Upi, Gamu, Isabela – The Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 2 (DA RFO 2) through its Isabela Experiment Station (IES) will upscale its small ruminant program to include Community Sheep Production, business ventures in cuisine and culinary and canned meat enterprises.

Following the directive of Dr. Rose Mary G. Aquino, OIC Regional Executive Director, efforts were pooled together today by the DA Research Division and the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Section (RAFIS) headed by Mr. Hector U. Tabbun, and the IES headed by Dr. Jacqueline Gumiran at Upi, Gamu, Isabela.

“We have the nucleus farm that has breeder and fattened flocks so all we have to do is make timelines and unleash the opportunity that we have,” Dr. Aquino earlier said in a statement.

The group outlined a multi-year plan starting with small ruminants mapping in Cagayan Valley, updating the sheep road map, and upscaling profiles of the Farmers Cooperatives and Associations.

“There are many activities lined up here so we can have a year on year milestone as we sail along,” Dr. Gumiran said.

Identified activities include showcasing Gamu Sheep Festival and Expo, Sheep Summit, Investment Forum, Town Hall Meetings and product development market matching.

“The most important product we get from sheep is meat. Meat is an important component of our diets, and lamb and mutton supply us with many of the vital vitamins and proteins we need for healthy living.
Lamb is the meat (flesh) from a sheep that is less than one year old. Mutton is the meat from a sheep that is over one year of age. The terms yearling mutton are applied to the meat from a sheep that is between one and two years of age,” Gumiran said.

For culinary and cuisine, Gumiran said they have identified Mutton Biryani, braised lamb, lamb curry, roasts, lamb chops, grilled and rack of lamb as several recipes to be showcased.

“The mutton meat is a nutritious gold mine, including zinc for a robust immune system, the B12 vitamin for nerve function, and iron for healthy blood. It is especially abundant in iron, which is essential for preserving normal blood haemoglobin levels,” she concluded.

“The action plan will be presented to DA RFO 2 Management Committee for further enhancement,” Mr. Hector U. Tabbun, Chief, DA RAFIS said. “But we hope to start some activities this year so we can move on as instructed by DA RFO 2 management.”

Isabela Experiment Station (IES) located at Upi, Gamu, Isabela was recognized as the nucleus farm for sheep in the region with its purpose of producing and maintaining quality breeder sheep for distribution to qualified applicants. (Dr. Ferdinand N. Cortez)