If in the past only live goats were sold, now farmers can earn by marketing forages. But not just any forage! Higher income can be generated from processing the forage into pelletized complete rations as well as in selling the fabricated pelletizer.

In a study done at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in Nueva Ecija, leguminous forages are dried to become leaf meals and added with rice bran, copra meal, and minerals.  This mixture is passed through a locally fabricated pelletizing machine to produce pellets, whose size is tested to be best suited for goats.  Two formulations of pellets were prepared, customized to satisfy the nutrient requirements of the dam during lactation and the kids during its growing period.

This initiative addresses the problem of unstable supply of forages, wherein they are abundant in the wet season but insufficient in the dry months. This leads to imbalanced feeding, which affects the dam’s conception rate, kidding interval and milk production, and the kids’ growth.

Considering the emerging need for a stable source and quality feeds, this product can thus be turned into a financially rewarding enterprise. A prospective entrepreneur can start the business with as low as P509,375 long term capital investment and Php895,294 operating capital to produce 115.20mt of pellets, which can feed 153,600 goats per day or 1,280 goats at 120 day-feeding. An average annual net cash flow of P254,117 per year in a period of five years can be generated, which can recover the investment in a period of 3.4 years. The Net Present Value (NPV) or the present value of the potential net income in five years is estimated at P535,223, the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) or the potential rate return in five years at 43% and the return per peso invested or Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) is 1.17.

A lower volume of annual production of 86,400kg (86.4mt) is still profitable. This, on the other hand, will give an IRR of 15%, NPV of P121,023 and BCR of 1.09. This implies that for both these scales of production, the investment will create wealth for the investor.

One entrepreneur, who is now earning from pellet production, is Sean Cristobal of the Farm by the Sea in Pangasinan. He bought his first pelletizer from CLSU in 2015 and now produces 1mt of pellets per month. He sells these to a commercial raiser in Pangasinan for P24/kg, generating a 30% net margin.

Another business enterprise is fabrication of the pelletizing machine. Currently, only two fabricators are licensed by Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (TAPI-DOST), one in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, and one in Davao City. As of June 2017, twelve (12) units of the pelletizing machine have been sold at P48,000 per unit. Potential buyers are abundant in other areas of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

These initiatives were developed by the group of Dr. Edgar Orden and promoted through various means—trainings, seminars, radio/TV, videos, social media, School on the Air and pamphlets- by the group from CLSU, including Dr. Ma. Excelsis Orden, Matilde Milicent Recto, and Jackielou Gallarde. Their projects were funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of DOST (DOST-PCAARRD) and won as one of the Best Development Projects during the National Symposium on Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (NSAARRD) held at PCAARRD, Los Baños, Laguna last June 28, 2017.