Due to booming demand: Palawan eyed as Asia’s goat capital
The Palawan Economic Development Council (PEDCo) is out to make the province the “goat capital” in Asia by taking advantage of the market potentials for goat meat in Muslim-populated countries that largely depend on imports.
Cipriano Barroma, PEDCo board chairman, said in a press conference on Thursday that efforts to attain the goal are under the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) business initiatives.
He said production constraints in the ruminant sector in countries like Brunei and Malaysia is advantageous to Palawan, which has been developing its own goat meat industry.
“Last month lang, pumunta kami sa Malaysia at Brunei, maraming order sa atin, at unang-una ‘yong goat natin. Kaya si Governor Jose Alvarez, ay seryoso sa dispersal ng goat sa Palawan. Sila kasi ay mga Muslim countries at ang number one demand nila ay goat (Just last month, we went to Malaysia and Brunei, and they have a lot of requirements and the first is the goat. This is why Governor Jose Alvarez is serious in the goat dispersal project in Palawan. These are Muslim countries and their number one requirement is goat),” he said.
He added that goat-raising and meat production through a dispersal project is the first step of PEDCo in turning Palawan into the goat capital as it is in consonance with the provincial government’s livelihood objective.
Barroma said the initial requirement for goat is around 20,000 heads to meet the BIMP-EAGA demand, however, under their efforts, they only have about 200 currently in the PEDCo-managed farm in Brooke’s Point, southern Palawan.
“Ang problema lang talaga dito is kung saan kukuha ng pang-disperse. Pero nag-start na tayo ngayon — halimbawa sa Brooke’s Point sa mga barangay sa highway area sa mga ilalim ng niyog, puwede ang goat-raising. Kung meron kayong alam na mayroong mga lupa na five to 10 hectares at gusto nilang mag-alaga ng kambing, puwede silang pumunta sa amin (Our only problem is where to get the supply for dispersal. But we have started — for example in Brooke’s Point in the barangays along the highway area, under coconut trees, goats can be raised. If you know anyone who has five to 10 hectares of land and they want to do goat-raising, they can come to us,” Barroma added.
He said they are ready to disperse goats to be raised by families on condition that PEDCo will also be the one to purchase the animals to sustain the dispersal program.
“Ang order sa amin is 20,000 heads, saan tayo kukuha noon? Ilang taon pa bago tayo makakabuo kahit na 5,000 siguro. Kaya ginagawa natin ang dispersal, at kaya kung may alam kayo na nagbebenta, sabihan lang kami. Kapag nagawa natin ito, we will become the goat capital sa Asia (The order from us is 20,000 heads, but where are we getting them? Even to come up with 5,000 heads will be a long time, so if you know anyone selling goats, let us know so we will have more to disperse. If we can do this, we will become the goat capital in Asia),” he said.
Benedicto Guaño Jr., PEDCo president, said the BIMP-EAGA business opportunity can also be the reason for the goat industry to be established in Palawan.
He said a Taiwanese investor, who recently visited Puerto Princesa, went to the public market to purchase goat meat but did not find any.
“The Taiwanese investor asked me about it so I went to the market to check, and I was told by the vendors that they are not selling it due to lack of supply. We are still in the infancy stage of the goat industry and that is why we are getting into the dispersal,” Guaño said.
He added that a Halal-certified slaughterhouse is also a key in the goat industry, particularly if Palawan will begin exporting the processed or frozen meat.
The preference of potential buyers in Malaysia and Brunei are native goats, and processed or frozen meat must pass through Halal certification, Guaño said.
The operation of the RoRo in Buliluyan Port, Bataraza municipality, is where all their business plans in the BIMP-EAGA is also anchored, he added.
Barroma said they are hoping that good news will come soon since the supposed maiden voyage to Kota Kinabalu has been delayed a number of times since last December.
“We are a bit disappointed, but we are hopeful that the RoRo will already operate in the coming days,” he said.
On July 26-28, the PEDCo will be spearheading the holding of the 1st Southern Palawan BIMP-EAGA Business Council Business-Tourism Forum and Business Matching Expo in Brooke’s Point.
Barroma said guests from China, Taiwan, Brunei, and Malaysia with special interests in business matching will be attending. (PNA)