Chevon or goat’s meat is a common dish in the rural areas. Various celebrations would often include specialty cooked goat dishes such as kaldereta, kilawin, pinapaitan, and sinampalokan.
Putting added-value to the usual goat’s meat, the Isabela State University – Cagayan Valley Small Ruminants Center (ISU-CVSRRC) in Echague, Isabela developed various products from chevon which are now packed into canned and microwavable meals capturing a wider scale of the Filipino market.
Now under its trade name, Chevon Valley, ISU-CVSRRC developed various products from chevon: canned and ready-to-eat. Among the canned chevon products include Goat’s Happy Feet, Chevon Curry, Chevon Mechado, Chili-garlic Chevon, and Pounded Chevon with filings; while the ready-to-eat products include chevon meat balls and classic dip, chevon with white sausage toppings, and chevon ribs with chestnut sauce.
“Canning was conducted to preserve the food from one year or more. By doing so, chevon products can reach market outside the country, such as Middle East wherein demand for goat is high,” said Dr. Jonathan N. Nayga, director of CVSRRC who also serves as the project leader.
He shared that goat meat production is regarded as the principal function of goat raising among developing countries. In the Philippines, the province of Isabela as dominated by Ilokanos are known to be “goat-eating” people. And as a common practice in the past to sell goat on a per head basis, Filipinos are now introduced with the healthier option of consuming chevon among the usual red meats available in local markets such as pork and beef, and even chicken meat.
Chevon can be consumed fresh, chilled, or frozen. It has lower amount of saturated fats and has high levels of unsaturated fats as compared to other meats. Saturated fats increase the risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases while unsaturated fats help improve blood cholesterol levels and lowering the risk having heart diseases. It has lower calories and cholesterol, and has high levels of iron and protein when compared to equal serving sizes of chicken, beef, and pork. Compared to other commercially-available canned meat, ISU’s products have no preservatives.
Seeing the potential to capture larger Filipino consumers, capturing the exquisite tastes of the local delicacies, especially those living in the urban areas and at the same time to help the goat raisers in the country, the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) funded in 2014 the technology transfer of chevon product processing and commercialization of new chevon products under the National Technology Commercialization Program (NTCP).
Realizing the potential of this growing industry, Region 2 has implemented various R&D projects encompassing the whole production-to-processing cycle since 2006. Goat raising in particular is an ideal livelihood options for farmers in the rural areas since goat raising has low capital investment, and can make use of locally available forages and grasses. “Moreover, the current demand for chevon in the international market also initiates local producers to raise more,” Dr. Nayga added.
Based on the computed return of investment (ROI), all chevon products has a positive profitability with chevon meat balls having the highest ROI at 62.32 percent among the processed chevon sold at meal boxes.
The product development was made possible with the support from the Commission of Higher Education (CHED), Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI), Bureau of Animal Industry-Animal Products Development Center (BAI-APDC).
The ISU collaborated with Agricomponent Co., a private company, to be the exclusive franchisee of Chevon Valley. Agricomponent served as the private-partner of ISU responsible in the manufacturing and distribution of products nationwide. All products undergo proximate analysis to make products ready for commercialization. ### (Ma. Eloisa H. Aquino)