Goat Farming Philippines
by Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) Foundation
An organization known as the Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) Foundation, has a reputation for its sustainable upland farming systems, and it is also known for its goat framing and is known as the Goat capital of Davao del Sur. The MBRLC is located in thefoothills of Mount Apo, in Barangay Kinuskusan, Bansalan, Davao del Sur. The center was started by an American agriculturist Harold Ray Watson. In fact the MBRLC is credited internationally as the originator of Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT). This involves growing field and permanent crops in bands of three to five meters wide between rows of different nitrogen fixing trees and shrubs. This is something we can all learn form, flat or sloping land.
Filipinos do not raise goats on any large scale, with the goat population at around 2 million. They are widely distributed throughout the country, with heaviest concentrations in central and western Visayas, central Luzon, Ilocos, and the southern Tagalog provinces. 99% of goats are raised by small-scale farmers. This is changing! As the goats are now in large demand, the center has integrated this into their SALT system. The goal is now to make the small upland farmer production sufficient an a very limited land area of only 3/4 hectare (2 acres) and the improved system is a goat-based agroforestry system with a land utilization of 40 percent for agriculture, 40 percent for goats and 20% for forestry. They still use hedgerows of different nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs are established on the contour lines.
A typical setup is that a goat barn is erected at the farm center, with the upper half planted to ¾ permanent crops such as coffee, cacao and black pepper, with ¼ of short-term crops such as beans, peanut and corn. The remaining 50% of farm is used for forage crops as feeds for goats. The goat manure is used as fertilizer both for the agricultural crops and the forage crops. They get goat sales, goat meat, goat milk so a very smart and sustainable farming system. On my own larger goat farmer I am moving towards some of these principles myself, let us hear what you are doing to save the planet!