The MOA bares that a total fund of P1,343,825 will be transferred from the Department of Agriculture to UP-Min for the production of genetically improved miniature breed of beef cattle.
Mercado said the amount will be used to purchase Philippine beef cattle breed to be inseminated with a developed miniature breed from the United States. This breed is a short legged but the body is big. It also produces significantly good volume of milk apart from its tender meat.
Moreover, compared with the regular cattle, this miniature breed consumes 35 percent lesser in terms of feed consumption, thus there will be a big savings on the part of the farmers. But, even with less consumption, in a span of 15 months, this breed will attain 600 pounds.
He said the stocking rates of two 600-pound miniature cows per hectare can match two 1,200-pound cows per 5 hectares. Raising the cows on less land also allows them to be grass-fed more easily. He added that those raised on grass, widely considered to be better for humans and to the environment as well. It tends to do less damage to their feed simply because they are more docile and have smaller hooves. They can also be easier to control than their full-size counterparts.
"Big cows can be intimidating, but small animals can be more like a buddy and even the kids would love to take care of this miniature cattle," Mercado said.
He said that through this project the beef cattle industry in Mindanao will be transformed into a major agribusiness concern and significantly contribute to Mindanao as the food basket of the country.
He added that this project aims to attain genetic independence for the sustanaible beef and dairy cattle growth and development and help improve the quality of life of marginalized cattle raisers in the region.
In the MOA, UP-Min will implement the project and will provide adequate and efficient administrative support and management system necessary for the successful implementation of the project. (egdeligero/Aggie Media Service)