Unity: Key to NEFEDCCO’s success

Unity is the secret to the continuous success of the federated carabao dairy farmers cooperatives in the Philippines.

This, according to Gerardo F. delos Santos or Mang Gerry, Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabaos Cooperatives (NEFEDCCO) chairman.

“Sa pagkakaisa at pagtutulungan, sama-sama naming hinaharap ang bawat pagsubok na aming pinagdaraanan [With unity and cooperation, together we face every trial that we encounter],” Mang Gerry says.

The NEFEDCCO started its operation on January 22, 2002 with only nine farmer-cooperatives. These cooperatives were the first recipients of the Philippine Carabao Center’s (PCC) Dairy Buffalo Module.

To date, the federation has 55 cooperatives under its umbrella.

NEFEDCCO’s main objective is to help its members market their milk. It buys the milk from its coop-members, processes it into different milk products and sells these items to the general public at reasonable prices.

Some of the products that NEFEDCCO produces and markets are flavored milk drinks (banana, strawberry and choco-flavored), pastillas (pastillas de leche, plain pastillas and ube pastillas), cheeses (quick-melt white cheese, paneer and plain white cheese), yogurt drinks, leche flan and ice cream.

By 2016, NEFEDCCO aims to be the primary organization to process and sell carabao milk products in the country.

As part of its 13th founding anniversary celebration, the federation held its annual general assembly. This was attended by member-coops and officials from various government agencies that have been long-time partners of the federation.

“Thirteen years old na, teenager na kung baga sa tao [(They’re) already 13, already a teenager if it were a human being],” said Peregrino Duran, head of the Dairy Herd Improvement Program and Enterprise Development at PCC’s National Impact Zone, during the general assembly.

“Kung sa tao, handa na para sa mas maraming oportunidad [Just like in people, it is ready for more opportunities.],” he added.

Five of NEFEDDCO’s top milk producers in 2014 were recognized during the event. Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative topped all the other members with a total of 44,052.10 liters of milk sold to the federation followed by Pulong-Buli Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (24,986.14 liters), Bagong Pag-asa sa Bagong Talavera PMPC (20,306.90 liters), Casile Dairy Cooperative (16,135.65 liters) San Vicente Producers Cooperative (15,189.30 liters).

“Napakalaki ng naging tulong ng PCC sa NEFEDCCO [PCC has been a great help to NEFEDCCO],” Mang Gerry declared.

“Sa simula pa lamang hanggang ngayon ay lagi itong nandiyan para tumulong sa amin [Since the beginning until today, PCC is always there to help us.],” he added.

He also mentioned about the continuing support from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the local government units (LGUs) of Nueva Ecija.

Mang Gerry said that with the help of these entities, they were able to build their own processing plant, purchase storage equipment like freezer, holding tank and cooling tank, and acquire vehicles for use in transporting milk and laboratory equipment.

On the other hand, because of the increasing volume of its milk products, NEFEDCCO now markets its products outside of Nueva Ecija. They have sellers in Batangas, Bulacan, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Makati City and Quezon City.

The cooperative’s journey to success was not easy, says Mang Gerry. Just like every organization, they went through hardships and experienced a lot of problems.

“May matinding kakulangan noon sa kagamitan ang ating pederasyon lalo na sa pag-iimbak ng mga gatas na dinadala ng mga kasaping kooperatiba [There was an extreme shortage of equipment back then, especially as regards to our storage of milk that our members bring here],” Mang Gerry commented. “Pero salamat at tumulong agad ang PCC. Nagpresenta ito na buksan ang kanilang planta para sa mga sobrang gatas na hindi na kayang iimbak ng pederasyon [We want to thank PCC, for they opened their processing plant for the excess milk that we cannot store],” he added.

NEFEDCCO’s story is just one of the many successes in the continuing advocacy of PCC for carabao dairying in the country. The federation serves as concrete proof that in dairy carabao raising, wealth for the farmers is within reach.

18th DairyConEx showcases gains in PH dairy industry

The increasing volume of local production of milk is providing a much-need boost for the livelihood of thousands of farmers and their families nationwide.

This was the observation aired by presenters in describing the current state of the dairy industry in the country during the 18th Dairy Congress and Expo (DairyConEx) held April 28-30 at Lima Park Hotel in Malvar, Batangas.

The congress and exposition are conducted annually by the Dairy Confederation of the Philippines (DairyCon) to serve as venue for the exchange of information on the experiences in innovations and breakthroughs in the areas of production, processing and marketing as well as cooperative development in the local dairy industry.

“It is geared toward raising productivity and incomes of dairy farmers, augmenting the base herd, creating new market niches, and accelerating the realization of a self-reliant countryside,” Juan Lozano, national chair of the DairyConEx, said.

The theme of this year’s event was “Gatas Pinoy: Paunlarin, Tangkilikin, Palaganapin!”

In his message to the DairyConEx participants, which was delivered by Undersecretary for Livestock Jose Reaño, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said: “Nakita natin kung paano lumalago [dumarami] ang nakikilahok at sumusuporta sa ating dairy industry (We have seen how the increasing number of people participating in and supporting our dairy industry). Thanks to their support because we are attaining our set target as contained in the dairy roadmap from 2010 to 2016”.

Reaño said that because of this support, there are now 100,000 families involved in the dairy value chain that include those are earning income from selling milk and milk products, and selling live animals.

He added that there are now 46,000 dairy animals in the Philippines and that the annual milk production in the country now stands at about 20 million liters.

“This volume is 26% higher compared to the milk production output five years ago,” he said.

For her part, National Dairy Authority administrator Grace Cenas revealed that dairy production in the country posted its highest growth of seven percent to date compared to only five percent annual growth rate in the imported milk product in the last five years.

“Today, on the average, one out of three glasses of liquid milk in the country is produced locally,” she said.

The NDA head further added that there are now 84 dairy multiplier farms (DMFs) nationwide, with over 7,000 milking animals on the ground, that are expected to produce at least a thousand head of dairy animals this year.

“From our 2010-2016 targets of 55,000 of dairy animals, we now have 46,638 dairy animals and several thousands of families who are involved in dairying. We already have a credit facility with the Land Bank of the Philippines, set up a buy-back fund to support the crossbreeding and upgrading program, and have pushed stakeholders to improve further animal nutrition, milk production operations, and breeding efficiency,” she said.

Nevertheless, she added, much work has yet to be done and several challenges have to be met.

These include, she said, the limited number of stocks (which is being addressed through the multiplier farm program), promotion of locally produced milk, and the needed competitiveness in light of the coming ASEAN Integration.

Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza of the 4th district of Batangas, who was the keynote speaker of the event, also pointed out that dairying has been progressing much and creating positive developments in the country.

“The dairy industry is on the right path and direction. The dairy sector is developing much its enthusiasm and vigor,” Mendoza, who is currently the chair on committee on agriculture and food in the House of Representatives, said.

The 18th DairyConEx was participated in by top government officials, foreign dignitaries, local government representatives and industry players from various parts of the country.

The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), as one of the major sponsors and exhibitors in the event,
displayed some of its sample dairy products from the Milka Krem dairy outlet in the Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija and sample feed stuff for carabaos that included silage and urea-treated rice straw (UTRS) .

A silage-making video featuring Isagani Cajucom, a farmer-cooperator based in Lupao, Nueva Ecija, who is being assisted by the PCC on his silage production project, was shown during the DairyConEx.

PCC Acting Executive Director Dr. Arnel N. del Barrio, Dr. Daniel Aquino and Dr. Ester B. Flores likewise discussed major topics on the importance of minerals supplementation for dairy animals, feeding for optimum peak and persistency among buffaloes, and the dairy genetics improvement program, respectively.

Celestino Delos Santos, a farmer-trustee of the PCC at University of the Philippines in Los Baños (PCC at UPLB), shared his experiences in dairy buffalo farming while two other farmer-representatives, Jeffrey Lim and Cornelio V. Toreja, shared their experiences in goat and cattle farming, respectively.

The 18th DairyConEx was hosted by the Batangas Dairy Cooperative (BADACO) in cooperation with the 4th Congressional District of Batangas, the Provincial Government of Batangas, the local government units of Malvar town and Lipa City, NDA, PCC, Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit IV-A and UPLB-ADSC (Animal and Dairy Sciences Cluster).

Bohol Dairy Producers Association holds teambuilding, seminar-workshop

Sa 2020, Ang Bohol Dairy Producers Association (BoDPA) mahimong mauswagon sa Serbisyo, Produkto, Miyembro, Abot ug kini adunay mga Sangang Tindahan sa tanang lungsod sa Bohol ug ang produkto niini mahimong major tourism product sa probinsiya sa Bohol (By 2020, the Bohol Dairy Producers Association (BoDPA) will be progressive in terms of Services, Products, Members, Income and will have stores in all the towns of Bohol and its product will be a major tourism product in the province of Bohol).

This is the vision formulated during the BoDPA Teambuilding and Seminar-Workshop held April 21-22 at the Galilea Center for Education and Development in Looc, Panglao, Bohol.

The two-day activity was aimed at strengthening the foundation and camaraderie of the dairy federation as well as setting a well-understood vision among its member-participants.

Representatives of nine BoDPA member-cooperatives and one member-association as well as staff of the Philippine Carabao Center at Ubay Stock Farm (PCC-USF) implementing the carabao-based enterprise development (CBED) program participated in the activity.

Maria Merlou Reyes, an eco-tourism consultant and community development facilitator; Oliva B. Galleto, a retired agrarian reform officer and a veteran in organizing and assisting people�s group; and Leinefe B. Libres, PCC-USF information officer served as resource persons.

The seminar-workshop included a presentation on the Bohol Dairy Enterprise Program-a proposal for the Philippine Rural Development of the Philippines (PRDP) Project and lecture-discussions on the roles and responsibilities of a cooperative leader and members. On the other hand, the teambuilding activities featured sessions on leadership as well as vision setting, while workshop activities were actual setting of vision, mission, goals and strategies, and activity planning.

The two-day activity culminated with the election of Shirley E. Molina, chairperson of Untaga Multi-Purpose Cooperative as the new BoDPA president, and Jesusa J. Danila, Tamboan Multi-Purpose Cooperative chairperson as the new vice-president. Other officers of the dairy federation were elected a few weeks earlier.