PCC, DLD of Thailand pinpoint areas of cooperation

Specific areas of cooperation have been identified by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and the Department of Livestock Development (DLD) of Thailand  and were agreed upon during the second “Technical Cooperation Meeting (TCM)” by the representatives of the two agencies last July 11-12.

These areas are on nutrition management and forage breeding, animal breeding, genomics and reproductive biotechnology, product development, and exchanges of study mission.

This event happened following the signing of the Implementing Arrangement between PCC and DLD on March 21, 2017 and the 1st TCM on June 21-24, 2017. The TCM supports the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Agricultural Cooperation between the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines signed on October 2003 in Bangkok.

Mr. Jakkapop Chansaad, DLD’s Director of Nakorn Ratchasima Artificial Insemination and Biotechnology Research Center, and Dr. Arnel del Barrio, PCC’s Executive Director, led the two teams in discussing specific areas of cooperation during the said meeting held at the PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool in the Science City of Muňoz, Nueva Ecija.

Joining them in the meeting were Andrea Paola Flores, representative of the International Affairs Division of the Department of Agriculture for Southeast Asia; Dr. Ronnie Domingo, director of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI); and other BAI officials.

“As we venture into our mandate, we also recognize the value of strategic partnership and collaboration. Thailand is one such important partner-country in this endeavor considering its many advances in livestock production and related enterprises,” Dr. del Barrio said.

He expressed his hope that “this technical cooperation meeting be an avenue for both parties to forge long-term and meaningful collaborations”.

For his part, Mr. Chansaad expressed his enthusiasm and support to the identified areas of cooperation.

The partnership’s goal is to strengthen collaboration on scientific and technical cooperation, specifically to promote, exchange [ideas] and collaborate on breeding, reproduction, nutrition management and other areas.

After several presentations of concepts, the PCC and DLD-Thailand identified their respective objectives and goals for each area of cooperation. Excerpts of the second TCM were signed by Dr. del Barrio and Mr. Chansaad.

“After the discussion, we had summed up those areas that are doable. Then we will submit this to the Secretary of Agriculture for his final approval and to the approving official of DLD,” Dr. del Barrio said.

PCC top officials joined the DLD delegates in touring the National Bull Farm and Semen Processing Laboratory in Digdig, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija on the second day of the meeting. In this facility, they were briefed about its operations and semen processing procedures.

Thereafter, they were ushered to the cryobank facility and national gene pool to visit the purebred buffaloes and later toured the Central Dairy Collection and Processing Facility. Their last stop was at the Milka Krem facilities where the carabao’s milk products, such as mozzarella cheese, bocconcini, kesong puti, pastillas, yoghurt, fresh milk, espasol de leche, rice cakes, and different flavoured milk drinks were presented to them and served for their appreciation.

Before the conclusion of the meetings, the PCC and DLD delegates motored to Manila to pay a courtesy call to other BAI officials.

PCC holds Annual R4D In-House Review

The PCC has demonstrated its research for development (R4D) efforts, as 41 completed and on-going papers were presented and evaluated during the R4D In-House Review last July 4-6 at the PCC national headquarters in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

R&D Division chief Dr. Annabelle Sarabia said the review provides a venue for researchers and scientists to engage in a meaningful discourse. Expectedly, she added, this should lead to opportunities for learning and sharing of scientific knowledge.

The studies were assessed based on the merits of technical integrity and relevance. Three external evaluators were invited namely Dr. Jose Arceo N. Bautista, Associate Professor IV at the University of the Philippines Los Baños; Dr. Fe Porciuncula, Central Luzon State University Vice President for Research, Extension and Training; and Peter James Icalia, Instructor III at the Mariano Marcos State University.

Six awards were given.

The study on the “Development of Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Assay-Based Test Kit for the Detection/Screening for Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis Virus (CAEV)” was awarded “Best Paper” for completed research. It was conducted by Dr. Daryl Dela Cruz, Dr. Joram Gautane, Dr. Michelle Balbin and Dr. Claro Mingala.

Dr. Jesus Rommel Herrera bagged the “Best Paper for Completed Research-Student Thesis” for his dissertation titled “Genome-wide association study for milk traits in Philippine dairy buffaloes”.

Dr. Daniel Aquino was named “Best Presenter” for the study on the “Nutritive Value, Digestibility and Performance of Buffaloes using Banana By-Products and Water Lily as Alternative Feed Sources”.

Special recognitions were accorded to the Animal Breeding and Genomics Section for “Most Number of Presentations” (9 studies) and “Most Number of On-going Researches Presented” (7 studies). On the other hand, PCC at Ubay Stock Farm was recognized for “Most Number of Approved Research Proposals for the Year 2017”.

The researches reviewed were categorized according to the R4D Agenda’s Thematic Fields namely Product Development, Socio-Economic Dimensions of Carabao Development Program Implementation, Production Management System, Genetic Improvement-Animal Genomics or Genetic Diversity and Cryopreservation, Genetic Improvement-Reproductive and Cryopreservation Techniques, and Biosafety.

PCC’s new Deputy Executive Director reveals plans, directions

Dr. Caro Salces, former center director of the Philippine Carabao Center at Ubay Stock Farm (PCC@USF) in Bohol, has been named deputy executive director of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC). His appointment papers were signed by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

Dr. Salces, who brings with him splendid performance as chief of the PCC@USF that oversees PCC’s operations in Cebu and Bohol, bared that his initial focus would be on improving the reproductive efficiencies specifically calving interval of buffaloes to significantly contribute to the development of carabao industry.

He said he is fully supportive of all the programs and initiative of his immediate boss at PCC, executive director Dr. Arnel del Barrio and would work with him closely.

“PCC has been successful in its genetic improvement program and enterprise development for the past 25 years providing additional income to the farmers and players in the carabao commodity value chain,” he averred. “We will definitely strengthen our ties with these stakeholders to sustain and enhance the gains,” he added.

According to him, the problem is the declining population of buffaloes due to low reproductive efficiencies and to slaughter rates, which overrun birth rates.

He said this is one of the areas that PCC would work on closely to meet the problem squarely.

“Operational research and research for development must work hand in hand,” he added.

Dr. Salces took his oath of office last July 9 before Secretary Piñol at the DA. He succeeded Dr. Felomino Mamuad, who took his compulsory retirement last November.

As deputy executive director, one of his main functions is to oversee the regional centers’ operations and guide them towards achieving their major final outputs to contribute to the development of carabao-based enterprises.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Salces was the center director of PCC@USF since 1994 and one of the pioneers during PCRDC (a precursor of PCC) years. He became the “most outstanding center director of PCC” in 2016.

Under his leadership, he helped turn the PCC@USF as the “Best Performing Center” in 2015 and “Outstanding Regional Center” in 2018. The center was issued ISO certification in 2012 and has thus served as a driving force towards the envisaged transformation of the Province of Bohol, as the “Dairy Capital of the Philippines”.

It was also under his leadership that the center was successfully transformed into self-liquidating farm and enterprise operation with milk production in the area of coverage from zero to 1000 liters milk yield per day with annual sales of Php36 million in four Dairy Box outlets.

As a researcher, he has conducted more than 20 studies in agriculture and as a life member of the Philippine Society of Animal Science (PSAS), he authored or co-authored six best paper awards from 1987 to present. He also received the “Gawad Saka Award” of the Department of Agriculture for applied research in 2000-2001.

Dr. Salces finished his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Education at the Bohol Agricultural College in 1983 with cum laude honors. Seven years later, he earned his Master’s Degree in Animal Science at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. In 2000, he finished his degree in Doctor of Philosophy in the same field also at UPLB.

He is married to Agapita O. Jandayan, who is a professor of Animal Breeding at UPLB. They are blessed with five children: Faye Yvonne, Cary Yrvin, Mariale Yasmin, Christian Ysrael, and Angelo Yzmael.