By EDD K. USMAN, SDN, Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910; Facebook: SDN — Science and Digital News
DAVAO CITY (SDN) — The availability of halal goats from birth to plate has been the mission of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).
PCAARRD Executive Director Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora revealed this at the Halal Goat FIESTA being held at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP), here in Davao City, Region XI, Mindanao.
He said the Council since many years ago already recognized the potential of producing halal goats.
“Over the past nine years, the Council has invested Php29 million for Halal Goat S&T (science and technology). DOST-PCAARRD has recently approved and funded the Php35-million program, NICHE Centers in the Regions for R&D (research and development) — Halal Goat Science and Innovation Center that will run until 2022,” said Ebora.
The PCAARRD head said the program is led by the Sultan Kudarat State University (SKSU) and CAARRDEC (Cotabato Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research and Development Consortium). SKSU headed by President Dr. Rolando F. Hechanova, is in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.
HALAL GOAT. Dr. Ruby Hechanova, program leader of the DOST-PCAARRD Halal Goat R&D Program, fields questions from a member of the audience (not seen) at the Halal Goat FIESTA.
SKSU and the University of Southern Mindanao (USM) in Kabacan, North Cotabato, are PCAARRD’s partners for the Halal Goat Science and Innovation Center.
Ebora cited the SKSU and USM’s accomplishments in nine years of the program, such as protocols for halal goat production, transport & marketing, slaughtering, chevon processing, and laboratory-based haram detection.
“These protocols underscored the importance of identifying critical control points from production to post-production, where haram contamination occurs to correct practices Muslim raisers and give them a better share in the trade of halal goats,” said Ebora.
He spoke at the first Cluster on Halal Goats organized by PCAARRD. FIESTA is Farms and Industry Encounters through the Science and Technology Agenda for Halal Goat.
This means five of the PCAARRD R&D Consortia conceptualized and organized the Cluster FIESTA, the inaugural edition.
Aside from CAARRDEC, Region XII, the four other consortia are SMAARRDEC (Southern Mindanao Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research and Development Consortium), Region XI; ILAARDEC (Ilocos Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research and Development Consortium), Region I; CVAARRDEC (Cagayan Valley Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research and Development Consortium), Region II; and CLAARRDEC (Central Luzon Agriculture, Aquatic and Resources Research and Development Consortium), Region III.
Dr. Ruby S. Hechanova of SKSU is program leader of the Halal Goat undertaking.
She said the program caters to local Muslims who are 10 percent of the 110 Filipino population but can be expanded to supply halal goats in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.
In establishing the protocols, Mrs. Hechanova said researchers consulted with Muslim religious leaders (ulama) and accreditors.
She hastened to emphasize that the halal principles embodied in the protocols were not only of religious foundations and good intentions but involved science as well in the technical aspects of cleanliness, hygiene and good health.
PCAARRD further explained it.
“In the scientific perspective, goat is the perfect meat as it is a healthier alternative to chicken, beef, pork, and lamb. It has lower calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol but has high potassium and iron. Goat’s milk contains smaller, well-emulsified fat globules that makes it easier to digest compared with cow’s milk. These information, among others, make goat embody the essence of halal: safe, clean, and wholesome,” said Ebora.
He acknowledged that goat is not popular in the mainstream market.
HALAL MUTTON. Celebrity Chef Boy Logro (2nd, left) is joined by (from left) PCAARRD Director Marita Acompanado Carlos; Dr. Ruby Hechanova, program leader of the Halal Goat R&D Program; and Sultan Kudarat President Dr. Rolando Hechanova as they show the Middle Eastern food concoctions of the guest chef. (Photo: SDN — Science and Digital News.
On the other, he said that among Muslims goat is a popular choice for Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha celebrations, particularly the latter for “Qurban” (sacrifice). “Compared with cattle, buffalo, or sheep, which can also be offered as sacrifice, goat is a more affordable option.”
A seller of cow and goat meat in Maharlika Village, Taguig City, told SDN — Science and Digital News that cow costs from Php40,000 to Php60,000, while a goat is from Php4,500 to Php7,000.
PCAARRD came up with FIESTA as a technology promotion and transfer platform to promote S&T products as competitive and profitable business ventures for micro
small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) covering the agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources sector. (SDN)