Pangasinense town hails importance of carabao in annual festival

“The carabao, that was previously dubbed as the beast of burden, was instrumental in helping farmers send their children to school and are now mostly professionals,” Anda Mayor Aldrin Cerdan underlined in his message during the second annual “Awron Magtatalon Tan Mangunguna” or the “Araw ng mga Magsasaka at Mangingisda” last December 13 at Brgy. Tondol in Anda, Pangasinan.

For many years, carabaos served as the Andanian farmers’ great ally in hurdling farmworks. With the organized crossbreeding program being implemented in the area by PCC at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (PCC@DMMMSU), however, these carabaos are continuously upgraded to become a dairy animal aside from being a source of draft power. Currently, the town has recorded some 300 crossbreds.

“Dairying is a thriving industry that promises to bring daily income to farmers with the milk that they collect and are able to sell every day,” Dr. Arnel del Barrio, PCC executive director, said in his message as he urged farmers to join the program on Carabao-Based Enterprise Development (CBED).

CBED is a program of PCC that ushers dairy farmers and their communities to engage in viable dairy enterprise for increased incomes and social empowerment. CBED also establishes industry models to showcase production, postharvest, processing, and marketing.

Mayor Cerdan expressed his intention to further the “buy-back scheme” in Anda. He committed to allocate Php200,000 for the initiative.

A provincial ordinance in 2013, pertaining to the sale or slaughter of female carabaos within Pangasinan, was passed by LGU-Pangasinan to retain the female breedable carabaos in the province.

“We will help the LGU of Anda in realizing the initiative by pledging to contribute the same amount for the scheme,” Dr. del Barrio said.

All these exchanges happened during the farmers and fisherfolks day that showcased carabao painting, search for the heaviest carabao, search for the most talented carabao, and the distribution of 200 ml chocolate milk in sachets to children who were present at the event.

Exur Tadeo bagged the first prize for the carabao painting, Rudy Carretero and Rodriquez Funelas for owning the heaviest carabaos at 743 kg (male category) and 657 kg (female category), and Willy Castro for owning the most talented kneeling carabao named “Luisa”.

Also in attendance in the event are PCC@DMMSU center director Gloria Dela Cruz, District Veterinarian Jovito Tabarejos, PCC staff, LGU officials and personnel.

Awron Magtatalon Tan Mangunguna is Anda’s annual thanksgiving day in celebration of the town’s prosperous harvest and bountiful catch. The town is a third class municipality situated in the Lingayen Gulf with farming and fishing as main sources of livelihood.

Villar assures stakeholders in carabao dairying her full support

Senator Cynthia A. Villar, chair of the senate committee on agriculture and food, declared her full support toward the continued development of the dairy industry

She gave this assurance as keynote speaker during the 5th Dairy Business Conference and Stakeholder’s Forum held at the Cagayan State University (CSU) – Andrews campus last December 6-7. The theme of the conference was “Greening the Dairy Industry, Levelling-Up for Greater Production and Sustainability.”

“With the help of government line agencies and non-government organizations, we will work hard to position ourselves in leading the dairy industry in the country,” she declared.

She described the dairy industry as a budding business enterprise established by farmers who are unceasingly engaging in the harvesting or processing of milk, mostly from carabaos, cows or goats. She added that this industry is an important contributor to the overall welfare of the society.

Topics related to the updates and development of the dairy industry and the sharing of practices and success stories from dairy cooperatives were taken up during the conference.

Among those who spoke during the conference were Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (EPMPC) Chairman Gilbert Daduyo of San Jose City and successful entrepreneur Isagani Cajucom of Lupao, Nueva Ecija. They encouraged fellow farmers by way of presenting their own personal experiences in dairy buffalo production and the establishment of related enterprise like commercial silage production.

Matters about silage production, total mixed ration, solar power, milking machine operation, grass chopping machine operation and rice straw baler machine were taken up in the plenary talks sessions of the conference. The talks were complemented by a field demonstration.

The PCC buffalo breeding strategies, processing and marketing of dairy products, dairy hub concept, as well as the Production Loan-Easy Access (PLEA) were also discussed during the conference.

They were meant to inspire the participants to explore various possibilities and opportunities for their livelihood and buffalo management and production activities.

Awards, recognition

One of the highlights of the two-day conference was the awarding of the “outstanding carabao farmers” citation. The search was spearheaded by the PCC at Cagayan State University (PCC@CSU). Eight carabao raisers from the region were given awards under different categories.

Cited as “outstanding native carabao dairy farmer” was Redden B. Dupaya of San Antonio, Lal-lo, Cagayan.

Winners of the three awards for rearing outstanding crossbred dairy buffalos based on bloodline (87%, 75% and 50%), were San Agustin farmers namely Romulo Domingo, Roland de Leon and Eddie Allado, respectively.

The Outstanding Bulgarian Buffalo Farmer award was won by Ricardo Pamittan from IFC, Namabbalan Norte, Tuguegarao City while Mr. Leonardo Bautista from Bagunot MPC, Baggao, Cagayan brought home the dairy farmer award in the Italian breed category. The average daily milk production of Ricardo’s Bulgarian buffalo was 6.7 liters while Leonardo’s Italian breed was 6.8 liters.

Likewise, ownership of two purebred bulls was turned over to Johny Laurente of Cordova and Edwin Medrano of Campo, both in Iguig, Cagayan, for successfully fulfilling the requirements of the bull loan program.

Engr. Nestor Bautista, Chairman of CaVaFeDCo, extended his congratulatory message to the dairy farmer-awardees.

The event’s almost 500 participants included dairy farmers, input providers, market outfits, and enablers, and students.

The event’s organizers were the PCC@CSU, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office (DA-RFO II), Isabela State University (ISU), CSU and Cagayan Valley Dairy Cooperative (CaVaFeDCo).

Most of the speakers in the plenary sessions were from the PCC national headquarters, National Dairy Authority (NDA), DA-RFO II, Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 2, and ISU. Select private individuals, entrepreneurs and representatives of different organizations also gave their talks during the event.

PCC at CLSU, LGUs, VBAITs aim for calf drop increase in Region III

More than 60 village-based artificial insemination technicians (VBAIT) and representatives from local government units (LGU) across Region III discussed the ways and means to further improve the efficiency of the AI and Bull Loan programs.

The strategies for the PCC-led programs were taken up during the 1st PCC at Central Luzon State University (CLSU) Calf Drop Summit held last December 6-7 at the PCC National Headquarters and Gene pool.

Recent data by PCC at CLSU showed that the AI and natural mating (via Bull Loan) efficiency rate are 46% and 58.13%, respectively.

These findings goaded Dr. Daniel Aquino, PCC at CLSU center director, to hold the summit and engaged those involved in the programs to discuss strategies to ensure the birth of more calves, which is the primary aim of the two programs.

In relation to this, Hernando Venturina, Genetic Improvement Program coordinator, urged the participants to regularly monitor their progress of work. According to him, this attitude can lead to a possible means of increasing the number of calves as it would pave the way to the identification of problems that may arise as regards conduct of their services.

Dr. Aquino noted the number of AI services had decreased by more than 10,000 in the last six years. The highest recorded AI services was about 81,000 in 2012.

According to Dr. Apolinario Salazar Jr., Bull Loan coordinator, a total of 637 bulls was loaned out by PCC at CLSU. He said that based on the performance of the bulls from 2011 to 2017, a total of 3,263 services by the bulls were recorded that resulted in the production of 1,399 calves.

In 2018, he added, the latest record showed 388 services were performed by the loaned out bulls with 214 calves’ produced.

Top officials of PCC also imparted important messages in the event. They included PCC National AI Coordinator Peregrino Duran and PCC Socio Economic Policy Research Head Ma. Theresa Sawit. Some provincial AI coordinators and PCC staff members of PCC at CLSU also participated in the discussions.

AI is one of PCC’s frontline services aided by relevant training of technicians from different villages, LGU, Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Offices and PCC regional centers. It is a reproductive tool utilized to cross the swamp-type carabaos with purebred dairy buffaloes.

In the Bull Loan Program, purebred dairy-type bulls are lent to select farmers for use in natural mating in areas where AI services are not available.

Forum updates farmers on agriculture technologies

Farmers from the different barangays in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija and resource speakers engaged in knowledge sharing and meaningful interaction about technologies on agriculture and dairy buffalo program and farmers’ enterprises during a forum held last December 11 at the city’s gymnasium.

Topics discussed during the forum were “Dairy Buffalo Development Program” tackled by Ma. Theresa Sawit, PCC’s senior science research specialist; “Village-Based Dairy Buffalo Business” by Leoncio Callo, member of Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative; “Utilization of Biological Control Agent of Rice and Onion Insect Pest” by Marietta Agregado, Regional Crop Protection Center’s senior science specialist; and “Vegetables Seed and Seedling Production” by Gregorio Quiñonez of the Nueva Ecija Fruits and Vegetables Seed Center.

The event gave opportunities for the farmers to ask questions and consult with the resource speakers regarding their specific concerns including problems in farming and opportunities for investment.

In the forum, PCC Executive Director Dr. Arnel Del Barrio shared the on-going milk supplementation program at the barangay Poblacion East benefitting 40 grade schoolchildren. This was made possible, he said, through a memorandum of agreement signed by the PCC, Local Government Unit (LGU) of SCM, and the SDG Family-based Actions for Children and their Environs in the Slums (FACES) Inner Circle last September.

“Among the advocacies of PCC include the provision of additional income for farmers and their families and assurance that the next generation is healthy thru the help of the nutrient-rich properties of milk,” Dr. Del Barrio said.

City Agriculturist Dr. Jerry Rigos, on the other hand, urged participants to never be ashamed of their profession and that they should always be proud of being farmers.

“Being a farmer, for me, is the most decent and honorable profession because without a farmer we wouldn’t be able to eat and enjoy food on our table,” he said.

Dr. Rigos added: “If ever someone asks you what your profession is, never say ‘I’m only a farmer’ but instead say with your head held up high ‘I’m a farmer,’”.

The activity, organized by the Department of Agriculture-LGU, was part of the events in commemoration of the 18th charter anniversary and 6th Uhay Festival of the city.