PCC bags NRCP ‘Outstanding Institution Award’

The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) was bestowed the “2018 Outstanding Institution Award” under Cluster IV (Divisions of Biological Sciences, Agriculture and Forestry, and Veterinary Medicine) by the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) during its Annual Scientific Conference and 86th General Membership Assembly on March 11, 2019 at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City.

The award is given annually by the NRCP to institutions that have supported and contributed to the growth and development of basic sciences, humanities, and arts in the Philippines.

A body of scientists and researchers under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the NRCP is mandated to promote and support fundamental research for continuing improvement of research capability of individual or group scientists; foster linkages with local and international scientific organizations for enhanced cooperation in the development and sharing of scientific information; provide advice on problems and issues of national interest; and promotion of scientific and technological culture to all sectors of society.

The PCC received the “Outstanding Institution Award” in recognition of its significant institutional accomplishments in science, research capacity-building, contributions to the nation and groundbreaking researches consistently developed for the benefit of the carabao industry’s and value-chain stakeholders, foremost of which are the smallholder farmers through noteworthy contributions to improved milk and meat production, livelihoods, income, and nutrition.

Among the notable accomplishments of PCC include the establishment of gene pools that serve as sustainable source of genetically superior animals or germplasm for its breeding program, and the state-of-the-art biotechnology research facilities managed by highly trained researchers.

The PCC was evaluated based on various criteria such as Scientific and Technical Publications or Inventions (i.e. refereed journal articles, scientific books, manuals, monographs and handbooks and/or patents/utility models/industrial designs/copyrights/certificate of registration); External Linkages and Extension Services, including Support to Policy Formulation; Research/Service Awards and Recognitions Received; and Number of students (undergraduate and/or graduate) graduated/trained or number of Fellows mentored and persons trained.

The PCC, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, was created by virtue of Republic Act 7307 in 1992 and became operational in 1993. As the leading livestock R&D institution in the country, PCC is mandated to conserve, propagate, and promote the carabao as a source of milk, meat, draft power and hide to benefit the rural farmers.

Upcoming PCC 26th Anniversary to underscore successes in ‘carapreneurship’

More than 300 attendees are expected to join the five-day anniversary festivities of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) on March 25 to 29. The theme of the celebration is “Empowering ‘Carapreneurs’: Our Purpose in Focus”.

All the activities related to the celebration which marks the 26th founding anniversary of the agency will be held at the PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

The term “carapreneurs” refers to carabao raisers turned carabao entrepreneurs.

“PCC is now focused on empowering our farmers in carabao-based communities through continuous development and assistance to related enterprises. Our purpose is not just to usher our clients to succeed in their business but to help them carry on what they have so far established as their own,” said Rowena Bumanlag, anniversary overall chair and the head of the Applied Communication Section of the Knowledge Management Division.

Bumanlag added that the PCC’s Carabao Development Program (CDP) implementation is ardent toward a sustainable carabao-based livelihood that aims to gradually empower farmers.

Among the PCC’s clients, 25 faces of success in carapreneurship were chosen to be featured in a video presentation and coffee table book. These include farmers, cooperatives and other past awardees of PCC who either exemplified remarkable entrepreneurial spirit or can demonstrate the tangible benefits of being participants in the national CDP.

During a program on March 27, outstanding farmers and employees of PCC will also be recognized.

The following awards will be given to : “Outstanding Dairy Buffalo Farmer”, “Outstanding Juana sa Pagkakalabawan”, “Outstanding Kabataan sa Pagkakalabawan”, “Gintong Kalabaw Cup”, “Outstanding Dairy Buffalo Cooperative”, and a special award for private individual farmer.

To highlight this year’s anniversary celebration, a keynote address shall be delivered by Dr. Segfredo Serrano, Department of Agriculture’s Undersecretary for Policy and Planning.

Serrano, a staunch advocate of the PCC, is an outstanding extensionist who is credited for the establishment of the Task Force on World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Agriculture (Re)negotiations (TF-WAR), a multi-sectoral group. The initiative is meant to better the negotiation between agriculture stakeholders in the government and private sectors.

Another highlight of the weeklong celebration is the “Farmer’s Field Day cum Technology Showcase” that will exhibit a complete industry value-chain of technologies and best practices for the appreciation of the public and farmer-clients.

Other activities lined up for the upcoming anniversary are the Pre-Inhouse R&D review, Knowledge Café, PCC Employees Association General Assembly and Election of New Officers, Carabao Value Chain Analysis Players Consultation Workshop, Employees’ Night, “Karwanan”, Training-Workshop for PCC Regional Information Officers (RIOs): Strengthening Reportage of Regional CDP Highlights, HR Transformational Seminar, and Sports Day.

PCC ensures Carapreneurs’ engagement in RA 11037 implementation

“In every challenge comes great opportunity” is a saying that holds true even in the country’s problem on malnutrition. To help alleviate undernutrition among daycare and elementary school children, the country is requiring about 605,000 liters of milk a day. This was based on the series of consultation with the agencies involved in the crafting of RA 11037 Implementing Rules and Regulation.

RA 11037, otherwise known as “Masustansiyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act”, was signed by President Duterte on June 20, 2018 to establish a National Feeding Program by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Education (DepEd) in coordination with various agencies including the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), National Dairy Authority (NDA), and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

The Milk Feeding Program component, in particular, promotes the utilization of locally-produced fresh milk and fresh milk-based products in addition to the fortified meals that will be provided to children for at least 120 days. Thus, the implementation of RA 11037 not only serves as a solution to address undernutrition but as a livelihood opportunity for “carapreneurs (carabao entrepreneurs)” as well.

Carapreneurs, however, need to produce more and to comply with certain standards so they can qualify as suppliers of fresh milk and fresh milk-based products for the program. The PCC recognizes these concerns, and, therefore, continuously designs activities to prepare stakeholders in their engagement in the program implementation. The first set of activities was conducted on February 17-22, 2019 at the PCC National Headquarters, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, which was participated in by milk processors and PCC frontliners – the CBED (carabao-based enterprise development) Coordinators.

Representatives from 10 dairy cooperatives/associations and a partner-university actively attended the orientation and workshop on electronic license to operate (eLTO) application, as spearheaded by Ms. Mina Abella, head of Carabao Enterprise Section, in partnership with the Food and Drug Administration- Region 3.

During the workshop, the participants learned the actual process of requesting for eLTO user account and password, and of preparing the required documents for electronic submission to FDA.

The activity output was very promising: Bantog Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative was able to prepare the required documents for application; Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative was able to upload the required documents; Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Rosario Dairy Cooperative, Magdalena Agriculture Cooperative and Mindoro Dairy Cooperative had already requested for their user account; Mapiña Farmer Irrigators Association and Leon Confed Farmers Cooperative was in the process of preparing their documents; Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative was advised to follow-up the results of their first audit with FDA; San Agustin Dairy Cooperative was in the process of preparing for the final inspection; and the Cebu Technological University was in the process of preparing the required documents and in requesting for their user account. Once these organized farmers’ groups have secured their license from FDA, the NDA can accredit them as supplier of milk for the Milk Feeding Program.

The CBED Coordinators, on the other hand, attended the “Farm Business Performance Updates and Sharing” session facilitated by the PCC’s Business Development and Commercialization Unit to share their experiences in collecting and managing their carapreneurs’ enterprise data using the intensified research-based enterprise build-up (iREB) Client Dashboard. The activity also aimed to capacitate the coordinators in delivering the necessary assistance that will help improve the carapreneurs’ business performance every year. A sustained positive return on investment (ROI) in particular is a good indication that the carapreneur is indeed earning from the carabao-based business and is effective in marketing their produce such as milk and meat. A positive ROI will also help boost the carapreneurs’ confidence in expanding their dairy business or in motivating other farmers to engage in dairy business which will eventually lead to more milk production.

Enhancement of CBED Database was also introduced among the coordinators to ensure that the reproductive performance of carabaos owned by the carapreneurs are monitored and analyzed. There would be no milk output unless the female carabaos would get pregnant and produce calves. It is, therefore, necessary to have an updated data on breeding as a basis in making effective and timely decision to maintain productive animals, cull unproductive animals, and to provide appropriate production support services. The enhanced database, when updated and monitored regularly, can help reduce the calving interval and would result in increased calf and milk production.

The PCC’s activities and strategies will continually focus on improving and sustaining the business of carapreneurs so they can actively participate in development programs like the National Feeding Program. The LTO application and business performance analysis are just part and parcel of many other “big steps” where PCC and carapreneurs can work hand in hand.