Challenges, opportunities in carabao-based enterprise development underscored in Int’l confab

Challenges faced by the public and private sectors engaged in enterprises anchored on the carabao industry in some Asian countries, including the Philippines, and opportunities out of these challenges were discussed in an International Conference on Carabao-based Enterprise Development (CBED) held at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) National Headquarters and Gene Pool in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija on October 26-27.

“The objectives of this event are to share scientific and technological knowledge and best practices, and to explore beneficial partnerships and collaborations,” Dr. Arnel del Barrio, executive director of the PCC, said.



Dr. Flordeliza Lantican, Project Leader of the CBED Value Chain Analysis (VCA) in the Philippines and one of the plenary speakers, suggested [basing on the VCA] that there is a need for strategic partnerships between government and private agencies to hasten the development of the industry.

“You [PCC] already have strong cooperatives. Now, you need to partner with DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and DOST (Department of Science and Technology) to improve the quality of your product if you want to penetrate the market,” she said.

She added that there is a need to increase the knowledge of the cooperatives in marketing quality milk.

Senator Cynthia Villar, in her keynote speech read by her representative and Chief-of-Staff, Atty. Rheagee Tamaña, also emphasized the need to train smallholder farmers in agribusiness and entrepreneurship.

On the other hand, del Barrio emphasized the need to partner with other countries as well, because according to him, “it is difficult to develop the [carabao] industry without [foreign and local] partners.”

“The road to dairy development is rough, but with the partners from India, Laos, Thailand and the Philippines, it will become easier for us,” he said.

He added that since India is the largest milk-producing country in the world, the Philippines needs their knowledge and expertise.


India’s dairy industry

Three of the ten speakers in the conference are from India. They are Mr. Sriram Singh, executive director of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Dairy Services; Dr. Avnish Kumar, Principal Scientist of the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR); and Mr. Sagi Ram Mohan Rao, Chief Operations Officer of the Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt., Ltd.

Singh tackled the key strategies employed by the NDDB to increase their country’s milk production. He shared that India’s production was scant during the 1950’s to 1960’s. It gradually increased in the 1970’s to 1990’s; and it skyrocketed in 2015-2016.

He shared that “linking the production center to the market in an efficient manner, setting up facilities in strategic locations, year round remunerative market for milk producers, timely and reliable services (e.g. animal feedstuff, Artificial Insemination facility, animal health care), creating institutions owned, managed, and controlled by the producers themselves (e.g. cooperatives),” helped in the rapid development of the industry in India.

Dr. Kumar, on the other hand, discussed Information Technology application in animal production, specifically in animal genetic resources inventory, data processing system for field survey of breeds, databases on animal genetic resources, and use of geographic information system.

He said that the benefits from the animal recording system are decision support for efficient farm management, genetic improvement of animals, disease management, among others.

Susie Martin, CEO and Director of Sales and Marketing of Laos Buffalo Dairy, and Charinee Chaiyochlarb of Murrah Farm in Thailand, also shared their respective experiences in marketing carabao milk products, along with problems encountered and strategies employed.

Other speakers are Dr. Libertado C. Cruz, former PCC Executive Director and Technical Adviser discussing the Philippine experience in CBED; Mr. Juan Miguel Mercado, owner of Mr. Moo’s Milk Planet Co., and Mr. Danilo V. Fausto, owner of DVF Dairy Farm, Inc., for the Philippine private sector perspective; and Dr. Eric P. Palacpac, chairperson of PCC’s Knowledge Management Division, on the Science of Delivery, which proposed a model or framework for a more effective delivery system in CBED.

The two-day event was organized by SEARCA in partnership with PCC, and was attended by about 200 farmers, entrepreneurs, government agencies, researchers, and scientists.

PCC researchers haul awards in PSAS 54th scientific seminar and annual convention

The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) romped off various awards during the Philippine Society of Animal Science (PSAS) 54th Scientific Seminar and Annual Convention held at Bayfront Hotel Cebu, Cebu City last October 18-21.

Dr. Arnel N. del Barrio, PCC-Executive Director, received the 2017 PSAS Distinguished Fellow, which is the highest award being bestowed by the PSAS, while Dr. Gundolino P. Bajenting of the PCC at Ubay Stock Farm was handed the 2017 PSAS-Advira Trading Corporation award as an Outstanding Farm Manager.

Other PCC personnel were bestowed top awards during the event for their oral and scientific poster presentations.

The “Best Scientific Oral Presentation for the Breeding and Genetics” award was given to Alexander M. Paraguas with the topic “Morphological and phylogenetic analysis as tools for conservation and management of swamp buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) in Calayan Island”. The other authors of the study were Therese Patricka C. Cailipan, Ester B. Flores, and Lilian P. Villamor.

The “Best Scientific Oral Presentation for the Biotechnology-Reproduction Award” was given to Excel Rio S. Maylem for the study “Thermotolerance identification in water buffalo using heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and its effect to semen quality in varying environmental conditions”. Her co-authors were Shanemae M. Rivera, Eufrocina P. Atabay, Edwin C. Atabay, and Emma V. Venturina.

The “Best Scientific Poster Presentation” was awarded to Alfred D. Sayson, Efurocina P. Atabay, Ma. Elizabeth C. Leoveras, Edwin C. Atabay, and Excel Rio S. Maylem for their poster titled “Defining the culture medium for the production of cattle embryos (Bos Taurus) for cryopreservation by vitrication method”.

In the election for the governing council members and PSAS chapter officers for 2018, PCC’s Dr. Ester B. Flores of the Animal Genomics and Bioinformatics Unit was elected vice president (and automatic incoming president after next year’s convention).

The participation of 82 PCC researchers during the PSAS provided them opportunities to present the current researches on buffaloes and other livestock and paved the way to inspire them to fulfill the vision of the agency to be the premiere livestock researcher institute in the country.

The theme of the scientific seminar and convention was “Animal Productivity and Food Safety: Enhancing Safe and Healthy Animal-Based Products”.

PCC’s research on techno-adoption bags 2017 PhilEASNet Outstanding Research Paper on Extension award

The Philippine Carabao Center’s (PCC) research paper titled “Adoption of Buffalo-Based Technologies in the Impact Zones: Implications to Philippine Carabao Center’s Extension Program” was adjudged the “2017 Philippine Extension and Advisory Services Network (PhilEASNet) Outstanding Research Paper on Extension” by PhilEASNet, Inc.

The awarding rites were held during the PhilEASNet’s 2017 National Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Natural Resources (AFFNR) symposium at the Crown Legacy Hotel in Baguio City on October 3-4, 2017.

Dr. Eric P. Palacpac, PCC’s Information Officer V, who led the team that conducted the study, was also given the “Best Paper Presentation Award in the Extension Modality Research Category”.

The other members of the research team include Erwin Valiente, Rovelyn Jacang, and Ma. Teresa M. Manito.

Thirty-six research papers on extension were submitted for preliminary screening. The officers and members of the PhilEASNet, Inc. selected 10 papers for external panel review.  Four of these selected papers qualified for the final perusal.

“Gratefully, our paper was chosen as the winning entry,” Dr. Palacpac said.

The winning paper sought to analyze the uptake of PCC-recommended technologies on buffalo dairying by farmer-clients in the National and Regional Impact Zones using sigma scoring method for adoption.

The symposium, with the theme: “Strengthening the Philippine AFFNR Extension for Rural Transformation in a Globalized Era,” aimed to update and engage the extension professionals and practitioners in the discourse of the current issues and initiatives affecting practice of extension in the country.

In order to generate a productive exchange of new ideas and best extension practices, the symposium showcased both plenary and four parallel sessions namely: extension governance, capacity building, extension modalities, and capacity building and extension modalities. Each parallel session has eight oral paper presentations.

The symposium also highlighted the election of PhilEASNet’s, Inc. new set of officers wherein Dr. Palacpac was elected as a member of the Board of Directors who will serve from 2018 to 2020.

More than 1,000 participants, from across the country, attended the two-day symposium. They were composed of farmers, extension practitioners and professionals from local government units, provincial offices, State Universities and Colleges, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Agricultural Training Institute, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, and Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, among others.

PhilEASNet, Inc. is a national organization of extension professionals and practitioners which serves as a partner advocate in creating avenues for the continuing development of a cadre of morally responsible, competent, dedicated and self-directed experts in the pursuit of advancing theory and practice of extension.

21 attend two-week training for CDP strengthening via networking

Twenty-one participants consisting of farmers, Local Government Unit officials, and staff from three centers of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) underwent a training-workshop for facilitators under the Farmer’s Livestock School on Dairy Buffalo Production (FLS-DBP) project.
The training-workshop, conducted last September 20 – October 2, 2017 at the PCC headquarters in the Science City of Muñoz, was aimed at enhancing the Carabao Development Program (CDP) and at the same time strengthen collaboration among capabilities of key stakeholders of PCC, LGUs and farmer-clients.
The FLS-DBP project, which has already conducted two facilitators’ training-workshops in the past, adapts a platform for trainers and participants to learn interactively by exchanging ideas and breaking the teacher-student barrier.
The participants are equipped with knowledge and skills on facilitation and technical aspects of dairy buffalo production through series of lectures with actual demonstration, workshops, field exposure and hands-on activities supervised by FLS-DBP module developers from PCC and PCAARRD.
The trainees went through six training courses covering 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.
Dr. Eric P. Palacpac, Information Officer V and Project Leader of FLS-DBP project, congratulated the trainees during their closing ceremony saying “… it is just the start of a greater challenge as by the following year, you are expected to conduct and impart the knowledge gained from more than two weeks of intensive training to at least 125 farmers from five respective communities in Laguna, Cagayan, Iloilo and Capiz, Bohol and Cebu”.
Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio, PCC executive director, in his inspirational message imparted what he envisions to be the impact of the FLS on the carabao industry. He emphasized the importance of linkages among the facilitators to maintain partnership and commitment to achieve the goals of the CDP in every community.
Dr. Annabelle B. Sarabia, Chief of the PCC Research and Development Division, expressed her full support to participants who composed the third batch of FLS-DBP facilitators.
The training-workshop was organized by the PCC’s Knowledge Management Division under Dr. Palacpac. His staff members, Ms. Rovelyn T. Jacang and Erwin M. Valiente, served as facilitators.