Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said that he is optimistic that Negros Occidental will be the “lamb capital” of the Philippines within the next two years, as he described the breeding of sheep in the province as “promising”.
The provincial government bought 6,000 sheep from Australia for breeding purposes in Negros Occidental, and these are now housed at the Negros First Ranch in Brgy. Santa Rosa, Murcia.
Marañon said he expects the 6,000 sheep to double their number in 14 months. A kilo of lamb meat is being sold at P500 to P700.
Vice Governor Genaro Alvarez Jr. yesterday there is a plan to put up a processing plant for sheep, pigs, chicken and cows, at a property owned by the provincial government in Bacolod City.
Marañon, who was among those at the Negros First lamb buffet at the Pana-ad Park in Brgy. Mansilingan, Bacolod City, said there is no problem for the lamb market.
Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said the breeding of sheep will boost livelihood opportunities and the culinary tourism drive of Negros Occidental.
Marañon said there are suggestions to hold a Negros Food Festival in Manila, aimed at showcasing the famous food and delicacies in Negros Occidental, including the lamb meat.
The Negros First lamb buffet, that provided Negrenses the taste of different menus in cooking lamb meat, forms part of the 19th Panaad sa Negros Festival, on the theme “More Food, Fun and Festival”.
Marañon said the annual Panaad sa Negros festival is getting livelier and is attracting more tourists. * GPB