This Town in Ilocos Norte Will Produce Local Wagyu Cows

In Piddig, 58 native cows were inseminated with wagyu semen.

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Piddig in Ilocos Norte is the hometown of Teofilo "Ilocano Shark" Yldefonso, the first Filipino Olympic medalist. The town also carved a name in history because of the Basi Revolt in 1807, which stemmed from the wine monopoly by the Spanish colonial government.

Now, the town will be known for more than that: it will be producing world-class wagyu meat. Wagyu, which literally translates to "Japanese cattle" is any of the four Japanese breeds of beef cattle. Wagyu beef is a highly marbled beef that comes from wagyu cows. The high marbling results in more flavorful beef.

According to Piddig's town agriculturist Harvey Adap, they are venturing into wagyu meat production because of the African Swine Flu (ASF).

"Since we cannot repopulate hogs yet due to ASF, our mayor initiated the wagyu crossbreed development program as an alternative livelihood to our farmers," said Adap in a PNA report.

Wagyu-Cross Calves

Several native cows in the town are engaged in an artificial insemination program to produce wagyu-cross calves, according to the report.

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According to Adap, at least 58 native cows in Piddig have been artificially inseminated with wagyu semen. The cows are expected to give birth after nine months.

Farmers who enlist their native cows in the program are assured of free insurance coverage courtesy of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation. Their cows will also receive free artificial insemination service, vitamins, and deworming provisions, and other services to ensure the cows produce healthy calves and top-quality wagyu meat.

"All the farm inputs will be provided free for them and their only counterpart is labor," Adap said.

Piddig's venture into wagyu production is a project funded by the Department of Agriculture (DA). Piddig is among the recipients of a P54 million investment from the DA to boost food sufficiency and agri-business in Ilocos Norte.

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This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Yummy.ph editors.

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