PCC-PCAARRD collaborative projects undergo review for initial implementation

Additional equipment and upgrading of facilities necessary  to implement the project: “Strengthening institutional capability to improve reproductive efficiency, milk quality and safety in water buffaloes” was discussed and agreed upon by collaborating partners PCAARRD and PCC in an inception meeting held at the PCC headquarters in the Science City of Muñoz last August 18.

Said meeting which is a follow-up of the first inception meeting in February 10 this year reviewed the guidelines, expected outputs, schedule of activities, and possible problems that may be encountered further leading to a need of upgrading.

The collaboration project was subdivided into five component studies: development of feeding protocols and practices to support the nutritional requirements of dairy buffaloes with Dr. Daniel Aquino as the project leader, reproductive management program of water buffaloes under the supervision of Dr. Edwin Atabay, animal health care technologies and practical farm practices led by Dr. Michelle Balbin, milk quality and safety assurance from farm to milk processing plant headed by Ms. Mina Abella, and strengthening of the Carabao-based Development Program in San Agustin, Isabela led by Dr. Annabelle Sarabia.

PCC acting executive director Dr. Arnel del Barrio presented the current accomplishments of the project after six months of implementation and said that PCC is on track based on its commitments.

Dr. Edwin Atabay, overall head of the PCC-PCAARRD collaboration project, explained the distribution of Php 10,730,000 approved budget for needed equipment. He said the fund will be utilized to acquire milk analyzer worth Php 8,500,000; portable understand machine, Php 800,000; direct tube mixer, Php 500,000; centrifugal evaporator with pump, Php 500,000; centrifuge table top, Php 200,000; pipettes, Php 150,000; and multi-channel pipette, Php 80,000.

PCAARRD, on the otherhand, through Engr. Wilmar Lastimosa, Senior Science Research Specialist of the Institution Development Division (IDD) reminded PCC project leaders on the monitoring and evaluation of the project, funding management and procurement procedures.

A site vitiation to the location of the five projects was also scheduled in the inception meeting.

PCAARRD officials who also attended the meeting were Dr. Juanito Batalon, director of IDD, Dr. Synan Baguio from Livestock Research Division, and IDD administrative assistant V Ms. Eleanor Ocampo.

PCC, McBride Corporation ink partnership on development, marketing of carabao’s milk products

PCC forged an agreement with McBride Corporation last August 12 to help develop and promote the local dairy industry by helping Filipino farmers achieve sustainability in dairy entrepreneurship. This will be made possible through assistance in the areas of research for development, product development and marketing of carabao’s milk products.

Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio, PCC Acting Executive Director, and Harvey S. Keh, Vice President for Operations of McBride Corporation, formalized the agreement through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing at the PCC Manila Liaison Office in Quezon City. As witnesses were Karla Pastore Keh, wife of Keh, and Dr. Annabelle S. Sarabia, PCC’s national coordinator for Research for Development.

McBride Corporation is a trusted private company that provides high quality plastics packaging in the ASEAN Region. It also carries other product lines that address the needs of the following industries: food and beverage, chemical, agriculture, pharmaceutical, and household products.

As stipulated in the MOA, McBride Corporation will help improve the competitiveness of PCC-assisted dairy associations and/or cooperatives through development initiatives along the aspects of research and marketing. “The role of PCC in this agreement is to collaborate with McBride Corporation in developing appropriate protocols for the processing of quality carabao’s milk products, to supply milk to the corporation, and to cooperate for the promotion and marketing of these products,” Dr. Del Barrio said.

Keh, on the other hand, said his company will be in-charge of the following: putting-up necessary storage facility including refrigerated transport vehicles for milk products, forming-up of a product development team that will develop appropriate protocols for market-driven carabao’s milk products, and promotion and marketing of these products.

He likewise added that his company will allocate 50% from the net sales of these products to serve as Dairy Development Trust Fund that will be used as capability building fund, among other forms of assistance, for the dairy farmers.

Well-attended 10th Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival proves N.E’s valid claim as Dairy Capital of the Philippines

The 10th edition of Nueva Ecija’s annual “Gatas ng Kalabaw (Carabao’s Milk) Festival” was showcased anew last August 10 as the province continues to prove its unofficial claim as the “Dairy Capital of the Philippines”.

With the San Jose City acting as host for the second time, this year’s celebration coincided with the City’s 47th charter anniversary with the theme “Sa Bagong Lungsod ng San Jose, ang Lahat ng Mamamayan ay May ‘K’ – Kalinga, Kalikasan, Kabuhayan, Kalusugan, Kaligtasan, at Kaalaman”.

In partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the annual “Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival” aims to promote carabao’s milk not only for its economic benefits but also for its important contribution to the health and nutrition of small-hold dairy farmers and their families as well as milk consumers in general.

The celebration, which was the most-attended so far with an estimated 2,000 people according to the event organizers, started with a parade. The participants, who donned in their cowboy/cowgirl attire, were officials from government agencies, local government units (LGUs), teachers in private and public schools, and dairy cooperatives from Guimba, Lupao, Aliaga, Llanera, San Jose City, Science City of Muñoz and Talavera towns.

“This year’s anniversary celebration showcases the upcoming activities and programs for the ‘new’ San Jose City in terms of health, shelter, environment, livelihood, security, and knowledge,” newly elected San Jose City Mayor Mario “Kokoy” Salvador said in his opening remarks during the program held at the city’s gymnasium.

Highlight of the celebration was the symbolic “tagay pugay (toast of salutation)”, a simultaneous milk toasting and drinking featuring schoolchildren and representatives from partner private institutions and government agencies. It underscored the significance of multi-sectoral efforts in the increased programs of the local dairy industry in Nueva Ecija.

Nueva Ecija is the National Impact Zone (NIZ) of the national Carabao Development Program (CDP) where all supports for a sustainable carabao-based enterprise are being modeled.

Also part of the celebration was the ceremonial slicing of the 115x183x3.5cm (LxWxH) kesong puti (white cottage cheese) prepared by PCC, which was eventually served with pan de sal as breakfast fare for the participants.

Other activities included were ecumenical service, trade fair, jobs fair, products launching of Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (EPMPC), oath-taking of 2016 “Little” City Officials, launching of “Search for Makakalikasang Barangay”, awarding of plaque of recognition to partner-institutions, and search for “Best cow-boy and cow-girl attire”.

PCC was recognized as one of the city’s development partners while EPMPC chairman Melchor Correa was adjudged for the “Best cow-boy attire” with a cash prize of Php5,000.

On the other hand, PCC Deputy Executive Director Dr. Felomino Mamuad encouraged everyone in his message to help uplift the dairy industry in the country by patronizing the products from carabao’s milk.

DTI Provincial Director Brigida Pili, meanwhile, made a pronouncement about the province’s possible declaration as the “Dairy Capital of the Philippines”.

“The dairy industry is a sustainable source of income for the farmers. It can help alleviate poverty in the country. However, in order to uplift small and medium enterprises such as dairying, we need to have and continue practicing these ‘Seven Ms’ – right mindset, mastery, mentoring, market-access, money, machines, and models of business,” she emphasized.

She likewise announced that EPMPC bagged the “Best Shared Service Facility” award (Provincial Level) under DTI.

“Why did we obtain this award? It is because of convergence, cooperation, and coordination with all the branches of national agencies, LGUs and other government agencies,” she said.

The yearly Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival is made possible through a technical working group participated by DTI, PCC, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Agriculture (DA) as well as the provincial and local government units. It will be hosted next year by Rizal town.


PCC, SEARCA increase farmers, CBED coordinators business literacy thru ‘BIZ Talk’ activity

Another “BIZ Talk’’ activity titled: “Value Chain Analysis (VCA) Team Business Talk: Business Workshop and Project Viability Analysis” was conducted at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) National Headquarters and Gene Pool in Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija last August 3-5.

“BIZ Talk”, an abbreviated form for Business Talk, is a series of activities conducted by the Planning and Information Management Division (PIMD) to enhance the business sense of farmers, PCC Carabao-based Enterprise Development (CBED) coordinators, and other industry partners related to the CBED Program being implemented by PCC.

Said BIZ Talk was organized by PCC-PIMD in partnership with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).

PIMD Chief Dr. Liza Battad said the activity was an opportunity for the participants to improve their current businesses in the processing and marketing of milk and meat products. She added it is also a venue to mentor the CBED coordinators to teach business to farmers.

Zadieshar Sanchez, Administrative Officer IV of PIMD, served as the speaker during the activity. Sanchez explained topics on Basic Business and Financial Concepts, Product Costing, Pricing and Discounts Offering; Breakeven Point; Elementary Marketing Principles; and Cost and Benefit Structuring of a Processing Plant.

Samuel Potante, chairman of General Trias Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Cavite, said the training helped them understand how a CBE should be conducted. He said he specifically liked topics on what are the requirements in the business, how to market products, how to look for store location, how to compute the return of investment, and how to compute costing of products based on inputs.

“The activity was meaningful because we learned a lot from it. We’re so happy that we were given the opportunity to be one of the participants in this activity,” he said in Filipino.

Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, emphasized that the activity was a good venue for the participants to appreciate their contribution in achieving the goal of the Department of Agriculture in the production of sufficient and affordable food.

The newest BIZ Talk activity was based on the result of SEARCA’s study on “VCA for Carabao Milk and Meat Product” which aimed to strengthen the weaker link in the dairy value chain such as addressing the need of farmers for processing equipment and increased business literacy.

The participants were composed of 39 dairy farmers from 13 PCC-assisted dairy cooperatives in Luzon and 16 CBED coordinators from PCC at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), PCC at Central Luzon State University (CLSU), PCC at Cagayan State University (CSU), and PCC at University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).


PCC, partners launch school-based milk supplementation program

Children are said to be the hope of the nation. It is, therefore, relevant to say that providing for their better nutrition is a wise development investment for their future.

As an immediate response to this cause, PCC and its local partners launched a 120-day milk supplementation program last July 29. Its partners are the local government unit, Barangay Licaong Health Office, Licaong Elementary School (LES), Majestic Christ Church (MCC) and Licaong Parents-Teachers Association (PTA).

The launching was part of the National Nutrition Month celebration at LES to reduce the incidence of undernutrition in the Science City of Muñoz. The event highlighted a dance contest, ceremonial milk toast, and slogan and poster making contests.

In his message, Dr. Felomino Mamuad, PCC deputy executive director, thanked the various sectors who expressed their willingness to take part in the operationalization of the program. He underscored the importance of collective action and partnership in addressing the issue of undernutrition and in sustaining the livelihood of Filipino farmers.

Prior to the formal launch of the program, the City and Barangay Health Office conducted deworming activity in the school.  They also committed to provide nutrition education and to monitor the anthropometric (height and weight) measurement of the schoolchildren.

PCC, on the other hand, conducted a “Milk Pasteurization Training for PTA” to capacitate parents and teachers on proper handling and pasteurization of milk.

PTA’s counterpart in the program is the daily pick-up and pasteurization of milk from PCC. MCC, on the other hand, pledged to conduct activities that can help nurture the values and character of the schoolchildren.

The program, which will run from August 2016 to January 2017, will serve as an initial study to document the effect of milk on children’s nutrition and school performance. This is in preparation to the national government’s plan of institutionalizing milk feeding in the country.