Kneeling carabao wows crowd in 1st-Farmers’, Fisherfolk’s Day in Anda

They cheered, they clapped, they wolf-whistled as Luisa showed off her special talent. The event was the first ever farmers’ and fisherfolk’s day held in Anda, Pangasinan last December 14.

Upon signals from her caretaker, Willy Castro, 64, of brgy. Macaleeng, she knelt while her back feet stumped the ground in cadence with the beat of the background music.

Not only that, she posed with gusto like a pro in front of the camera.

Luisa is a native carabao.

“It takes a lot of patience to teach a carabao how to kneel, lie down, and sit. The caretaker must be passionate in teaching and goading for his animal to do those things,” Willy said in Filipino.

Willy named the carabao “Luisa” after his granddaughter because of her docility and domesticity –the same demeanors his granddaughter manifests.

According to him, Luisa was only four years old when he started to teach her how to kneel and lie down.

He has been taking care of Luisa for 14 years now, which already had six parities.

“I kept on asking and telling her to lie down by slowly pulling and moving her leash. She learned in two days how to lie down and another two days how to kneel,” he shared.

Willy is fond of teaching animals and treat them like growing up kids. He said that he even taught his goat, dog, and cow how to pull a cart.

Luisa is owned by Milagros Arig. She herself was in awe as she didn’t expect that her carabao could show off such talents.

“When the emcee said it’s time for the talent show of carabaos, I was shocked and at the same time amazed when Luisa entered and began flaunting her kneeling ability and beauty by striking a pose in front of the camera. That was the first time I saw her doing those in front of many people,” Milagros said.

No other carabao in the event dared to compete with Luisa in the talent show.

The event, dubbed as the “Awron Magtatalon Tan Mangnguna 2017 (Day of Farmers and Fisherfolk)”, was a day of thanksgiving for the bounties of the land and sea. It featured varied abundances of Anda, Pangasinan such as vegetables, fish, rice, carabaos and others.

Other activities of the event which starred the carabaos included contests for carabao painting, best-dressed carabao, best in talent, biggest, and heaviest carabao based on their body conformation. Eight competed in the events.

Luisa, obviously, was the runaway winner in the “best in talent” award category and second place for the best-dressed carabao and fourth for best-painted carabao categories.

“Marian”, a crossbred carabao owned by Jimy Cacho of brgy. Sablig, won the best-dressed award.

Meanwhile, a crossbred carabao owned by Renato Celso and tended by Bartolome Cacho of brgy. Macando-candong won several awards in the painted carabao, biggest, and heaviest female carabao categories. For the biggest and heaviest male carabao, a crossbred owned by Ernesto Carlit and tended by Boy Caniedo won the award.

Crossbreds in Anda are being used mainly for draft purposes but the municipality also supports the dairy program of the Philippine Carabao Center at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (PCC@DMMMSU).

Mayor Aldrin Cerdan, on the other hand, underscored the executive order declaring the second week of December of every year as farmers’ and fishermen’s day or week.

“It is indeed a must that we express our gratitude to our farmers and fishermen who work hard just to produce our staple food. If not because of them, we wouldn’t be able to eat nutritious meals. When it comes to our livestock and farming industry, as a veterinarian by profession, I fully support the farmers and raisers,” Mayor Cerdan said.

Meanwhile, Municipal Agriculturist Elizabeth Tomas bared noteworthy plans after this event.

“This event will be implemented yearly. The Sangguniang Bayan is already drafting an ordinance on this to give emphasis on the carabao industry because we need to maintain and improve our carabao population,” she said.

She added that through this event, they expect to appreciate more the carabao as an essential part of the farming industry in Anda.

“The farmers will be more open to the initiatives of PCC@DMMMSU and LGU when it comes to carabao upgrading program. Rest assured that our LGU will be supportive of any carabao-related activities,” she concluded.

Value chain importance in carabao industry cited in PCC’s 3rd National Carabao Conference

Value chain analysis (VCA) of the carabao industry is crucial to understand relationships, different key players, markets, opportunities, as well as the constraints in the production and competitiveness of small-hold farmers.

This was emphasized by Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio, executive director of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), in his industry report during the Third National Carabao Conference held last November 27-28. The confab was held at the national headquarters of PCC in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

He said that in the past two years, the value chain of carabao and carabao-based products was analyzed with assistance from the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).

“Sometimes, we only focus on producing milk. We don’t usually pay much attention on the consumers, suppliers of feeds and antibiotics and drugs. But in the value chain, we are all considered important players and contributors to the value of products, thus, we need to converge and reconcile,” he elucidated.

He added that the value chain in the carabao and carabao-based products encompasses different phases such as production, processing, and delivery thru market-focused collaboration among different stakeholders who produce and market value-added products.

He said that those involved are the players in input provision, carabao growing or milk production, collection or storage, processing, and trading or marketing.

“Through the analyzed value chain, we can determine those areas that need further investments, funds, and specific measures for improvement. The ultimate goal is to increase the income of the carabao farmers and enhance the growth of the dairy and meat industries,” he averred.

Other highlights of the PCC’s accomplishments, according to Dr. del Barrio, included the creation of partnerships with government and non-government organizations/agencies to address poverty of the farmers and malnutrition of the children, creation of sustainable markets, provision of credit window for carabao-based enterprise development (CBED), institutionalization of training program thru the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), launching of International Confab on CBED, and a number of promotional and educational strategies to promote the agency’s program and services.

“As of now, we’ve already launched three Dairy Boxes, one in Luzon and two in Visayas. If God will bless us, we target to launch and open 21 Dairy Boxes next year to create sustainable markets of our products. If farmers have a ready market, they will be inspired and motivated to milk their carabaos and contribute more to the dairy industry,” Dr. del Barrio said.

The event was attended by at least 500 farmers and other stakeholders in the carabao-based industry.

Also part of the event was the convergence meeting of partner-stakeholders in the industry, and simultaneous signing of the partners, farmers and other stakeholders on a commitment board to support the carabao industry.

During the opening program, the mechanics of the launching of the “Gintong Kalabaw Cup” were presented via an infographic video presentation.

The winners of the search for “Gintong Kalabaw Cup”, “Modelong Juana sa Kalabawan”, “Modelong Kabataan sa Kalabawan”, “Outstanding Dairy Buffalo”, “Best Dairy Cooperative Category”, and “Outstanding Dairy Buffalo Farmers” for the smallhold, family module, and semi-commercial categories, were eventually announced and appropriately honored on the first day of the event.

Unspeaking ‘Leonora’ gets accolade in PCC National Carabao Conference

She was 30 kilometers away, unaware of the explosion of accolades by at least 500 farmers and other stakeholders gathered at the Philippine Carabao Center National Headquarters and Gene Pool in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija on November 27.

But thru photos and written description about her, the audience got to regard her, who answers by the name “Leonora”, very highly.

She is a dairy buffalo of Brazilian breed, with milk yields of up to 18 liters a day or a total of 3,364.5 liters in a ten-month lactation period, and provided an income of Php149,670 to her owner Rogelio Marquez, 44, of San Andres 1, Quezon, Nueva Ecija.

“Leonora”, the name (meaning Light in many languages) Marquez gave her in appreciation of her “beauty” and “domesticity”, gave birth to a female calf on November 30, 2016 in her fourth calving. Even in her dry months of lactation, her milk yield never went below 10 liters daily.

The ex-farm price of carabao’s milk in Marquez’ area is Php45 per liter. Elsewhere, though, it goes up to Php60 to Php80 per liter in raw form.

Aside from her milk yield, “Leonora” was judged for her body conformation (symmetry, size and shape) which is ideal for a milking carabao.

Marquez received from DA assistant secretary Enrico Garzon Jr. and Dr. Arnel del Barrio, executive director of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), the “Gintong Kalabaw Cup” and a cash award.

He is set, with his cash award, to improve further his carabao management practices, to retain in temporary keeping the trophy.

Del Barrio said the giving of award for the outstanding carabao, alongside other awards for carabao dairying, was to highlight the achievements in carabao development in the 3rd National Carabao Conference of PCC (Nov. 27-28). The conference provided avenues for exchange of ideas, information, practices and technologies in further improving the carabao development program, particularly the carabao-based industry, in the country.

The “Outstanding Dairy Buffalo Farmer” awardees were Henry Orbino of Calinog, Iloilo (smallhold category), Victoriano Dumale of Licaong, Science City of Muñoz (family module category), and Samuel Mercader of San Jose City (semi-commercial category).

Meanwhile, Emily Velasco of Villa Joson, San Jose City was awarded the “Modelong Juana sa Kalabawan” (model woman in carabao dairying) while Patrick Pascual of Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija was awarded the “Modelong Kabataan sa Kalabawan” honors. Finally, for the third consecutive time, the Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative of San Jose City was bestowed the “best dairy cooperative” title.

The Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative has 432 dairy carabaos in the hands of 60 members and had combined milk harvest of 145,099.65 liters from 91 lactating carabaos in one year (Php7,254,982.50 at Php50 per liter). It also runs its own milk processing plant and marketing outlet.

Dumale and his family earned Php70,000 a month from their five dairy carabaos while Orbino grossed Php354,314.80 from the milk yield of his two carabaos. Mercader, who started raising a dairy carabao in 2000, has 32 carabaos of which 14 are mature females, one a senior bull, four are heifer, and nine are calves. He earned more than enough to finance the education of four daughters, two of whom had graduated from their respective collegiate courses, acquired agricultural lands, house and lot, vehicles, farm equipment, and appliances.

PCC at CSU director recognized in Int’l confab

Director Franklin Rellin of the Philippine Carabao Center at Cagayan State University (PCC@CSU) was adjudged “Best Presenter” during the 4th International Conference on Rural Development and Entrepreneurship (ICORE) held at Kedah, Malaysia on November 30-December 2, 2017.

Dir. Rellin presented a paper titled “Socio-economic status, interests, strengths, weakness and influence of crossbred carabao-based enterprise development stakeholders in San Agustin, Isabela” during the conference, which was participated in by some 120 participants from China, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

This study was part of the project titled “Enhancing Milk Production of Water Buffaloes through Science and Technology Interventions” being supervised by Dr. Annabelle Sarabia, chief of PCC’s Research and Development Division.

The implementation of the said project is made possible through a partnership between the PCC and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).