PCC’s Milka Krem branch, processing plant, outlet opened in Luzon sites

A branch of ‘Milka Krem’ and a dairy and pastries processing plant and outlet were opened in two strategic sites in Luzon as showcases of the Philippine Carabao Center’s (PCC) continuing efforts in strengthening its Carabao-based Enterprise Development program (CBED).

The Milka Krem branch is on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) beside the Baker Memorial Hall while the Rosario Dairy & Pastries (Processing Plant/Outlet) is located at Poblacion East, Rosario, La Union.

The grand opening of Milka Krem at UPLB was last April 7 while the launching of the Rosario Dairy & Pastries (Processing Plant/Outlet) took place last March 17.

Both stores were established to serve as a technology-business demonstration and learning hubs for the farmers.

Milka Krem at UPLB

The Milka Krem at UPLB is established on a 300 sq m facility with PCC funding worth Php10M. Its establishment was made possible through the collaboration of PCC@UPLB and UPLB.

Products that are being sold in this branch include 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. They carried the brand name “Carabest” with the products coming from dairy cooperatives and/or associations and an entrepreneur being assisted by the PCC @ UPLB.

The cooperatives and associations are the General Trias Dairy Raisers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Rosario Dairy Raisers Association, Magdalena Dairy Raisers Association, and the  Llano Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative while the private entrepreneur is from Balayan, Batangas.

The branch is managed by the PCC@UPLB under the supervision of its OIC center chief Dr. Thelma Saludes.

Rosario Dairy & Pastries

The Rosario Dairy & Pastries (processing plant and outlet) was established with a funding of Php2.9 million on a 120 square meter area. It is managed by the Rosario La Union Dairy Producers Association, Inc. (RLUDPAI), one of the dairy cooperatives being assisted by PCC@DMMMSU.

The establishment of this facility was made possible through the collaboration of PCC@DMMMSU with the local government unit of Rosario, La Union and the Department of Trade and Industry. The Rosario LGU provided the land where the facility was established while the DTI gave dairy processing equipment that included freezer, refrigerator, chiller double burner, and a working table.

The facility was established for the processing and selling of the milk produced by crossbred and purebred carabaos of the farmers in Rosario, La Union and its other neighboring towns, according to Dr. Gloria Dela Cruz, center chief of PCC@DMMMSU.

Presently, five farmers’ cooperatives or associations are selling their milk harvest in this facility. They are the  RLUDPAI; Aringay Dairy Carabao Raisers Association, Bantog Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Samahan ng Maralitang Magsasaka ng Patalan in Lingayen, Pangasinan; and Naguilian, La Union farmers who were entrusted with carabaos by the PCC.

Among the products currently available for sale to the public are pasteurized milk, chocomilk, fruit-flavored milk (pineapple, four seasons, strawberry, blueberry, mango and pineapple-orange), pastillas-de-leche, yogurt, espasol, ube halaya, puto, chicharabao, macaroons, dulce de leche candy and brownies. A number of private entrepreneurs in Luzon also sell their products on consignment basis.

These two facilities are expected to boost the farmers’ income from the sales of their carabao’s milk and processed dairy products.


ATI, PCC, NDA conduct first milking machine operation training

The first batch of assessors and trainers in milking machine operation were trained through the joint effort of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), and National Dairy Authority (NDA) at the PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool on May 8-12, 2017.

Representatives from NDA, PCC, state universities offering Agricultural Engineering, Bureau of Animal Industry, National Meat Inspection Service, and the local government unit of Cebu participated in the week-long training called “Agricultural Machinery Operation NCII on Milking Operations for Trainers and Assessors”.

“The first group of trainers and assessors on milking machine operation will come from these participants,” Kemuel Borromeo, ATI Development Management Officer, said.

The participants will undergo another training called ‘Training Methodology 1’ with the assistance of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), where they will prepare milking operations standard modules. They will use these modules when they train farmers and other groups who are interested to be NCII-accredited ‘Milkers’.

“The Milking Operation NC II Qualification consists of competencies that a person must achieve to conduct pre-milking activities, perform milking operation and carry-out post-milking operation,” Borromeo explained.


‘Gender Analysis should be part of gov’t programs, projects’- gender advocate

The need for government institutions to incorporate Gender Analysis (GA) in all stages of their program or project cycles was stressed during a technical caucus at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) National Headquarters and Gene Pool.

The activity was organized by the PCC Research and Development Division and was attended by PCC scientists and researchers.

“GA is a systematic methodology for examining the differences in roles and norms for women and men, girls and boys; the different levels of power they hold; their differing needs, constraints, and opportunities; and the impact of these differences in their lives,” Ma. Fe B. Singson of the National Gender and Development (GAD) Resource Program, Philippine Commission on Women said.

Singson explained that the GA’s goal is for the implementers of projects or programs to get a better understanding of the different genders and their roles in the community, and for them to get better results from development programs they want to implement.

She added that GA will provide analysis of the division of labor and access and control of resources and an understanding of gender relations and their implications for development policy and implementation.

It also disaggregates specific genders to get a better view of their important roles, a review of women’s priorities, women’s practical needs and strategic interest and ways to address them; and a review of social, economic, and political power dynamics, she added.

Singson also said that government institutions, among others, should have an understanding of what gender is and they should apply gender analysis in all situations.

“This is what we call gender perspective. It is an outlook and a way of seeing a set of an insight which informs our understanding of people, the society and how they interact in terms of what men and women do when and why,” she explained.

She emphasized that GA should be conducted in all aspects of a program or project – from its identification, planning, and design of activities to its implementation and evaluation.

“We should use our ‘gender lens’ so we can see the participation, interests, and realities of both men and women,” Singson concluded.

The Philippines, according to a report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) which covered the years 2011-2016,   ranked 9th among 134 countries based on an index gaps in providing equal opportunities and resources for women gender analysis implementation.

The index gaps were identified in the 2010 World Economic Forum.

The ADB report meant that the country has made significant progress in promoting gender equality.

PCC conducts 2nd facilitator workshop on Farmer Livestock School

Another batch of facilitators was trained by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) on dairy buffalo production and management under the project on Farmer Livestock School on Dairy Buffalo Production (FLS-DBP).

The participants were composed of 10 local government unit staff members, seven dairy farmers and three PCC staff members from Bulacan, Tarlac, Ilocos Norte, and Bohol. They underwent a 15-day training last May 8 and graduated on May 26.

“The trainings were composed of a series of lectures, workshops, practicals, and field visits for the participants to be equipped with knowledge and skills as facilitators on FLS-DBP,” Dr. Eric Palacpac, project leader, said.

As indicated in the program of activities, the participants underwent six training courses, as prepared by the module developers from the PCC. Such courses covered the topics on: (1) Preparing Facilitators for FLS Implementation; (2) Mobilizing Communities for FLS; (3) Raising Healthy and Productive Dairy Buffalo; (4) Building Enterprises from Buffalo; (5) Participatory Technology Development; and (6) Participatory Tools to Measure FLS Effects and Impacts.

“FLS is designed as a learning platform where the trainers and participants can learn from each other e.g., by exchanging ideas and others, breaking the teacher-student approach that we are doing in the past. Thus, it is not boring,” Palacpac said.

The FLS-DBP is a project aimed at developing modalities and strengthening technology adoption among village-based dairy buffalo farmers. Currently, the project is assessing the impact of its first two batches of FLS-DBP learning workshops conducted in San Jose City and Guimba, Nueva Ecija; and Ilocos Norte.

Thirty-six farmers from Nueva Ecija and some 40 farmers from Ilocos Norte graduated last February and May, respectively. 

The FLS learning workshops (for facilitators and farmers) are also being stewarded by Ms. Marie P. Alo, Senior Science Research Specialist from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

Ms. Alo said that a finalized module that has complete workshop courses is expected to be developed after the impact assessment of the two trainings conducted by the PCC.

“The finalized module will be used as a medium to replicate FLS-DBP in various areas in the Philippines,” she added.

Aside from Alo, key PCC staff who served as resource persons for different topics about DBP during the 15-day workshop include: Knowledge Management Division Chief Dr. Eric P. Palacpac; Research and Development Division Chief Dr. Annabelle S. Sarabia; Project Development Officers Ester B. Flores and Dr. Nancy S. Abes; Scientists Dr. Peregrino Duran and Rosalina Lapitan; Farm Superintendent Dr. Cyril P. Baltazar; PCC@CLSU center director Dr. Daniel Aquino, Senior Science Research Specialist Dr. Meriam M. Cabling; and Science Research Specialists Ms. Mina P. Abella, Dr. Renelyn Labindao and Mr. Erwin Valiente.

Secretary Piñol bats for establishment of national genetic registry program for dairy animals

Raising genetically good dairy animals is significant for the triumph of the dairy industry.

This was emphasized by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol in his keynote address at the recent 20th Dairy Congress and Expo (DairyConEx) at the Camiguin Convention Center in Mambajao, Camiguin.

The DA official stressed that in order to achieve this, one basic strategy is for the dairy farmers to organize and consolidate their efforts so that government can easily provide the support that they need. He said the DA is ready to extend  assistance and support  for the establishment of a national registry program to establish the genetic lineage of all dairy animals, including carabaos, cattle, and goats. 

“Every breeding animal must be registered if the raisers want to sell it to the government. A genetic registry of the animals is needed to identify which line produces the best milk or the most milk,” Secretarty Piñol said.

Other than the genetic registry program, he added that the DA is also ready to support the establishment of municipal multiplier farms of the best breeding materials and the establishment of  learning centers in the different parts of the country.

He also assured that the DA is ready to provide financial assistance for the setting-up of feed mills where dairy farmers can formulate their own feeds for their animals.

No, no to corruption

The secretary vowed that his department, including its attached agencies involved in the dairy industry like the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and the National Dairy Authority NDA, will never be involved in corruption.

He said that there is a perception that one of the primary reasons for the huge losses in the farmers’ income and the country’s dependence on imported milk products are due to corruption. 

He said his department is doing something big to erase that perception.

 “In the months coming I will be meeting all the heads of offices of the DA to review the money allotted to their offices and how fast they are able to spend it. I will give them until the end of June to show to me that the money given to them by the government is spent at least to a level of 90%,” he said. 

“I will fire them if they are remiss in reaching that level,” he warned.

Piñol reasoned out that if they (the head of offices) cannot spend the money allocated by the government, it can only mean one thing – that they are not doing their jobs of delivering services to the people. 

“The (government) money intended for a program is money intended for the Filipino people. The moment the money is stuck up there, that means that (the head of offices) did not deliver; that they  did not do their  job; and that they are undeserving to be in the government,” Piñol emphasized.

The secretary ended his message by saying that “without corruption in the DA, the farmers will get what they rightfully deserve.”

Right after, the DA chief invited the key stakeholders in the dairy industry to a consultative forum to formulate a 10-year Philippine Dairy Industry Development Road Map.

PCC, on the other hand, renewed its commitment to improve the genetic potentials of the Philippine carabao for milk and meat for the improvement of the economic and social well-being of smallholder farm families.

Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, PCC executive director, presented during the event the agency’s program on “Enhancing Milk Production of Dairy Buffaloes through S&T Interventions”.  The program, he said, is funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

Other topics presented by PCC officials during the gathering were the “Role of Assisted Reproductive Technologies in the Development of the Dairy Industry: Current Programs and Initiatives”  by Dr. Eufrocina Atabay, PCC Scientist I and Reproductive Biotechnology and Physiology Unit Head; “Application of Embryo Transfer Technology in Dairy Herd Build-Up” by Dr. Edwin Atabay, PCC Scientist I;  “Profitability of Buffalo Dairy Farming and Its Correlates” by Zadieshar Sanchez, PCC Administrative Officer V; and “Product Development Related to Buffalo Milk Product” by Mina Abella, Carabao Enterprise Development Section Head.

The DairyConEx, with the theme “Gatas Pinoy: Paunlarin, Tangkilikin, Palaganapin!, was attended by dairy farmers, cooperative members, private sector and industry entrepreneurs, and government employees in the livestock sector. 

Some 30 exhibitors participated in the three-day conference to showcase their respective technologies and products. 

Organized and held annually by the Dairy Confederation of the Philippines (DairyCon), the congress is aimed at encouraging people to go into dairying to create wealth, livelihood and share the benefits of economic development nationwide. The ultimate goal is to create a permanent sector for dairy with globally competitive professional dairymen and farm workers. 

Co-organizer of the event is the Department of Agriculture through the National Dairy Authority (NDA) with the PCC as co-sponsor.