PCC is best example of farm tourism, Senator Villar says

The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) is the best example of farm tourism in the Philippines, according to Senator Cynthia Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, in her keynote address during the 24th anniversary celebration of the agency on March 28.

“When our then Senate President Franklin Drilon asked me to cite a best example of farm tourism in our country, I answered it’s PCC. It’s because it has its own processing plant where milk from the farmers’ carabaos is processed and an outlet where the processed products and those from the farmer- cooperatives’ products are sold,” she explained.

In her speech, the senator acknowledged the role of the farmers in the success of PCC.

“If not for the farmers, the PCC cannot become what it is today,” she said.

The keynote speaker took the occasion to commend PCC for its accomplishments, and reiterated her support to the agency for its “steadfast commitment to enhance the technology and practices to conserve, propagate and promote the carabao as a source of meat and milk, which benefits small-holder farmers.”

Senator Villar stressed that the PCC and its main clients, who are the dairy farmers, contribute significantly to the agriculture department’s goal which is food security for the country.

“The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization itself cited that 50 percent of the food supply globally is provided by the smallholder-farmers and family farms,” she said. “By 2050, when the population shall have reached nine billion, the smallholder-farmers will feed them. Tayo ang nagpapakain sa kanila,” she said.

She averred that PCC focuses attention on helping address food sufficiency in the country by increasing the production of quality milk and meat from the carabao.

She noted that the country is importing a lot of milk to supply its citizens’ demand, but quickly added “PCC is my only hope to solve this.” 

She also urged PCC (in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development) to replicate its milk supplementation program in more provinces in the country.

The program, which provides carabao’s milk to day care children for 120 days, was launched in Nueva Ecija and Bukidnon. The milk comes from the dairy farmers being assisted by PCC.

“This program solves two of our country’s major problems, i.e., poverty (among dairy farmers) and malnutrition (among children),” she said.

She added that she believes on the potential of the dairy industry in the country to contribute to the country’s economic growth.

“With our concerted efforts, we will achieve the collective goals in alleviating poverty and in providing food security in our country,” the senator said.

During the day’s program, partner-farmer-cooperatives and institutions were awarded with purebred buffaloes, equipment, and supplies by PCC, PCAARRD, and SEARCA.

The Gintong Kalabaw Cup, a competition for the selection of the best carabao, and the new PCC MTV were also launched.

The event was attended by at least 500 farmers, PCC employees, and representatives of different public agencies and entities.

Dr. Enrico Garzon, Jr., Assistant Secretary for Livestock, also graced the event and delivered an inspirational message for all stakeholders of carabao development program.


PCC Scientists receive NRCP Achievement Awards

Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) Scientists Dr. Danilda Hufana-Duran of the Reproduction and Physiology Section and Dr. Claro N. Mingala of the Livestock Biotechnology Center received Achievement Awards from the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) during its Annual Scientific Conference and 84th General Membership Assembly on March 22, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Manila.

The Achievement Award is given annually by NRCP in recognition to individuals and institutions that performed excellently in their respective fields.

The NRCP is mandated to promote and support fundamental research for continuing improvement of research capability of individual or group scientists; foster linkages with local and international scientific organizations for enhanced cooperation in the development and sharing of scientific information; provide advice on problems and issues of national interest; and promotion of scientific and technological culture to all sectors of society.  It is a body of scientists and researchers under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and is divided into 13 Divisions according to specific fields of expertise of the members. Dr.Hufana- Duran is a member of Division VI (Agriculture and Forestry) while Dr. Mingala is a Division XIII (Veterinary Medicine) member.

Dr. Hufana-Duran is recognized for her pioneering research and accomplishments on the development and use of advanced reproductive biotechnologies and establishing laboratory standards and protocols that resulted in the production of genetically superior buffalo calves out of embryo transfer of in vitro-produced-vitrified embryos. Dr. Mingala, on the other hand, is recognized for his contributions in the fields of veterinary immunology, microbiology, molecular biology, and public health; as well as development of DNA-based and rapid diagnostic tools for economically important animal diseases.

Both were conferred a plaque of recognition, medallion, and cash gift.


PCC to celebrate 24th anniversary

With its unwavering commitment to enhance technologies and practices that conserve, propagate and promote the carabao as a source of milk, meat, and draft power for the benefit of small-holder farmers, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) will be celebrating its 24th anniversary on March 22-31, 2017.

This event’s theme, “Boosting milk and meat production for better income and nutrition”, is in support of the basic mandate of the Department of Agriculture in securing the food supply of the country, according to Dr. Eric Palacpac, Chief of the Knowledge Management Division of PCC.

“Here at PCC, we are focusing on increasing the volume and quality of meat and milk from the carabao. This will lead to increased incomes for the farmers and other key players in the carabao industry, and better nutrition for the consumers of carabao’s milk and meat,” he explained.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food will serve as the keynote speaker during the anniversary program on March 28.

There will be an awarding of purebred buffaloes, equipment, and supplies to partner-farmer-cooperatives and institutions during the event.

The plenary sessions will be in the afternoon of the same day. The agency’s “Partnership with DSWD on milk supplementation”, “Value Chain Analysis of Carabao and Carabao-based Products in Visayas and Mindanao”, “Status of carabao industry and updates on listing of dairy enterprises”, “MILK-P (Mga Impormasyon at Lokasyon ng Kalabaw sa Pilipinas) geo-tagging of carabaos and CBED (Sindangan Model)”, will be presented.

Furthermore, the R4D pre inhouse review will be held in two parts, i.e., on March 24 and 29. This activity will present on-going and recently completed researches that aim to address the carabao industry’s gaps and concerns.

“We expect 500 PCC employees, farmers, and representatives from different government agencies and private entities to attend the event,” Dr. Palacpac said.

The “Gabi ng Parangal”, where awards will be given to outstanding employees of the agency, will be on March 30.

Selected dairy farmers undergo training on proper feeding, management of dairy buffalo calves

Fourteen dairy farmers gained better understanding of the common issues on animal health and nutrition including the economic benefits of using alternative milk supplements thru a farmers’ training on “Proper Feeding and Management Practices for Raising Buffalo Calves from Birth to Weaning” last March 7 at the PCC national headquarters, Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija.

The said training is in line with the project 1 component of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD)-funded research titled, “Development of Feeding Protocols and Practices to Support the Nutritional Requirements of Dairy Buffaloes”.

“Having a successful calf raising operation is not only important financially, but also important for the future of the herd. This training will help them plan and manage their calves properly and economically thru the use of milk substitute,” Dr. Daniel Aquino, project leader and center director of PCC at CLSU, said.

According to him, the use of alternative source of milk for calf like milk replacer is one of the strategies in increasing the income of dairy buffalo farmers because of the potential savings that it offers.

“Dairy farmers can sell all their harvested milk because calves are fed with milk replacer instead of giving them two liters of the dam’s milk. This means additional income for the farmers,” he added.

Based on the publication of Bovine Alliance on Management and Nutrition, high quality calf milk replacers, when correctly matched to the specific calf rearing systems and properly fed to calves, provide several benefits to the dairy producer and calf raiser. These benefits include improved biosecurity, calf performance, and economics.

PCC executive director Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, on the other hand, said that practicing proper feeding management can reduce high mortality rate among dairy calves.

The training comprised of lectures, workshops, and actual demonstration on how to mix milk replacer with water and the proper way of feeding this to calves.

“This one-day training only serves as an orientation for the participants. The project team will conduct an actual visit to their farms to thoroughly teach them and monitor their feeding systems since mixing the milk replacer is a crucial step,” Christian Lacanilao, PCC science research assistant.

The training was attended by farmers from the different cities and municipalities in Nueva Ecija. The selection of the participants was based on their current number of calf in the herd, interest and commitment to participate, and their willingness to learn new things about calf rearing.

After the training, the participants were also given bags of milk replacers as an alternative source of milk for their calves for three months before weaning.


Milka Krem opens new branch store at UPLB

A new branch store of Milka Krem was recently opened at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños (UPLB).

It was established to serve as a technology demonstration and learning hub and where the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) at UPLB and farmers could sell their dairy buffalo products.

Among the dairy products available at the said store are fresh milk, choco milk, coffee milk, fruit-flavored juices, white cheese, mozzarella, pastillas de leche, assorted flavors of yoghurt and yoghurt drink, flavored yema and ice cream. These are products of PCC@UPLB under the brand name Carabest and of the four dairy cooperatives and/or associations being assisted by the said center such as the General Trias Dairy Raisers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Rosario Dairy Raisers Association, Magdalena Dairy Raisers Association, Llano Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative; and private entrepreneur from Balayan, Batangas.

“The creation of Milka Krem at UPLB upholds the PCC’s mandate on promoting food safety using quality control protocols and modern dairy processing technologies that can be adopted by private entrepreneurs and business sectors,” Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio, Acting Executive Director of PCC, said during the store’s soft-opening on March 9.

Meanwhile, Dr. Flordeliza Lantican, UPLB retired professor and lead researcher of the “Value Chain Analysis for Carabao and Carabao-Based Products”, said that the creation of Milka Krem at UPLB is a great opportunity for farmers, cooperative and association in CALABARZON, MIMAROPA and the Bicol Regions to have an access to commercial market for bigger income.

“In our conducted study on the value chain analysis, we discovered that market is one of the problems of the key players in selling their milk and meat products to the public. With the creation of Milka Krem at UPLB, there’s no reason for them not to succeed in their dairying businesses,” Lantican emphasized in her talk during the event.

The 300 sq m facility worth Php10 M is located beside the UPLB’s Baker Memorial Hall. Its soft-opening coincided with the UPLB-College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS) 108th foundation day and PCC’s 24th anniversary celebration.

Also present during the event were UPLB Chancellor Dr. Fernanco C. Sanchez, Jr; Dean Enrico P. Supanco of UPLB-CAFS; National Dairy Authority Representative Warren C. Pagdato; and some staff from the PCC national headquarters and its regional centers.


PCC-SEARCA study identifies weaker players in value chain for carabao, carabao-based products; interventions supplied

In the production of carabao and carabao-based products up to the marketing aspects, who gets the least benefits?

Mostly those in the production site, who are the farmers and the producers, studies revealed.

“They are the identified weaker players,” results of the studies on the Value Chain Analysis (VCA) said.

The study, according to Zadieshar Sanchez, Administrative Officer V of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), was conducted in Luzon in Nueva Ecija, which is the designated National Impact Zone for carabao industry, in La Union (Region 1), Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Central Luzon (Region 3) and CALABARZON (Region 4a).

Sanchez said the study was part of a commissioned research project of PCC in collaboration with the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture. It was led by World Bank consultant Dr. Flordeliza Lantican, a renowned agricultural economist with distinct specialization in agricultural marketing and price analysis.

The study was meant, eventually, to identify those that need intervention the most in the value chain.

Those in the distribution side get the higher incomes than those on the production side, the study indicated.

“The VCA project helped in identifying the constraints and opportunities faced by the value chain players from the producing sector up to the marketing sector,” Sanchez explained.

“It also endeavored to help find ways toward achieving inclusiveness in the value-addition activities along the chain,” he added.

Provision of interventions

Corollary to the research results, each of the cooperatives and associations involved in the study, thru the help of the PCC regional center chiefs and carabao-based enterprise development (CBED) coordinators, submitted one project proposal indicating the interventions needed.

They, however, underwent capability building in a series of trainings before asking to package their respective proposals and to become ready for the implementation of their respective projects.

Subsequent developments proved beneficial for the proponents of the proposals.

“Upon thorough evaluation of five proposed projects and on-site validation of their readiness to receive such interventions, the projects have been approved for funding under the PCC-SEARCA project,” Sanchez said.

A total of 12 groups, composed of 10 cooperatives/associations and two federations in Luzon, eventually received the interventions needed.

The signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the project in Region 1 titled, “Enhancing the Carabao-based Enterprise (CBE) Partners’ Capability in Sustaining Animal Feed Supply through Proper Farm Waste Utilization” was held last February 16 with PCC at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (PCC@DMMMSU) as the lead proponent.

The cooperatives and associations involved in the project are the Bantog Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Rosario Dairy Producers’ Association, and Organic Pares-Pares Multi-Purpose Cooperative. They received one unit of motorcycle with two-side car (kolong-kolong), three pieces of forage cutter, and 2,000 plastic bags with a 50-kg capacity each.

The MOA signing for the projects in Region 3, on the other hand, happened last February 23 and 24, respectively.

The Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperatives in Region 3 received one unit of stainless milk cooling tank as proposed in the project.

In addition, the Malibay Aggressive Cooperative, Lambakin Agricultural Producers Cooperative, and Labne Producers’ Cooperative received interventions in their proposals.  Their proposal, packaged by the PCC at Central Luzon State University, was titled, “Strengthening the CBED Partners’ Capability: Introduction of a Systematic and Hygienic Collection and Storage of Buffalo Milk in San Miguel Bulacan”.

They received one unit of motorcycle with two-side car (kolong-kolong), one unit of mobile milking machine, two-bucket milking machine with lines, 300-L capacity milk cooling tank, two stainless cans and two pails.

Last March 2, the MOA for the project “Strengthening Milk Testing Facilities of Selected Dairy Cooperatives” in Region 2 was signed. Assisted by PCC at Cagayan State University, the beneficiaries are the Integrated Farmers’ Cooperative, San Agustin Dairy Cooperative, Namnama Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Cagayan Valley Federation of Dairy Cooperatives.

They received one unit of Porta SCC reader, one unit of water bath, three units of water distiller, three units of ecofat analyser, six pieces of lactometer with thermometer, three pieces of hand held pH meter, anti-biotic test kit, three packs of test strips, three packs of glass test tubes, and three packs of plastic test tubes, and others.

Those in Region 4A will receive theirs before the end of March this year.

The MOA was signed by PCC, SEARCA, chairman and vice chairman of coop-beneficiaries.

“The pieces of equipment are for the supply side in the value chain, which means they are either in the area of producing forage for their carabaos or milking their carabaos,” Sanchez said. “After one year, the team will conduct an economic impact analysis to assess how the beneficiaries’ income and profitability have improved,” he added.

Sanchez underscored that due to this value chain study approach, the weaker sector in the chain was identified and their preparedness and firmness to receive interventions were ascertained.

The project team is currently evaluating project proposals from the Visayas and Mindanao areas for possible funding of the needed interventions under the PCC-SEARCA project.