Isabela State launches R&D on goat embryo transfer
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - February 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Isabela State University (ISU) will embark on a research and development (R&D) effort to enable embryo transfer biotechnology in the goat breeding process in the country.

With funding from the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD), the ISU’s Cagayan Valley Small Ruminants Research Center (CVSRRC) will seek to tap advanced biotechnology to boost local goat breeding.

Jonathan Nayga, director of CVSRRC and team leader of the “Innovative Systems in Advancing Technology-based Goat Production” program given a P64-million grant by the PCAARRD, the project aims to draw up the protocol for embryo transfer of prolific and “resilient” goat breeds in the northern university.

Nayga said that building up the embryo transfer will complement the successful artificial insemination (AI) goat breeding capability the research center had earlier attained, also with PCAARRD funding.

“With AI, we can impregnate selected prolific does, and then we can use embryo transfer to maximize the goat production by harvesting embryos and then implanting the embryos to surrogate mothers,” Nayga said.

He said that embryo transfer was being done in other countries, allowing them to post high goat and sheep production. “This is already being done in Australia, US, New Zealand and even in Taiwan,” Nayga said.

He said that embryo transfer speeds up the goat production process. “It’s faster because we can easily collect embryos and transfer it to selected does,” he said. “We’re now setting up a laboratory and purchasing lab equipment.”

Nayga said that they have submitted a proposal to the DOST to avail themselves of the “Balik Scientist” program to bring home New Zealand-based embryologist Maria Franchesca Marinas-Sherning to help the ISU in the embryo transfer R&D project.

Under the leadership of Nayga, Isabela State had developed technology for the canning of processed goat meat into much-loved delicacy dishes – kaldereta, kilawin and adobong kambing – as well as sinampalukan and pinapaitang kambing in vacuum packs.

Aside from meat, goat raising is also pursued for milk production, another high income potential for farmers.

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