PCC to host international confab on Carabao-based Enterprise Development

An International Conference on Carabao-based Enterprise Development (CBED), expected to be attended by about 200 participants from the Philippines and other Asian countries, is set to be held at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), National Headquarters, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija on October 26-27, 2017.

The event is organized by the PCC and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Studies and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).

It is meant to boost efforts in developing the carabao industry toward food and nutrition security and livelihood development in the country and some member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The CBED stakeholders will exchange during the conference scientific and technological knowledge and best practices on buffalo-based enterprise development, discuss government policies, regulations, support facilities and logistics that are vital in the development of carabao-based dairy enterprises; and, explore mutually beneficial partnerships, collaboration and cooperation in relevant research and development and initiatives, the organizers said.

Senator Cynthia Villar, Chair of the Committees on Agriculture and Food and Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, is keynote speaker during the opening program on October 26.

The plenary sessions will start after the opening ceremonies.

Scientists and experts from the Philippines, India, Thailand and Laos will present their respective topics during the two-day event.

In the first plenary session, institutional perspective on CBED will be tackled. Dr. Libertado Cruz, former Executive Director and Technical Adviser of PCC will discuss “Carabao-based Enterprise Development: from Theory to Practice”; Mr. Sriram Singh, Executive Director of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Dairy Services in India will share the “History and Lessons from India’s National Dairy Development Board”; Dr. Avnish Kumar, Principal Scientist of the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) in India will discuss “Application of Information Technology in Field Survey and Dairy Buffalo Recording System”.

Perspective from the private sector in Asia will be discussed during the second plenary session. Mr. Ram Mohan Rao, Senior General Manager of the Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt. Ltd. in Delhi, India will discuss “Innovative Practices and Products from Mother Dairy”.   Ms. Susie Martin, CEO and Director of Sales and Marketing in Laos Buffalo Dairy, and Ms. Chairinee Chaiyochlarb of Murrah Farm in Thailand, will also share their experiences in enterprise development.

In the third plenary session, the continuation of discussions from the private sector’s perspective will be carried out, featuring speakers from the Philippines. Mr. Mike Mercado, owner of Mr. Moo’s Milk Planet Co will discuss “Mr. Moo: Sustaining Cooperative Gains through Innovative Partnerships” while Mr. Danilo Fausto, proprietor of the DVF Farm, Inc. will present “The DVF Gatas ng Kalabaw Experience in Value-adding and Mainstreaming Products in the Market”.

Topics on “Mainstreaming CBED in the Philippines and ASEAN” will be discussed during the final plenary session on the second day of the event. Dr. Flordeliza Lantican, SEARCA Value Chain Analysis Project Team Leader will tackle “Strengthening and Enhancing Competitiveness of CBED through Sustainable Value Chains. Dr. Eric Palacpac, Chief of the PCC’s Knowledge Management Division, on the other hand, will discuss “The Science of Delivery: Exploring Dynamics between Technical and Local Knowledge within Delivery Systems for CBED”.

The event will be concluded with a tour of dairy facilities and dairy farms at PCC and nearby areas.

PCC conducts seminar-workshop to strengthen its animal health program

Nineteen veterinarians and ten animal health coordinators attended a seminar-workshop on the strengthening of animal health programs conducted recently by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).

Titled, “Strategic Planning Workshop in Strengthening the PCC Animal Health Program and Veterinary Refresher Seminar for PCC Center Veterinarians and Animal Health Coordinator”, the event was held for five days at the Livestock Innovations and Biotechnology Complex of the PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool in the Science City of Muñoz.

The workshop was conducted to strengthen the animal health program of the agency and enhance the capabilities of the PCC’s animal health coordinators in dealing with emergency cases in water buffaloes being encountered in the field.

Discussions and actual performances of proper management protocols were done during the activity, according to Dr. Marvin A. Villanueva, officer-in-charge of the PCC’s Biosafety and Environment Section, and one of the organizers of the activity.

He added that the workshop also aimed to identify gaps in the current implementation of the PCC’s program on animal health and eventually provide solutions to these gaps.

The participants were from the various PCC regional centers as well as from the national headquarters.

They were given lecture-discussions and hands-on trainings on mastitis, ultrasonography for fasciola, foreign body syndrome and rumenotomy; fasciolosis, and trypanosomiasis in water buffalo. The lecturer-discussants were Dr. Vijay Muley, Dr. Ester Flores, Dr. Kristine Joy Prades, Dr. Elizabeth Molina, and Dr. Alan Dergantes.

Updates on the encountered diseases in water buffaloes, herd health program of the PCC, animal mortality and morbidity of the agency from the year 2012-2016, recent findings on the outputs of animal health researches, and the gaps and opportunities on the current animal health program as well as challenges faced by PCC veterinarians, were tackled during the seminar. These topics were discussed by Dr. Daryl G. Dela Cruz, Dr. Ermyn D. Ermitanio, and Dr. Villanueva, respectively.

“Through our workshop, we strategized on how we can resolve our identified gaps to successfully strengthen or improve the PCC’s animal health program,” Villanueva said. “Such gaps and strategies fall on social, technical and policy aspects,” he added.

For the social part, Villanueva said that gaps such as late reporting of animal diseases by the farmer clients, poor delivery of services to some farmers, weak linkages or partnerships with some local government units and other key stakeholders, limited number of vet aides, and weak information dissemination were identified.

Such gaps were planned to be addressed by the PCC through the strengthening of its communication services. They include creation of animal health hotline per center, creation of directory of all the agency’s animal health coordinators in the PCC website, assigning a focal person responsible for answering questions and relaying information related to animal health concerns; conduct of a training on how to deal with clients; establishment of good partnerships with LGU’s and other stakeholders; conduct of training for vet aides’ or additional workforce that will provide animal health services to various areas; and dissemination of information through production and distribution of printed materials, audio-visual presentations, investment in radio programs and conduct of farmer livestock school.

For the technical part, gaps were identified. They included lengthy release of laboratory result, unavailability of some confirmatory diagnostic tools for some diseases, weak monitoring of diseases on surveillance program, lack of protocols or studies with regards to the use of some drugs as a prevention and as a treatment, lack of training for trainers, lack of awareness on some technologies related to animal health, strict implementation of biosafety measure, and others that can be found online.

Such gaps, according to Villanueva, were planned to be addressed by the PCC through agreement on common time length on the release of laboratory results, outsourcing of testing samples, scheduling of sample collection for surveillance of diseases (yearly or semi-annual), conduct of training for trainers to increase capability of PCC’s staff, more awareness on the use of online references such as Science Direct and others, and more awareness on biosecurity measures through posting of signages and other materials and trainings.

Gaps were also identified on policy aspect. They included awareness on the implementation of good animal husbandry practices (GAHP) and food safety act (FSA) (under Republic Act 10611) of 2013 in consideration to Animal Welfare Act (under Republic Act 8485), unavailability of standard health protocol in the regional center, and difficulty of release of animals for emergency culling.

According to Villanueva, these are planned to be addressed by the PCC through conduct of seminars or trainings on GAHP and FSA, standardization of animal health protocol, and regular follow-up on the progress of the application for release of animals for culling.

“Those strategic plans were still subject for polishing and approval of the top management. But, we are confident that the PCC’s animal health program will be strengthened since all of the participants agreed to implement innovative and attainable strategies to address the identified gaps,” Villanueva concluded.

In his opening remark on the first day of the week-long training, Dr. Felomino V. Mamuad, PCC’s Deputy Executive Director reminded the participants to consider the importance of providing proper nutrition to carabaos.

“Without proper nutrition, all our efforts in providing animal health services would be futile. Thus, we have to always consider the importance of feeding management and provision of proper nutrition to carabaos,” he emphasized.

In her inspirational message, Dr. Annabelle Sarabia, Chief of the Research and Development Division encouraged the participants to have zero animal mortality rate in the areas where they are providing animal health service.

“PCC is committing to produce more animals in the coming years. Thus, I encourage everyone to stay committed and to achieve zero animal mortality rate,” she said.

In his message, Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, PCC executive director, encouraged the participants to enhance animal health provision to further satisfy the needs of its clients.

“We need to further innovate and improve our protocols in animal health management. I encourage everyone to go beyond the traditional methods and continuously decrease, if not completely make zero the rate of animal mortality in your respective areas,” Del Barrio said.

The workshop was organized by the PCC’s Biosafety and Environment Section. The facilitators were Dr. Claro N. Mingala, Dr. Lawrence P. Belotindos, Dr. Daryl dela Cruz Dr. Ermitanio, Dr. Villanueva, Ms. Charito A. Gutierrez and Mr. Eduardo Nastor Jr.

DA Official to livestock biotech scientists, researchers: utilize biotechnology in realizing Ambisyon Natin 2040

In a brief message by the Undersecretary for Policy and Planning, Department of Agriculture (DA), and DA-Biotechnology Program Steering Committee Chair, Undersecretary Segfredo R. Serrano, he stressed the use of biotechnology as a tool in livestock productivity amidst the challenges in climate change and scarcity of land resources for agriculture during the 2nd International Livestock Biotechnology Symposium last August 30, 2017 at the B Hotel, Quezon City.

A seasoned researcher himself speaking to the audience consisting mostly of biotechnology researchers, he reminded that, “There is only so much information that you can digest and that duplication of research efforts are highly probable, bioinformatics will be useful in translating raw data into useful data.”

He also enjoined active involvement of the livestock biotechnology stakeholders in realizing Department of Agriculture’s Ambisyon Natin 2040 utilizing biotechnology for industry, agriculture, health and environment towards a national long-term vision of the country wherein Filipinos live in a prosperous, middle-class society where no one is poor.

Serrano commended the organizers for a timely conduct of the event due to the commercialization of genetically-modified (GM) products in other countries with the possibility of entering the Philippine market.

With the theme, “Industry-Driven Biotechnology R&D Addressing Global Challenges in Livestock Productivity and Sustainability”, the Symposium served as a platform for exchange of ideas between international and local biotechnology experts on thematic areas such as immuno-epidemiology and vaccine development, vaccine design, embryo transfer technology, informatics tools and animal biotechnology regulations.

The International Livestock Biotechnology Symposium is annually organized and hosted by the Livestock Biotechnology Center that convenes livestock biotechnology scientists, researchers, international experts, policy makers, regulatory bodies, the academe and key industry players in the livestock sector. Through the activity, participants are kept abreast with the latest technologies, relevant biotechnology research and shared with best practices from international partners. This year’s event was co-organized by the National Research Council of the Philippines.

1st Dairy Box in Bohol launched

It is not just the heart of tourism in the province, but the municipality of Carmen has also now become a history maker in the field of dairy business enterprise as it launched the first-ever Dairy Box outlet in Bohol on August 17, 2017 at Camanayon, Tamboan, Carmen, Bohol.

Managed by Tamboan Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (TFMPC), the outlet is dubbed “Dairy Box of Bohol Dairy” and it is the 2nd outlet in the entire country.

Dairy Box is a modern yet local business model created by the Business Development and Commercialization Unit (BDCU) of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) to showcase the various carabao-based products on top of the locally-produced consignments. It is commonly handled by a cooperative.

Sa buong Pilipinas ay iisa lamang ang itsura ng Dairy Box. Dahil naniniwala kami na ‘yong pagmamahal ng PCC sa kanyang kliyente ay pinapatunayan ng iisang layunin lamang”, explained Dr. Liza Battad, chief of the Planning, Information and Management Division (PIMD) of PCC, in her message during the launching program.

In his statement of purpose, Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio, executive director of PCC, emphasized that the Dairy Box is a response to one of the findings of a Value Chain Analysis conducted two years ago stating that one of the reasons why carabao-related programs are not expanding is due to lack of market.

Dati, puro kalabaw lang pinag-uusapan namin, dispersal, paiwi… without focusing on the market. And this Dairy Box will complete the Value Chain”, Dr. del Barrio added.

The establishment of the Dairy Box of Bohol Dairy was realized through the collaborative efforts of both government and non-government organizations. During the program, this was highlighted thru a symbolic simultaneous milk toasting and milk drinking among the representatives from private institutions and government agencies together with the selected schoolchildren and parents, which was facilitated by Dr. Caro B. Salces, center director of PCC at Ubay Stock Farm (USF).

The milk toast further symbolizes Bohol’s united goal of making Bohol the milk Capital of the Visayas and supporting the production of at least 10% increase of the total demand in line with the national government’s goal.

Emphasizing the importance of multi-sectoral collaborations,  Mr. Isabelito “Tatay Billy” Tongco, who represented Gov. Edgar M. Chatto of the province of Bohol cited in his keynote address prior to the milk toast, that an activity can achieve its goals and success if there is enthusiasm, faithfulness to help, unity, coordination, and diligence among partners, recipients and constituents.

Mr. Tiongco further expressed the governor’s commitment to support the cooperative and its initiatives as the latter sees the beauty and the significant contributions it can bring to the entire province.

Counterparting the edifice of Dairy Box was the TFMPC and Bohol Dairy Cooperative (BODACO) that contributed Php422,366.89 each. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) will grant Php514,864.00 as its starter kit or capital fund while PCC and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) allocated Php1.3 million for building enhancement, and promotional activities and materials. The local government unit (LGU) of Carmen also extended technical and industrial support.

Dili nako matukib ang kalipay nga akong gibati karong panahon nga naghimo ta aning launching sa dairy box… (I cannot contain the happiness I feel right now that we are doing this launching of the dairy box…)”, expressed Ms. Jesusa Danila, chairperson of TFMPC as she described how they have dreamt and worked hard for this moment to happen for the past two years.

She further expressed her gratitude to all the partners for their love and trust in extending fund support to the cooperative.

Ug kining tanan nga among nahuptan karon, pinaagi sa among pagdumala amo kining ampingan ug among palambuon  pinaagi sa panabang sa balaang espiritu santo nga kining tanan mapadayon ug magmalambuon hangtod sa sunod nga mga henerasyon.(and all these things that have been entrusted to us, through our management, we will make it grow, with the intervention of the Holy Spirit, that all of these will be sustainable and successful until the next generation)”, she added.

Atty. Eliezer Cagol, Jr., municipal administrator from the LGU of Carmen also expressed his gratitude for choosing the town to house the 1st Dairy Box in the province. He further expressed the LGU’s continuous support to the coop’s endeavors.

Also expressing their support by gracing the event are: Hon. Manuel Valentos, barangay captain of Tamboan; Engr. Rene Espinosa from the Office of the Congressman of the 3rd District of Bohol, Mr. Cresente Vistal, DSWD-SLP Provincial Coordinator of Bohol, Mr. Ely Cañete from the office of the Vice-Governor, Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members, Tamboan barangay kagawads, and the members of TFMPC and Tamboan Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (Tamboan SLPA).

A ribbon cutting ceremony was done towards the end of the program. There were also an unlimited ice cream for an hour, discounted prices of some products, and milk feeding program in Tamboan Elementary School.

‘Carabao’s milk can bring an end to smallholder-farmers’ poverty’, says GK social entrepreneur

Fueled by an optimized natural resource-the carabao’s milk, an end to the poverty of smallholder-farmers and their families is possible, according to Marie Cavosora, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Calaboo, a Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm Social Enterprise.

She emphasized this during an innovation workshop titled “Advancing Dairy Products through Technology Development” held at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) National Headquarters and Gene Pool today (August 31).

 “If the Filipino farmers are encouraged to use the carabao as a source of milk instead of using it as a draft animal, then their income will quadruple or triple,” she said.

She, however, explained that there is a need to valorize the carabao and make people recognize that its milk is superior to the common cow’s milk.

She said that, compared to cow’s milk, carabao’s milk is richer and creamier; higher in fats, proteins, and milk solids; contains more calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin A and E, magnesium, and potassium; and has half the cholesterol of cow’s milk.

In support of this, Dr. Fiorello Abenes, Faculty and Institutional Development Manager of U.S. Agency for International Development Science, Technology, Research, and Innovation for Development (USAID STRIDE), said that indeed, there is a need to make high-value products out of the carabao’s milk.

The innovation workshop was organized by the USAID STRIDE following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the development of the Professional Science Masters (PSM) Program on Dairy Products Technology to be offered by the College of Home Science and Industry of Central Luzon State University (CLSU), signed by PCC, USAID STRIDE, and CLSU.

The activity aimed to bring together stakeholders from the dairy industry, concerned government agencies, and the academe to discuss some of the current challenges of the industry in the Philippines and also, to bridge the gap between the industry and the academe.


It also aimed to gather inputs from the stakeholders that will help improve the existing curriculum and the implementation of the PSM Program on Dairy Products Technology, as well as provide an opportunity to engage potential students and industry partners of the program.