Report written by Stela Zamfirescu
For the first time in Romania an international animal breeding symposium was organized by; a local agency, an international agency, local universities, and several national and state agencies. The symposium was organized in Constanta from June 27-30, 2006.
254 persons attended this meeting, out of which 60 were international visitors; 23 were from CEEC countries (Hungary, Albania, Polish Republic, Albania, Kosovo, Slovenia, Croatia, Turkey and Azerbaijan), 22 were from European Union countries (France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Germany and The Nederland), and the remaining 15 were from USA, Mexico, Venezuela, Egypt, Jordanian and Syria.
The symposium was opened in Aula Magna of Ovidius University of Constanta by IGA President and President of Argosy University – Seattle, USA, Dr. Christopher Lu. In his opening address, Dr. Lu discussed the fact that IGA has promoted the protection of goat species, encouraged breeders to raise productivity in goat exploitations and promoted IGA concepts through international conferences from the organizations beginning on January 12, 1982.
A majority of presentations during the symposium focused on the production of goats from CEEC countries, the technologies of breeding and exploitations in some EU countries, the advantages of traditional products from goat milk and meat, the quality of goat milk and goat milk products.
A group of researchers from the Agricultural University of Warszawa remarked that Greece faced a great many challenges in the sheep and goat market after joining the European Union, especially when exporting products from these species to Western European markets. Since the sheep and goat situation in Romania is currently very similar to Greece, pre-EU, it is anticipated that Romania will face many of the same challenges.
After careful scientific investigation, Mr. Miguel Galina, IGA Board Member – Mexico, demonstrated that cheese which is processed from goats bred on natural pastures with a large number of plants has higher quality parameters for humans, when compared to cheese which is processed from goats bred in stables.
Other important information was presented, by Mr. V. Fedele from Italy, regarding the rich content of the goat milk (0.524 – 0.559%) in conjugated linoleum acid, a fatty acid which is very important for human health.
Of a special interest was the round table “Business meeting concerning the development of investment programs in goat farms” at which more than 70 persons from Romania and abroad attended. The discussions revealed that in mild areas, semi-circular shelters are preferred, while in other areas the shelters are shed-type, which assures a greater volume of air per goat (minimum 10 mc). It is compulsory that goat farms have clean milking rooms in order to provide the hygienic milk that is needed to produce superior processing in pressed cheese or acid products.
The most sustained discussion was on the topic of importing breed goats to improve goat populations in Romania and other CEEC countries. Foreign researchers stated that they believed these imports are not necessary and breeding should be made by rigorous selection, while the Romanian participants argued that, to remain competitive in EU markets, it is necessary to infuse local goat breeds with the special attributes of other goats.
Visitors to Romania were provided with a rich social program to improve their understanding of the traditions and culture of the Romanian people. Many toured the beautiful Black Sea towns of Constanta and Mamaia, and some enjoyed the beautiful landscape in the Danube Delta. At the end of the symposium, all participants had the opportunity to visit a modern high capacity factory in the town of Kogalniceanu, which processes sheep and goat milk, and a low capacity factory (500-700 liters/day) in Topolog, which processes only cow milk.
All participants, but especially the Romanian participants, were glad to have this occasion to learn new aspects of goat breeding in European countries.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the main sponsors of the symposium: IGA, CAPRIROM, ANCA, and also two business men: Gore Iancu and Irimescu Razvan, whose assistance made this symposium possible.