|Visitors getting free IEC materials from the BAR booth during the exhibit. PHOTO BY RBERNARDO|
Promoting the important roles of goat and sheep production in the Philippines as well as showcasing various technologies for the industry to adopt, the Federation of Goat and Sheep Producers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (FGASPAPI) and the Goat and Sheep Producers Association of Tarlac (GASPAT), hold the 5th National Goat and Sheep Congress and Trade Fair on 22-26 March 2012 in Angeles City, Pampanga. The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) participated in the event and served as one of the partner-sponsors.
FGASPAPI is a confederation of goat and sheep raisers in the country, coming together "to serve as the unified voice of the Small Ruminant Industry." With 25 member associations and 800 farmer-members from all over the country, its objectives include strengthening the market of the small ruminant industry, facilitate information dissemination of new technologies in raising goat and sheep, and provide its members with breeder animals.
|FGASPAPI President Bienvenido A. Rara (2nd from left) leads Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala (2nd from right) at the various booth and exhibit area. PHOTO BY RBERNARDO|
The three-day event showcased goat and sheep exhibitors from all over the country. Apart from booth exhibits, the activities included seminars, consultations on networking and business enterprise, goat and sheep show, animal sales, and cooking demonstrations, which aimed to further promote the industry.
With the theme, "Kambing at Tupa - Negosyo ng Pinoy" (trans. Goat and Sheep - Business of Filipinos), the event commanded the attention of not only members of the industry but also possible clients, with over 750 people in attendance.
Among the notable personalities and officials during the opening ceremony were FGASPAPI President Noel Ponciano Soliman, Director Efren C. Nuetro of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Governor Victor Yap of Tarlac, Congressman Agapito Guanlao, Assistant Secretary for Livestock Dave Catbagan, Executive Director of the Livestock Development Council (LDC) Manuel Jarmin, and Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) Director Leandro Gazmin.
The cooperation of DA in this event and commitment to its purpose is evident through the support of the DA-Regional Field Unit 3 and LDC. Support of DA Secretary Proceso J. Alacala is also resounding as he visits the exhibit hall during the event, and expresses excitement as he sees the improvement of native goats.
Reiterating the importance of raising goat and sheep in our country and its profitability, Sec. Alcala shared the Department's motivation to pursuing the development of the goat and sheep industry in the country. "It presents an opportunity to create more stable income and livelihood opportunities for small farmers and their families, and help provide affordable, quality meat for consumers," he cited.
Small ruminants such as goat and sheep are included as priority livestock as per the Research and Development Extension Agenda Programs (RDEAP) for 2011-2016. With problems on breeding, diseases, and waste management and utilization still holding back the industry, gatherings like this provide better opportunities to resolving current issues, and providing other developments in researchable areas including breed, meat, and milk.
Exhibits and events like this trade fair demonstrate the commitment of the private sector and government agencies to realize our Filipino goal of sustainable development and food security. Conventions that bring sectors of an industry together under one roof breathes nothing but a productive atmosphere that will yield better production techniques and healthier and improved livestock.
The three-day focus on small ruminant production-because of the commitment of the participants, exhibitors, and the organizers-will definitely have a longer lasting effect on the goat and sheep industry in the Philippines.