Thru the collaborative project of Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), farmer-cooperators acquired another promising income-generating activity out of silage commercialization.
A training in support of the Project titled “Commercialization of Grass/Forage Corn Silage for Dairy Buffaloes in Lupao through Technomart” was held on June 6-7 at the PCC, National Headquarters and Genepool, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. It encompassed lectures, actual silage-making demo and planning workshop among farmer-participants.
The two-day training was participated in by 14 farmers from barangay Parista, Lupao, Nueva Ecija.
Resource persons during the training were Dr. Eric P. Palacpac, R&D coordinator and Project Leader, Dr. Daniel L. Aquino, PCC’s Animal Nutrition Head and Technical Expert for the Project, Mr. Allan Nieves, manager of Dupont Pioneer of National Agronomy, Mr. Napoleon M. Liloc, VP operation of MCONDRY Plastic Products Inc., and Mr. Honorato M. Baltazar, PDO III of PCC and Business Organization Representative for the Project.
According to Dr. Palacpac, one purpose of the training was to fill in the necessary gaps of dairy farming such as forage scarcity, poor management practices by traditional farmers, poor body condition score (BCS), low milk yield, and poor reproduction.
Expected outputs and outcomes of the Project include commercialized silage, reduced forage scarcity and additional income generated among dairy buffalo farmers.
“When you commercialize silage, siguradong dagdag kita para sa inyo yan. Ang pagpoproduce kasi ng silage ay malaki ang potential hindi lamang sa domestic market maging sa labas ng bansa (You will surely have additional income, if you commercialize silage because silage production has a big potential not only in the domestic market but also abroad),” Dr. Palacpac said.
He added that the project activities have three phases; first is the capacity building for farmers, second is the product development and packaging and the last is the promotion, distribution and marketing of silage.
A hands-on demo on silage making followed the lectures using napier grasses and sorghum as silage materials. The participants chopped the said grasses using a mechanized forage chopper then sealed them in plastic silo-bags.
“Malaki ang naitulong ng training sa’min. Nagtatanim kasi kami ng napier, kapag marami ang ani, pwede naming buruhin at maging pagkain ng kalabaw. Kapag may natira sa binuro namin, pwede pa namin ibenta kaya kikita talaga kami (The training helped us a lot. We are planting Napier so if we get more yield, we can ensile those as feedstuff for our buffaloes. We can also sell the extra napier we harvested, so we can earn money),” Isagani Cajucom, team leader of Lupao farmers, said.
The technomart for silage is a three-year project of PCC and PCAARRD to help farmers not only to improve the milk production performance of their buffaloes but also to provide dairy buffalo farmers a way of getting additional income.