Davao del Sur to develop 'chevon' industry
Davao City (11 February) -- Various stakeholders in the region are now putting their acts together for the development of the goat meat industry in the province of Davao del Sur.
Goat meat or 'chevon' is a potential industry where a great number of jobs will be generated, this according to the office of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Davao del Sur.
Based on the reports gathered by DTI-Davao del Sur, the demand for chevon in the United States alone is so high that the country has to import from New Zealand and Australia. Majority of these consumers from the ethnic groups of Middle Eastern, Asian, African, Latin American and Caribbean heritage.
Furthermore, studies show that 63 percent of the red meat consumed worldwide is goat's meat.
DTI 11 Regional Director Marizon S. Loreto said this is an opportunity for the region to grab.
"If every stakeholder will cooperate, we can really develop this industry and maximize its potential. This will definitely give a boost to our economic performance. We really have to work hard if we are to get a slice of the US$1.6 to 1.8 billion Halal market worldwide," she said.
With the present economic turmoil being experienced worldwide, Loreto said, this project can help a lot.
"Considering that we need to raise thousands of goats and we need to produce tons of chevon, it only means that we also need a good number of farmers and people who will manage the slaughter house, less to mention those who will market the product," she said.
Fifty percent of Davao del Sur's total land area of 359,777 hectares is suited for agriculture while 32 percent is suitable for pasture because of its generally flat topography. These characteristics of the province have been its competitive advantages in becoming the top producer of chevon in the region, if not in the country.
"Because of chevon industry's potential to generate sizeable number of jobs, we have enrolled it as a project under the CLEEP (Comprehensive Livelihood Emergency Employment Program)," Loreto said.
CLEEP is the umbrella of the several poverty alleviation programs of the government viewed as an immediate response to the impact of the financial crisis, especially on unemployment.
Plans for the development of the province's chevon industry are now underway, spearheaded by DTI-Davao del Sur and supported by Presidential Legal Adviser Jesus Dureza, local government units (LGUs), and some other stakeholders from the government and private entities. (DTI-11/jenmendoza-PIA XI) [top]