Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala has stressed the importance of possible and sustainable help from the government in addressing farmers’ problems.
He made the point in his remarks before leading in the ribbon-cutting and unveiling of the building marker of the new Livestock Innovations and Biotechnology (LIB) Complex of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) at its headquarters in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija on March 20.
“I will grab this opportunity to talk about our direction. Where is PCC heading to? Let’s have a complete program on how we will solve the problems. The government will definitely help. I can see efficient technicians, doctors, veterinarians here, let’s make use of their competence to guide us towards a sustainable roadmap. We want your group to expand,” he emphasized.
For his part, Dr. Arnel N. del Barrio, acting executive director, mentioned some of the latest steps taken by PCC as it continues to assist dairy buffalo farmers.
“We are very lucky because Sec. Alcala is here with us today to witness what has PCC achieved and become. Since our milk production this year jacked up plentifully, our solution is to award milk cooling tanks to the dairy farmer cooperatives to prolong the shelf life of the milk,” he pointed out.
Undersecretary for Operations Emerson U. Palad, Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Edilberto M. De Luna, and Regional Executive Director for DA-Regional Field Unit III and Dr. Andrew Villacorta were present during the occasion along withsome 200 dairy farmers, village-based artificial insemination technicians (VBAITs) and PCC staff.
In the course of his visit to PCC, Sec. Alcala awarded several cooling tanks to three dairy cooperatives, namely, Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Pulong Buli Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperatives. Each cooling tank has a capacity of 300 liters of milk.
The entrustment of additional buffaloes to Parcutela Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Gapan, Nueva Ecija and turnover of a multiplier dairy module to Agustin Multiplier Farm in Camiling, Tarlac was also done during the awarding ceremony.
Sec. Alcala likewise checked waste management through vermicast production as part of the integrated program in the organic farming of PCC’s National Gene Pool.
“There are more than 1,000 farming families that are involved in dairy buffalo production and postharvest. Last 2014, the recorded total milk production of Nueva Ecija was 520,000 liters. If we translate it in peso value, the province contributed Php19 million because of the milk from the genetically improved buffalo or crossbred. PCC significantly participates in the upgrading of breed of buffaloes to improve its milk production,” Dr. Liza Battad, chief of planning and special projects division, said.
On April 15, Sec. Alcala will hold a dairy carabao summit with farmers as well as PCC officials and experts for brainstorming, decision-making and discussion of matters and concerns on agriculture, including the rapid propagation of buffaloes and the setting up of an animal buy-back program.