Australia backs plan to turn Mindanao into beef hub

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    The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said the Australian government has expressed interest to support the program to transform Mindanao into a major beef production area for the country.

    This was disclosed by MinDA officials after meeting with Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson who said his country can help provide technical assistance in the establishment of modern abattoirs and tanneries.

    MinDA’s program aims to establish cattle fattening facilities in the different provinces of the region that will also involve a large-scale cattle fattening program which would include processing and packaging opportunities as well as silage and feeds production.

    “Our estimated budget for each feed lot with 1,000 heads fattener is about P70 million including the infra and livestocks. Estimated weight gain after 100 days is 120 kilos.

    Multiply that by the current beef price and you will have an estimated gross income per 100 days. Added benefits would be ready market for corn and sorghum and added activities like silage making and tannery,” said Emmanuel Piñol, MinDA secretary.

    The program also aims to import from Australia’s northern territory culled cows and steers and a longer-term target to establish breeder farms to upgrade the local cattle population through artificial insemination and embryo transfer.

    The project which is expected to be launched by June will also be served by the Development Bank of the Philippines as financing partner to support local government units’ funding requirements.

    Piñol said all five provinces of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region will be pilot areas of cattle fattening facilities where an estimated 5,000 heads of cows and steers will be imported from Australia to be fed and slaughtered after 100 days.