they will have their own source.

The wastes of the goats are dried and then placed around the mango tree as organic fertilizer. The rest are applied as organic fertilizer in their four-hectare rice farm in Batang-batang.


Angie said that hey have no problem in marketing their goats at the moment because the 15 members of the Goat and Sheep Producers Association of Tarlac, Inc., which she heads as president, help each other in the marketing aspect.

She said there have been only a few instances when prospective buyers went home without having bought some animals from them. If one of the members does not have the kind of goat the customers are looking for, the customers are referred to the other members.

The members of the association have adopted a uniform pricing scheme. For instance, a four-month old purebred Boer is sold at P20,000, while a four-month old purebred Anglo Nubian is sold at P8,000.

On the other hand, upgrade (75 percent Boer and 25 percent Anglo Nubian buckling) is sold at P6,500, while the price for doeling of the same percentage is negotiable. The prices for 50 percent doeling upgrades are as follows: Boer, P5,000; Anglo Nubian, P4,000.

Angie said they disperse their 50% Boer and Anglo Nubian bucklings to backyard goat raisers in their barangay. An eight- to 10-month old buckling is exchanged for two native doelings or five cavans of palay. Cash buyers may get it at P100 a kilo liveweight.

However, Angie said they still keep most of the female offspring of their stock as they intend to have 200 does in the farm.


Angie added they owe their success to a number of people and the first small ruminant congress last year where they learned a lot of things, got to know other raisers, and established their linkages with public and private agencies. Since then technical assistance from several agencies have been forthcoming.

For instance, they benefited from the field trial of the artificial insemination program of the Bureau of Animal Industry. They also got bucks from the bureau.

The Small Ruminants Center (SCR) of CLSU has also helped them a lot. Angie narrated that at one time, one of their does had difficulty in kidding. Through the cellphone, Dr. Emilio Cruz of the SRC instructed them step by step on what to do and the kid came out fine.

She added that through the Livestock Development Council, headed by Pete Ocampo, the Road Map of the Goat Industry, which they prepared, reached Agriculture Secretary Luis Lorenzo.

PCARRD will also assist them in establishing the forage and pasture area of their farm.


Angie is optimistic of a bright future for the goat industry based on the fact that she has already recovered the initial capitalization of their goat farm.

In Tarlac alone, she said, there are now a good number of restaurants serving goat menus. In addition, there is a good demand for goats by Muslims.

Although more and more people are also getting interested in goat raising, the present supply is still not enough to meet the demand, especially during Christmas, fiestas, graduations, and other important occasions.

For more information, please call, text or write Angie at tel no. (045)9825148,

CP no. 09204180788, or

Source: Philippine Goat Raisers

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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2008, 10:08:21 PM »

All Set for Philgoat Raisers Conference 2008       
Written by PhilGoat 2008 News Team     
Davao City - All is set for the biggest goat raisers meet ever to be organized in the Southern Philippines in this beautiful city by the Gulf on July 23 to 25.

Davao City Vice Mayor Sara Duterte will welcome the participants to the Philippine Goat Raisers Conference 2008 at the Davao Convention Center while her father, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will host a dinner for the speakers and participants on July 23.

North Cotabato Vice Governor Manny Pinol, chairman of the organizing committee, said three foreign speakers are now in transit with two of them - Joey Hoegger of Hoegger's Goat Supply based in Atlanta, Georgia and Dr. Fred C. Homeyer of Antelope Creek Boers in San Angelo, Texas -- arriving as early as Monday.

The third foreign speaker, Geof Burnett-Smith of Terraweena Boers of Australia, will fly in Tuesday.

Mr. David Wolf, agriculture attache of the US embassy in Manila, and Mr. Ross Bray, commercial attache of the Australian embassy and head of Austrade will be among the special guests.

Vice Gov. Pinol said no less than 300 participants from all over the country are expected to troop to the Davao Convention Center for the conference and the show of Braveheart Farms goats.

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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2008, 10:14:06 PM »

Written by Dr. Fred C. Homeyer     
Anyone who has raised goats for any length of time has had a sick goat. When we have a sick goat our primary concern is doing whatever is necessary to get the goat well as soon as possible. Most of us can't take our animals to the vet every time they get a runny nose, therefore, unless we happen to be extremely wealthy, we must learn to doctor our sick animals when they come down with minor health problems.

The following goat medicine tips were developed from positive experiences with my goats during the past three years. If you have some effective procedures that you would like to share and add to this list, please let me know. You should also be aware that I am not a vet and that I am not advocating that you use any of the techniques that I am going to describe below. This article is simply the documentation of my experiences with my goats. Some of these things may not work with your animals. The last thing tht I would recommend before relating my experience is that you should always consult your vet.

This week's topic: Deworming
I use injectable IVOMEC. The directions specify to use 1cc per 100 pounds but I use 1.5cc for nannies and 2cc for larger billies.

I draw up the IVOMEC in a syringe and then remove the needle and shoot the liquid on the goat's tongue. You could also inject the liquid intramuscularly if you want.Every other time that I worm my goats, I use a colored drench rather than a clear drench.

If I have more than a few goats to worm, I use IVOMEC sheep drench instead of the injectable type and I use a standard drench gun to administer the drench in their mouth.

I am careful not to injure the goat's mouth when inserting the drench gun.

Being from dry West Texas, I normally drench my goats twice a year. If I lived in a wetter climate, I would have to drench more often. Collecting a fecal sample and taking it to your vet for analysis will determine when you need to worm your goats.

The type of parasites present in the fecal sample may also determine which drench to use.

I would contact my vet before using IVOMEC since it is not labeled for use on goats. There are parts of the world where goats are becoming resistant to various worming drenches. Some efforts have even been made to try to develop moreworm-resistant goats through selective breeding.

(Braveheart Farms experience: We also use IVOMEC but we inject it. After the first deworming, we follow it up after 15 days. We alternately use IVOMEC with Albendazole which is administered orally. We deworm every 45 to 60 days. This continuing deworming cycle is important especially when the goats are in the grazing fields in the Philippines and other Asian countries where the grounds are often wet following the rain.

Warning: Do not ever attempt to deworm a pregnant doe as it would cause a miscarriage or even death if the kid inside the womb is so big that the mother could no longer flush it out. Deworming of the does should be done prior to mating.  If you are not sure whether a doe is pregnant or not, stay on the safe side - do not deworm.

Also, never attempt to administer IVOMEC on young goats simultaneously with other injectables, vitamins or anti-biotics. It could kill the kids.

For those who would like to stay organic, you could try betel nut.


(Editor's Note: This section will feature tips from fellow goat raisers based on their experiences in the farm that they would like to share with us.  With the permission of Dr. Fred C. Homeyer, known in the American goat breeders circle as "The Rabbit Twister", we will start printing starting this week some of his articles on goat health management and tips on how to handle our goats' diseases. Dr. Homeyer is not actually a veterinarian but a holder of a PhD in computer science but his years of involvement with goat raising and his researches have made him one of the most knowledgeable persons in goat health and herd management. He is one of the resource speakers in the 2008 Philippine Goat Raisers Congress July 23 to 25 at the Davao Convention Center in Davao City.)




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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2008, 10:17:09 PM »

DA Supports Philgoatraisers Conference       
Written by     
DA Sec. Yap endorses Philgoatraisers Confab

Philippine Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap has officially endorsed the 2008 Philippine Goat Raisers Conference set July 23 to 25 in Davao City and has directed all Agriculture Regional Directors to send participants to the first international gathering of Filipino goat raisers.

In a meeting with North Cotabato Vice Gov. Manny Pinol, chairman of the Organizing Committee of the PGRC 2008, Sec. Yap personally thanked the conference organizers for their initiative in holding the conference where at least 5 foreign speakers are expected to discuss topics concerning the goat industry.
An estimated 600 to 800 participants are expected to come from the different parts of the country to attend the conference. 

Yap has directed the Livestock Development Council (LDC) to extend its all out support to the Philippine Goat Raisers Conference.

The DA Secretary has been invited to grace the opening ceremonies of the conference while the Ambassadors of the United States and Australia, countries whose goat raisers are now supply breeding stocks Filipino goat farmers, will also be invited.

Among those who speak during the conference are Don and Teresa Wade of Bio-Genics Ltd. who will discuss Anglo Nubian breeding and artificial insemination; Australian Geoff Burnett-Smith who will talk about Terreweena Ranch's experience on the Australia Boers and Joey Hoegger of the Hoegger Goat Supply company who will talk about establishing a milking system in the dairy goat farms.

Also expected to speak is Dr. Fred Homeyer of the Antelope Creek Ranch, who will talk about the Ideal Boer Goat and other goat raising issues.

Filipino goat experts will also speak during the conference while is being held in coordination with the National Goat and Sheep Congress of the Philippines.

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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2008, 10:20:03 PM »

Philippine Goat Raisers Conference 2008       
"Discovering the Potentials of Meat and Dairy Goat Industry"

The PHILIPPINE GOAT RAISERS CONFERENCE 2008 aims to bring together experts from the Philippines, the United States of America and other countries to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and insights as well as to discuss innovations and business opportunities in the goat industry. To be held in the bustling City of Davao, in the island of Mindanao, the PHILIPPINE GOAT RAISERS CONFERENCE 2008 will be an important venue for the gathering of participants with various interests in the goat industry but with a common objective to enhance knowledge and collaborate in a sustainable partnership for the strengthening of collective opportunities throughout the supply chain of the industry.
A wide mix of delegates from all over the country will converge at the PHILIPPINE GOAT RAISERS CONFERENCE 2008 for the opportunity to meet face to face with the industry experts and other players to discuss various issues.
For two days, a panel of speakers will present a range of essential topics covering three areas: 1.) Breeding and Rearing of Goats 2.) Funding the Goat Farms and 3.) Processing and Marketing the Dairy and Meat Goat. Outstanding breeders from the US will speak on their experiences in establishing outstanding breeding farms for both dairy and meat goats.

A representative from the Australian Embassy will also be invited to speak about the Australian Goat Industry.

Top veterinarians from the country's agricultural universities will also speak on herd and health management.

Land Bank of the Philippines and several Governors from Mindanao will present financing and other support programs for small ruminants while dairy, cheese and yogurt producers and manufacturers of dairy and meat processing facilities will introduce their products.
A representative from the Saudi Arabian embassy in the Philippines will also discuss the exciting possibility of supplying for the annual Hajj in Mecca which requires at least 2 million heads of goats daily during the duration of the pilgrimage. Representatives from SM Shopping Malls and Rustan's will also be invited to discuss possible marketing agreements with established dairy and meat goat producers.

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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2008, 10:33:02 PM »

NISARD Distributes Goats To Farmers   
Written by Maricar Aranas-April 21, 2008-The Visayan Daily Star     
The Negros Island Sustainable Agricultural Rural Development Foundation Inc.  distributed Thursday an initial 20 Anglo Nubian breed  of  dairy  goats  to  farmers  in Sibulan  and  Valencia, Negros  Oriental.

NISARD president Rep. Henry Teves (NegOr, 3rd district), executive director Ernesto Quiamco spearheaded the turnover rites held at the NISARD office, Provincial Agriculture compound, Barangay Piapi, Dumaguete City.

The goat dispersal program is barangay-based with barangay captains as overseer, while the cow dispersal project of NISARD is Barangay Agricultural Development Center-based, Quimco, whose five-hectare land in Barangay San Antonio, Sibulan is used as demonstration farm of the project.

Last year, NISARD distributed 218 hybrid cows all over the province.

Quimco said recipients undergo training and enhancement skills on the proper raising and how to collect milk from dairy goats. They will also learn to convert goat waste into a component for organic fertilizer.

Anglo Nobian goats produce an average of one liter of fresh milk per day.

Quiamco said they will place the program under crop insurance coverage, and will ensure that these are free from diseases.

Teves, who visited a farm in Naawan, Misamis Occidental with Rep. George Arnaiz, meanwhile said the government should address the lack of nutrition  among school  children, and milk production would help.

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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2008, 12:41:11 AM »

Goat Farming Philippines

An organization known as the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) Foundation, has a reputation for its sustainable upland farming systems, and it is also known for its goat framing and is known as the Goat capital of Davao del Sur. The MBRLC is located in thefoothills of Mount Apo, in Barangay Kinuskusan, Bansalan, Davao del Sur. The center was started by an American agriculturist Harold Ray Watson. In fact the MBRLC is credited internationally as the originator of Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT). This involves growing field and permanent crops in bands of three to five meters wide between rows of different nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs. This is something we can all learn form, flat or sloping land.

Filipinos do not raise goats on any large scale, with the goat population at around 2 million. They are widely distributed throughout the country, with heaviest concentrations in central and western Visayas, central Luzon, Ilocos, and the southern Tagalog provinces. 99% of goats are raised by small-scale farmers. This is changing! As the goats are now in large demand, the center has integrated this into their SALT system. The goal is now to make the small upland farmer production sufficient an a very limited land area of only 3/4 hectare (2 acres) and the improved system is a goat-based agroforestry system with a land utilization of 40 percent for agriculture, 40 percent for goats and 20% for forestry. They still use hedgerows of different nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs are established on the contour lines.

A typical setup is that a goat barn is erected at the farm center, with the upper half planted to ¾ permanent crops such as coffee, cacao and black pepper, with ¼ of short-term crops such as beans, peanut and corn. The remaining 50% of farm is used for forage crops as feeds for goats. The goat manure is used as fertilizer both for the agricultural crops and the forage crops. They get goat sales, goat meat, goat milk so a very smart and sustainable farming system. On my own larger goat farmer I am moving towards some of these principles myself, let us hear what you are doing to save the planet!

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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2008, 07:33:10 AM »

Republic of the Philippines
Department of Agriculture
Elliptical Road, Diliman
1101 Quezon City, Philippines



Department of Agriculture

DATE: July 21, 2008


In view of the increasing incidence of CAE, the following prevention,
control and management procedures are hereby issued:

1. All sheep and goats (six (6) months and above) for breeding
intended for
transport shall be inspected and tested negative for CAE prior to
of shipping permit.
2. Testing shall be done at the Philippine Animal Health Center
(PAHC) or at any of the Department of Agriculture (DA) –Regional
Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratories (RADDL) capable of using ELISA
3. Laboratory testing of animals for CAE in all the diagnostic
laboratories of DA shall be free of charge starting July until
December 2008 and fifty percent (50%) of the testing free shall be
subsidized by the Government from January 2009 to December 2009.
4. The test results will have a validity of 6 months and shall
be used for single shipment only. Tests shall however be repeated if
same animals shall be transported to another farm or locality
5. Should there be reactors on the animals tested, the
following are hereby recommended to be undertaken by the farms were
the positive animals originated:
a. Isolate kids after birth. They shall be raised in separate
quarters from does and fed with:
i. cow's milk or milk replacer until weaning;
ii. milk from a healthy or CAE seronegative doe.
b. Test all kids at 6 months of age and periodically (semi-
annually) thereafter to insure there seronegative status .
c. Identify and segregate seronegative from seropositive animals.
d. Cull seropositive animals. This is the best way of
controlling the disease.
e. Disinfect common equipment used in the farm with phenolic or
quarternary ammonium compounds as the need arises.

For your compliance,


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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2008, 11:43:57 AM »

Adding Value to Traditional Goat Products
More and more goat raisers are taking the road less travelled and are discovering value-added goat products.

The surging interest in goat as an investment area for livelihood and enterprise among business is booming for both the small and the commercial scale goat raisers. Indeed, they have become unbelievably successful even as the surging investments in goats for livelihood and enterprise has OFWs, government retirees, balikbayans, livelihood programs of government and NGOs interested in the money-making venture.

Much of what is being said about goat production today is how to produce slaughter and breeder goats efficiently and profitably. But unknown to many traditional players in the industry, there are a few who dared the odds and won. These determined individuals went beyond conventional and took the paths less travelled. They ventured into goat dairy, production of personal care products from goat milk, certification of a Halal slaughter house and processing chevon into a certified exportable Halal product.

The milk men
The Almedas. The father and sons trio of Rene, Art and Toti Almeda of the Alaminos Goat Farm (Alaminos, Laguna) take their family dairy business seriously. They invest their time and resources on technology and genetics with a no nonsense vision of making commercial goat production in the Philippines a really bankable business. The Almeda’s involvement in livestock dates back to their commercial cattle feedlot operation when feeder stocks were being imported from Australia. However, increasingly expensive imported animals and the outrageously high US dollar rate stopped the business; but not the family. When the interest on goats sprang up three or four year ago, the family resumed livestock operation but this time banking on the potentials of goat production. The past did not daunt them but became a valuable input as they capitalized on the learnings and the existing feedlot infrastructures.

The participating family members in running the business has become very inspiring. Beyond the experience of the family in cattle feedlot fattening, the father, Rene was and still is the prime mover in the current initiative. Art handles farm operation while his brother Toti, is in charge of product promotion and marketing. Being a licensed chemist, the lady of house and Rene’s wife Jenny will eventually be in charge in product development. Indeed the Alaminos goat farm is a typical closely knit Filipino family business.

This family’s foresight to milk a nontraditional opportunity has succeeded with the initial market of their bottled fresh milk carrying the brand MILK STAR (the label carries the slogan, `Goats milk closest to mothers milk’). But, while the Almedas are quite occupied with their dairy project they are not losing focus on continuously producing and selling outstanding Boer goats as breeders. This is a no compromise commitment of the company.

In 2007, the Alaminos goat dairy opened outlets at Rowena’s Pasalubong in Tagaytay, in Los Banos, Laguna, and at the weekend market in Salcedo Village, Makati. Aware of the benefits of goat milk, a pediatrician from Sta. Rosa, Laguna has also endorsed the goat milk to patients who are lactose intolerant and even to geriatrics. Last year, as part of their social commitment and promotion of their product, the company donated bottled goat milk to a feeding program of a civic organization in Sta. Rosa. Early 2008, the company has already consigned its products and set up outlets in the posh markets of Tiendesitas, Market Market, the weekend market at Lung Center, and all the gasoline stations of SLEX (Total, Caltex and Shell) through the Aling Nene’s Pasalubong kiosks.

Saanens, newly-imported from Australia, produce the milk for the Alaminos Goat Farm. Proving their worth and the Almedas’ wisdom in less than a year since arrival, they have already started kidding and producing the milk the company sells. As more does give birth, the milk production will rise to around 8o to 150 kg in the second or third quarter of the year. Thus, the Almeda boys will have not only more udders and teats to handle, they will also be promoting and marketing a lot. Last year, the company bought a portable milking machine to meet the increasing production of milk. It is now awaiting the delivery and installation of a ‘teats-to-the-pack’ milk processing system that will reduce handling of the liquid product. Soon, the family run business will also venture into other product lines such as cheese and yoghurt. These products will become available widely in the market .

The desire to succeed in the business drives the company to seek more information and establish partnerships both with fellow goat raisers and government agencies like PCARRD, a planning Council under the Department of Science and Technology based at Los Banos. The latter and the Alaminos Goat Farm have become close partners for the last two years, with the Council sharing information on technical and industry related matters. PCARRD through its Livestock Research Division, has extended experts’ advice to the Almedas particularly related to the principle of breeding and genetics, nutrition and the conduct of simple feeding and breeding trials in the farm.

Government agencies can learn from the experiences and current initiatives of the Alaminos Goat Farm on dairying. With this knowledge, they can push development and entrepreneurial programs that are sustainable and profitable without resorting to flashy hype with noisy political undertones. Just like milk - plain sense and value - who can argue with that?

To be continued…

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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2008, 10:00:59 AM »

Yolly Raca Cashes in on Goat’s Milk Soap
A corporate career woman used her knowledge and network in the export business to start her own goat’s milk soap business.

Cleopatra was said to have bathed in goat’s milk as part of her beauty ritual for years. And so do a lot of Hollywood celebrities. Experts claim that handcrafted goat’s milk soaps are more moisturizing and nourishing than commercial soaps because goat’s milk contains many vitamins and minerals when infused into the human skin. Likewise, beauty experts say all the glycerin is still inside handmade soaps whereas it is extracted from commercial soaps for resale to other beauty industries. Glycerin, as the scientific journals explain, attracts water molecules, and when used on the skin, also attracts water instead of losing it, leaving the complexion softer.

For years, Yolly Raca, an export manager of a food company, has constantly heard about the wonders of goat milk soap. But venturing into her own line of soaps was something she didn’t imagine until almost two years ago when she was convinced by her colleagues at the Federation of Goat and Sheep Raisers of the Philippines regarding the opportunities that lie in the goat’s milk soap business. Together with a chemist friend, the 54-year-old Yolly experimented and concocted her own version of Cleopatra’s fabled beauty secret.

“What really convinced me, I guess was the fact that goat’s milk soaps sell like hotcakes in the US and Europe,” Yolly explained. “In the internet, a bar of goat’s milk soap sells at US$4 each. So we started with around 1,000 soap bars and sold it to our friends. We were surprised at the very positive response, so we said, let’s get serious and do it.”

Sourcing out goat’s milk, according to Yolly, didn’t pose much of a problem because her being a member of the Federation of Goat and Sheep Raisers allowed her to easily knock on doors of her co-members. “Actually, in our first trial, we used powdered goat’s milk which we got abroad,” Yolly disclosed. “After that, we started using fresh goat’s milk already.”

The problem, according to the dynamic entrepreneur, was really financing. “Our aim from the very start was really to tap the export market,” she says. “But it was very hard to expand because we didn’t have funds. We had an initial capital of Php100,000, but that was not enough to venture into the export business.”

With grit and guts and the loving support of her husband and four kids, Yolly slowly bankrolled her capital and loaned small amounts of money enough for her to gradually expand her business. She didn’t have any doubt about the quality of her product because local customers kept on coming back asking for more. “They claimed that the soap really softened and moisturized their skin,” she said. “The challenge was how to compete in the export market since there are thousands of goat milk soap out there!”

Yolly knew the answer lies in packaging. This is where she concentrated
and focused her attention on-from thinking of a brand name to conceptualizing the box labels. “It was me who conceptualized the design and I thought of the name “Kalapana,” an Indian word for “imagination” as the name of our soap. It sounds mystic and exotic, right?”

After a few hits and misses, the final label design was approved by the whole family and soon, the boxes were mass produced and became ready for the export market. The amiable businesswoman recalls: “We spent quite a fortune in packaging. This actually eats around 25% of our production cost.”

Exporting the products to the Middle East and to the US also didn’t pose much of a problem for Yolly. “Since I was working as an export manager of food products for many years, I already knew the ins and outs of the trade. I knew the requirements, the paper works, even the buyers, so that really didn’t become a problem,” she intoned.

From 1,000 soap bars, Yolly Raca now produces an average of 5,000 soap bars, using 120 liters of goat’s milk. Aside from the export market, “Kalapana” is now sold in several local groceries and department stores under four varieties: the 5% milk which is sold at Php38; 5% milk, sold at Php40; the premium kind (20% milk) sold at Php55 and the soap for sensitive skin sold at PhP50.

And what has Yolly Raca learned about running a business in the almost two years that she’s handling the production and marketing of “Kalapana” goat’s milk soap? “You have to constantly improve and develop your products because the competition is stiff, especially in the international beauty business,” she said. “Another thing is focus and attention to details. It’s hard to venture into this kind of enterprise if you will only delegate it to an assistant or a katiwala. You have to be in command.”

Indeed, Yolla Raca is in full command in running her business. Aside from meeting suppliers and buyers, she also participates in several agri trade fairs to promote her unique, natural beauty soap. She does the selling herselftalking with customers on the benefits of goat’s milk soap for the skin, and its difference compared with other commercial soaps. “We do everything in stride,” she confessed. “One step at a time, and we’ll eventually get there.”

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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2008, 07:41:25 AM »

Thursday, September 11, 2008
'Don't let goats project go'

A DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) official suggested that the dispersal of hybrid goats to Guadalupe’s residents push through, because it’s not easy to find funds for this project.

The DA is evaluating the goat dispersal project, as well as the distribution of seedlings, after Rep. Antonio Cuenco (Cebu City, south) asked Guadalupe Barangay Captain Eugenio Faelnar to account for P15 million in funds intended for both ventures.

Cuenco asked Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 Director Ricardo Oblena to investigate and “cancel outright” the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the barangay and to have it return the amount.

DA 7 Director Ricardo C. Oblena said that based on the records, P10 million has already been spent for the seedlings distribution, but P5 million for the goat dispersal is still with Guadalupe.

“There will be no problem in getting goat suppliers because there are now several importers of goats in Central Visayas,” Oblena said.

Faelnar, in a separate interview, said that if Cuenco will insist on having them return the money intended for the goat dispersal project, the barangay will comply.

He said that of the P15 million, an estimated P9 million is left after P5 million was used for Cuenco’s seedlings distribution program and P1 million for rubber hoses for the mountain barangays vulnerable to droughts.

He explained that the goats were not purchased yet because he made sure the papers are in order; the bidding process also takes long.

Faelnar said he likewise made sure the recipient barangays already have goat houses and the officials have attended seminars on proper handling of the animal.

They built a goat house in Barangay Taptap for the extra number of goats, after four would be distributed each to the 13 or 14 recipient barangays.

The goat house, he said, costs P750,000.

Faelnar said the barangay received a letter last Sept. 2 from Oblena, asking him to return the remaining amount, with the option to talk things over with Cuenco if he wants the project to push through.

In a separate interview, Cuenco said he will cancel the project and have the money returned to the DA.

Told that he might just be going after Faelnar because the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president is a close friend of Mayor Tomas Osmeña, with whom he has a falling-out, Cuenco said the impression is baseless.

He said he has long nagged Faelnar on the project, while his conflict with the mayor started just recently.

Osmeña, for his part, said that Faelnar should answer for the project. He told reporters he was unaware of Cuenco’s seedling plantation and livestock raising projects in his district.

The mayor said the idea of having mountain barangay residents raise goats as additional livelihood seemed good, but he did not know the exact scope of the project.

“Let Jingjing answer for this, at least now we know that Tony Cuenco is doing something for the mountain barangays... Everyone should be accountable for what is being done. And anyone who wants to investigate should investigate,” Osmeña added. (
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2008, 10:46:10 AM »

Raising Goats (Part 1)
Part 1 of a practical guide to raising goats in the Philippines.

Goats have gone a long way from being just poor man’s cows. These animals have proven to be more than just four-legged mammals that generate milk and meat. They survive in almost any kind of environment that’s dry and where feed resources are available, making their potential as one of the main sources of farm income.

This is one reason behind the goat revolution that’s presently going on nationwide. Raising goats, nowadays, is common for small farmers and backyard raisers. In fact, at present, the goat population in the Philippines is estimated at 3.3 million despite the indefinite shifts in diet preference of these animals and the growing demand for goat meat in the market. Backyard farms, most especially, keep 99.3% of that figure on the rise and support from other sectors improve the goat industry’s marketability. Indeed, raising goats has become serious business.

The Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) picked up on this renewed interest on goats and is now laying various science and technology (S&T) initiatives to continue coming up with better quality stocks, promote goat reproduction techniques and encourage new and fresh approaches to manage goats and the business of raising them.
Along with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFDA), PCARRD initiated trainings on effective goat management to further promote its competence. After analyzing the cost and returns of raising goats, they proved that it is a low-risk profitable livelihood. Assuming a goat raiser has five (5) does at P2,5oo each, an initial investment of P32,000 can mean extra income of at least P14,800 in sales of goat stock after two business years. Additionally, PCARRD has initiated its iooo-goat farms program that aims to launch
1,000 smallholder farmers into full-time commercial goat raisers to continue the wave of effect that goat raising has started.

In the end, even with problems on seasonality of demand, fluctuating prices of goats and breeders, high costs of feed, wavering veterinary services and high taxes and business permits to start with, raising goats will continue to flourish and find its optimum potential in the future.

Goat breeds
Sixty-three percent of the world’s total meat consumption can be credited to goat meat. According to, people-from Mideasterners and African to Latin American and Arabs prefer goat meat than any other veal-like meat around the world. In fact, most of these groups would even trade their money just to have their hands on these various breeds of goats-both for their milk and meat. But here in the Philippines, we only have six breeds:

>> Alpine - At mature age, it weighs 70 kilograms and could produce 1.5 liters of milk everyday. It’s a European breed that has upright ears, a straight face and colors that vary from black, red and off-white.

>> Anglo Nubians - A tropical breed known for its floppy pendulous pair of ears and a mix of brown and black-or sometimes just brown-hair. It weighs 70-90 kilos at mature age and can produce 1-2 liters of milk daily.

>> Boer - Boers are known for their high-quality meat and excellent productive qualities. Compared to other local goats, they are fairly larger in size and are double-muscled. They are easy to raise, have mild temperaments, are affectionate, require no milking, no special care, shearing or fancy fences. Not only that, they can also graze in the coldest of weathers.

>> Native - This breed’s colors range from red, white, black or a combination of the three; and at mature age, can weigh up to 30 kilograms. Its milk production, however, can just be enough for its young.

>> Saanen - Its weight that can go up to an average of 7o kilograms helps on its being the highest milk producer among other breeds, which can tote up to 1.8 liters daily. This breed originated from Switzerland and boasts of its pure white to off-white color.

>> Toggenburg - Also from Switzerland, toggenburgs are easy to spot. They have white markings on their face and erect ears like Saanens’. At mature age, their milk production can amount up to 1.5 liters everyday.

Native or grated does (female goats) should not be less than 25 kilograms and should be palpated for size, detection of lumps and other abnormalities they may have. To make sure they possess good appetite, alert senses, well-formed pupils and the right size for easy milking, make it a point to purchase them from a locality or area with similar climatic conditions. On the other hand, acquired bucks (male goats) should be accompanied by pedigree and farm records to be guaranteed of its good producing line. Bucks should be ready to copulate with does that are in heat, so it’s best to purchase ready-to-perform bucks.
One-year-old bucks or breeders that have successfully mated once are extremely advisable.

Raising goats in the Philippines
Evgn with the shift in diet preferences and the growing demand and interest for goat meat in the local market, the goat population in the country at present is estimated at 3.3 million. As the number of goats continues to rise, more and more backyard raisers are turning to bigtime entrepreneurs. Currently, in fact, a surge in demand for breeder goats is ringing in the air and prices have gone up.

A six-month old native female at 10-12 kilograms now costs P2,500. Meanwhile a
four-month old mestizo weanling costs P4,ooo and bucks for breeding are now at Pii,ooo - 20,00o a piece.

During a recent six-month training, PCARRD, along with ILRI and IFAD, proved why this doesn’t stop raisers and breeders from dipping their hands on this low-risk profitable livelihood, that even with the increasing demand for chevon, goat meat and milk, goats continue to be good business. They stressed goats adapt well to any existing farming systems and feed on forages and

other farm by-products although goat raisers also use feed concentrates. An eight-month-old doe can have a kid in five months and it can triple your number of herd in two years’ time.

To be continued…

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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2008, 10:59:56 AM »

A Commercial Dairy Goat Farm In Laguna
Not many agribusiness people realize that dairying with goats has a tremendous potential. But one fellow who does is Rene Almeda of Alaminos Goat Farm in Alaminos, Laguna.

In 2004, Rene decided to go into, goat farming, using a 16 hectare property where he used to fatten cattle imported from Australia. The cattle fattening project was a money-maker for several years but it went sour with the decline of the value of the peso after the Asian financial crisis in 1997. It came to a point where the cost of importing became too high in terms of Philippine pesos that it became a losing proposition to go on with the business. He is thankful though that he quit the fattening project on time. With his savings, he was able to venture into goat farming in 2004 in a relatively big way.

At first he specialized in producing meat-type goats. He bought purebred bucks of Boer (a meat-type breed) and Anglo Nubian (for both meat and milk) to upgrade the 50 native stocks he initially purchased. The upgrading of meat-type goats goes on with Rene’s son Art mainly taking charge of managing the animals that have multiplied to more than 300 head, selling some as breeders and as slaughter animals.

What excites Rene more these days is dairying with goats. In May 2007, he imported from Australia some one hundred purebred Saanen goats, including a few bucks. Saanen is a breed principally for milk production. Within just one year, the number of Saanens has virtually doubled. He is not selling the females because he intends to increase his dairy herd.

“People might say that we are crazy or being boastful if we cite them the figures,” he quips. Here are his figures. With the right animals (Saanen), right nutrition and housing, one mother goat can give an average of two liters of milk a day. (Actually, during our visit to the farm, the 40 goats on the milkline each gave an average of 2.3 liters). The goat can be milked for a period of 10 months or about 300 days after it has given birth. At two liters a day, one will produce 600 Liters of milk in one lactation. Right now, Alaminos Goat Farm sells its fresh milk at P125 per liter. That will mean a gross of P75,000 per head.

Rene explains that they sell their milk at a much higher price than that of cow’s milk because it is something special. It is often mentioned that it is the milk that is closest to a mother’s milk and that it is the only fresh animal milk that is given to infants whose mothers don’t have milk of their own. It is recommended for people who suffer from lactose intolerance.

One might say that during the lactation period of the animal, there is a time when the milk yield is less than two liters a day. That is very possible. But even if the average milk yield during the 10-month lactation period were just one liter, that will still mean a gross value of P37,500 per head. An added income from the milkers is the couple of kids produced each year.

As of now, Alaminos Goat Farm sells its milk mostly as bottled fresh milk in one liter and 250-ml bottles. The 250-ml bottle or one-fourth liter is sold at P40 each. A small portion is also made into white cheese. These products are sold mainly in Metro Manila and some in Laguna and Batangas. Rene’s younger son, Toti, is in charge of marketing the dairy products. More regular buyers from Metro Manila are expected as these products become more known. During the company’s participation in the recent International Food Exhibition at the Mall of Asia, a lot of visitors, many of them Chinese, showed interest in the fresh milk and white cheese, according to Toti. In fact their stocks were sold out at the end of each day.

There are other niche markets for goat milk besides milk drinkers. One is the beauty soap makers. A number of entrepreneurs are now using goat milk as one of the ingredients in specialty soaps. Another use is as material for facial treatments in beauty parlors and in spas. One lady veterinarian who went for a facial with goat milk in a parlor said she was charged P2,500.

Of course, to achieve the potentials of milk production in goats, Rene emphasizes not only superior genetics but also proper nutrition for the animals. Proper housing, too. At the Alaminos Goat Farm, the Saanen breeders as well as the kids are raised in confinement. They are raised in a house with elevated floor. Four animals are usually placed in a compartment measuring about five feet by five feet.

The animals are fed with commercial ration (concentrates) which Rene mixes in his own feedmill. The feed consists of ingredients that provide carbohydrates for energy, protein, phosphorus, calcium, etc. in balanced form. In addition, the goats are given napier grass and leaves of leguminous trees. Rene notes that the leaves of Indigofera, a fast-growing leguminous tree, are particularly relished by the Saanen goats.

Rene stresses that one has to study the feeding habits of his farm animals. In the case of goats, you should not dump all at one time the feeds required by the animal in one day. The concentrate requirement of an animal at the Alaminos Goat Farm is usually given four times. One fourth is given early in the morning, followed by grass couple of hours later. The next one-fourth is given a couple of hours later, followed by leafy greens, and so on. In the hot summer months, feeding is recommended during the cooler parts of the day.

Goat raising has its own advantages compared to raising bigger ruminants such as cattle or buffalo. For one, goats reproduce much faster. Goats can be confined in elevated quarters, making it easier to prevent outbreaks of parasites and diseases. Goats also require less feed than bigger animals. And their milk sells at a better price.

Superior breeds, like selected purebred Saanen, may also cost a small fortune but then the investment could be recovered in due time. What’s important is to be hands-on goat entrepreneurs like Rene and his two sons, Art and Toti.

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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2008, 05:16:19 AM »

PHILIPPINES: Farmers rear goats to beat fertiliser costs

Photo: Carmela Fonbuena/IRIN 
Darwin Tinasas, a 34-year-old farmer from Davao City on Mindanao Insland, has been raising goats for eight years as a source of meat and to use the dung for his fruit and vegetable plots
MANILA, 14 September 2008 (IRIN) - The increasing cost of fertiliser has prompted farmers to invest in goats on Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines.

“Goat dung is a good source of fertiliser,” said Darwin Tinasas, a 34-year-old farmer from Davao City in southern Mindanao, who has been raising goats for eight years, initially for meat and milk. Mindanao has a large Muslim population and goat meat is considered Halal food.

With the rising cost of commercial fertiliser in recent years, Tinasas realised other benefits of his goat-raising venture. His stock of about 300 goats provides dung for his four farms in Davao City. He plants rice, and grows pomelo, coconuts, durian and other fruit on 30 hectares.

Tinasas noticed that more and more farmers - fruit growers particularly - started raising goats, not only in Davao City but also in other provinces. “Since fertiliser costs have gone up, more and more farmers are turning to goat-raising,” he told IRIN.

“All dung can be used as fertiliser,” said former agriculture secretary Salvador Escudero. But for Antonio Partoza, chairman of the Minfruit Council, the umbrella group for Mindanao fruit farmers, who had raised chickens and mixed chicken dung with commercial fertiliser, raising goats is more profitable. He has 85 goats on his 15-hectare and 10-hectare farms in Davao City where he grows durian, passion and mangosteen fruits.
Goat dung is a good source of fertiliser. Since fertiliser costs have gone up, more and more farmers are turning to goat-raising. 

“I must be saving about 30 percent of what I would spend if I used pure commercial fertiliser,” said Partoza. A sack costs US$42. Partoza says he uses about 20 sacks per quarter for his two farms, down from about 30 sacks. That is an estimated $1,680 saving in a year, on top of his profits from the sale of goat milk and meat.

Escudero agreed that goats are extremely economical, particularly for fruit-growers. “Goats are grass-feeders. You don’t need substantial capital to start,” he said.

Unlike chickens, they survive on grass, legumes and beans, which are plentiful on the farms. “It’s just cut and carry,” Partoza said. He only needs to “cut” the branches of his fruit trees and “carry” them to the goats.

The goats help in the pruning trees. “They clear the branches which can then be used as firewood," Tinasas said.

The goat industry in Mindanao is still small. Based on the statistics of the Mindanao Economic Development Council, it produced 29,800 metric tonnes of goat meat in 2006, far less than for pigs (495,083MT) and chicken (242,829MT).

But it is considered a “sunshine industry” in Mindanao, said Ednar Dayanghirang of the Mindanao Business Council. There is a big demand in the local and international market, particularly the Middle East.

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