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Friday, September 30, 2011

Correct halal goat production and processing offers bright prospects

Gaps and inefficiencies on halal goat production and processing must be addressed if the Philippines is to prosper from the opportunities offered by the halal food market.

To address this need, a team of researchers from Sultan Kudarat State University (SKSU) conducted a survey to determine the level of awareness and practices about halal goat production and processing in Region 12.

Involving 253 respondents who represent goat raisers, processors and consumers, the survey was conducted in cooperation with DA-Regional field Unit 12, Office of Muslim Affairs (OMA), and the local government units in various study sites.

The country’s inability to develop a standard in raising halal goats due to the lack of the corresponding protocol, and the absence of a standard in detecting haram (opposite of halal) ingredients in the butchering process, were identified as major reasons for the country’s inability to profit from the halal goat market.

The data were gathered from the cities of General Santos, Tacurong and Koronadal, and the municipalities of Kabacan, North Cotobato, and Maasim of Sarangani province.

Survey also revealed that respondents’ age and education influenced their awareness of halal goat production, while these factors did not affect their knowledge of halal goat processing practices.

Survey further revealed that halal goat production practices and halal goat processing practices were not consistently observed by smallhold farmers and by butchers, respectively.

Production practices focused more on the technical aspects of raising the animals, while butchering and processing practices focused more on religious-related considerations.

Aside from the lack of protocol for production and quality assurance, other constraints identified in the study include: absence of implementing rules and regulations for the Philippine National Standard for Halal Food General Guidelines (PNS 2067-2008); absence of an accredited halal abattoir for livestock in Mindanao; and lack of laboratory facilities for product verification and labeling purposes.

If the protocols can be developed, the Philippines can assess its own halal products and confidently market authentic halal meat outside the focal project communities, and even outside Region 12 and outside Mindanao.

Expected benefits include the development of related agri-based products and allied industries that will provide alternative sources of livelihood.

This and other information on research and development activities pertaining to the agriculture, forestry and natural resources (AFNR) sectors are featured in the 2009 Highlights.

A yearly publication of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) Highlights presents the research and development accomplishments of government institutions towards bringing better opportunities for our people especially in the countryside. Ricardo R. Argana, S&T Media Service

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