THE Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA), is pushing for sustainable forage production in Negros Occidental as a measure to maintain the province’s flourishing livestock industry.
BAI Senior Agriculturist Emily Victorio, who spoke at the three-day Forage and Goat Production Seminar held at the Bacolod Pavillon Hotel which started yesterday, said feed sustainability is also important in livestock production.
Given the worsening effects of climate change, feed resources must be available all the time, Victorio said.
She pointed out that during lean months and dry season, supply of forages are low thus, farmers and raisers should be equipped with the technologies on preserving and processing the feeds.
“Negros Occidental has potential areas for forage production, we just have to strengthen the initiatives like changing native to newly-introduced species with high-yield capacity,” Victorio added.
The seminar being attended by about 50 farmer-raisers and technicians from different local government units (LGUs) in the province is among the activities being conducted by BAI under its National Forage Development Program.
It was conceptualized after the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO) requested BAI during the conduct of final field validation of Organic Agriculture Achiever’s Award in the province last September.
“It is aimed at helping local raisers to have sufficient supply of feeds for animals, specifically goats,” Victorio said.
During the seminar, participants are taught on identifying the different forage species, planting, maintaining, managing and preserving feed resources.
“We need to identify the species to fully utilize the available forages. Like vegetables and other food crops, farmers should also realize that forage is a comparable crop,” Victorio said, stressing that like other resources “its rehabilitation is also important.”
Aside from the lectures and hands-on activities, participants also received startup seeds like hybrid stylo and Napier from BAI amounting to about P20, 000.
In terms of equipment, BAI hopes that the province will recognize the need which they can also propose to other concerned agencies.