(July 21, 2009) The City Government of Calbayog through the City Agriculture Office and the City Veterinary Services Office conducted the "Characterization of Rural Enterprise Development (RED) Project Partners and Focus Group Discussion with Stakeholders". The activity which was held at the Conference Hall of the Old Barracks Building was among the first steps that the city will be taking as it implements the Innovative Goat Production Systems in partnership with the Department of Agriculture RFU 8.
Let me give you some details of the RED Program from the project document provided by DA RFU8. This upscaling project takes off from the gains of the RED program in 2008, which showed positive improvements in goat productivity in terms of increases in birth weight, weaning weights and market / slaughter weights and decreases in pre-weaning mortalities. These accomplishments in the field thus opened up real opportunities for ordinary farm people to engage in meaningful and profitable goat-based enterprises.
Considering these initial gains, external reviewers during the Annual RED program Review thus recommended expanding the target areas and farmer-beneficiaries, giving priority to the returning OFWs and displaced overseas workers, government retirees or soon to retire employees and other interested entrepreneurs. By increasing the sphere of influence of the Program to more geographical locations and beneficiaries, not only will the effects of the global economic crises be softened in the country but also the goal of attaining 6.2 M head of goat by 2020 will be fast-tracked. This will mean more supply of chevon in the market and more secured income for the farmers.
The ultimate goal of this program is to provide business opportunities to rural farm households by transforming goat raising from a subsistence type of farm activity to viable goat-based rural enterprises.
City Veterinarian Dick Balmes delivering his welcome remarks.
Ms. Emma Morales of the RED Project Team giving the RED Briefing Orientation
Dr. Archie Lluz of the RED Project Team delivering a talk during the Focus Group Discussion.