PCC strengthens support to dairy farmers thru ALAB Karbawan, FLS-DBP

Entrustment of 10 dairy buffaloes took place alongside the launching of Farmer Livestock School on Dairy Buffalo Production (FLS-DBP) last November 22 at Lusong Suyo, Baclig, Cabugao, Ilocos Sur.

The said activity was part of the provincewide development project called “Accelerating Livelihood & Assets Buildup”, also known as ALAB Karbawan, of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) to support the carabao value chain stakeholders particularly carabao or water buffalo farmers.

Twenty-five farmers of the Northern Ilocos Sur Agriculture Cooperative (NISAC), which are the recipients of dairy buffaloes as well as FLS-DBP participants, were present during the activity. It was spearheaded by the staff members from the PCC national headquarters, PCC at Mariano Marcos State University (PCC@MMSU), and House of Representatives of the 1st district of Ilocos Sur.

PCC@MMSU Center Director Grace Marjorie Recta started off by providing the overview of the ALAB Karbawan project. She mentioned that the project’s goal is to create livelihood and enterprises anchored on carabao-based products, particularly milk and meat.

Also, she highlighted the project’s benefits to dairy cooperatives nationwide as she discussed the income opportunities along the dairy buffalo value chain.

Meanwhile, Florencio Malicad Jr., PCC@MMSU CBED coordinator, presented the farmer-trainees for the 34 weeks training of FLS-DBP. He mentioned that this capability enhancement strategy of PCC would help the dairy farmers to be skilled enough to handle the dairy buffaloes entrusted to them for they will learn important aspects of dairy buffalo management and production.

On the other hand, Atty. Rex Morales from the Office of the Representatives of the 1st district of Ilocos Sur expressed his full support to the project and gave words of encouragement to the participating farmers.

Dr. Caro Salces, Deputy Executive Director of PCC, also delivered a message addressed to the dairy farmers, industry partner, and stakeholders to elicit active cooperation and strong commitment toward achieving the goal. He emphasized the need of the industry to produce higher milk production in relation to the RA 11037 or “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act”. This law requires the consumption of carabao’s and cow’s milk produced by local dairy farmers to address the malnutrition of the Filipino children.

“A huge challenge to local milk production also paves the way for a greater opportunity among dairy farmers and ‘carapreneurs’”, Dr. Salces said.

With positive response and commitment, Roderick Balino, chairman of NISAC, expressed gratitude for the opportunity given to their cooperative. In his message, he looks forward to the cooperation of each member of the cooperative as a key and contribution to the success of the project in Ilocos Sur.

5th NCC highlights significant contributions of carabao as an instrument for development

The special role of the carabao in improving the lives of many farming families was accentuated in a series of plenary sessions during the Philippine Carabao Center’s (PCC) 5th National Carabao Conference (NCC) held last November 14-15 at the Central Mindanao University (CMU) Convention Center in Maramag, Bukidnon.

The impact of this important animal on the lives of farmers was substantiated by CMU President Dr. Jesus Antonio Derije in his keynote message. He said the carabao is a productive animal that contributes not only in farm works by way of its draft power but also as a profitable commodity in a business venture via its milk, meat, and other by-products such as hide and manure.

He even quoted and attested the article written by the late PCC’s editorial consultant Dr. Anselmo Roque about the carabao dairying being a booming industry. He said the carabao offers a lot of opportunities since myriads of products, such as dairy products and carabeef, can be derived from it, which command high market price and demand due to its nutritional value and good quality.

The confab, hosted by the PCC@CMU under the leadership of Dr. Lowell Paraguas and co-hosted by CMU, revolved around the theme “Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita sa Pagkakalabawan”, in support of the Department of Agriculture’s vision of a food-secure country with prosperous farmers and fisherfolks.

It aimed to gather participants, trustees, and all those who are benefitting from the dairy carabao-based industry. It served as a venue for meaningful interaction among the participants and a source of significant information, ideas, and good practices for sharing and disseminating, which is expected to inspire more to participate in the Carabao Development Program (CDP).

PCC Executive Director Dr. Arnel del Barrio gave updates on CDP, its humble beginnings, how it flourished, and how it continues to help uplift the lives of farmers.

“What we want is for farmers to have profitable and viable enterprises to achieve more abundant harvest and higher income. Eventually, these enterprises will bring forth sustainable livelihood to the farmers and Filipinos in general,” he emphasized.

Rowena Bumanlag, PCC’s Applied Communication Section Head and 5th NCC overall chairperson, considered CDP as an integrated and diversified program.

“PCC’s program is no island. It only means that carabao can be integrated in the present farming systems and its contribution is fundamental,” she said.

The participants of this learning event were provided with insights on PCC’s unrelenting efforts and initiatives to promote the carabao industry; PCC’s partnerships with the local government units in CDP implementation; and government-funded activities through the following plenary sessions: Convergence for the Milk Feeding Program, Technology and Innovation Forum, Scaling up the Carabao-based Enterprise Value Chain, and Strengthening the Provincial Livestock Extension System.

The two-day event, which featured plenary sessions pertaining to the “new thinking” in dairy management and carabao industry in general, aimed at contributing towards more abundant harvest and higher income among farmers.

Specifically, it involved topics and discussions on “Milk Feeding Program” by Ms. Laraine Villaver of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Myra Yee of the Department of Education Region X; best practices on “Artificial Insemination (AI) and Breeding” by Dr. Edwin Atabay, PCC’s Scientist I; “Forage Production and Animal Feeding” by Dr. Daniel Aquino, PCC@Central Luzon State University’s center director; and “Animal Health and Management” by Dr. Virgilio Lopez, PCC@University of Southern Mindanao’s Farm Superintendent II; “Barangay Livestock Aide” by Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, Bohol Provincial Veterinarian; and “Farmer Livestock School and School on the Air on Dairy Buffalo Production: Platforms for Increased Technology Adoption” by Dr. Eric Palacpac, PCC’s Knowledge Management Division Chief.

Meanwhile, Elena Limocon, General Manager of Lamac Multipurpose Cooperative; Nida Abellanosa of Don Carlos Bukidnon; and Francisco Alex Dani Pasion of Ilocos Sur shared their exemplary testimonies on how the dairy carabao-based business has empowered them to have a sustainable livelihood through the topics “Leading a Robust Carabao-based Value Chain”, Mainstreaming the Farmers’ Cause”, and “Privatizing Artificial Insemination Service Provision”, respectively.

Apart from the plenary sessions, a convergence meeting of dairy cooperatives was also conducted to strategize the plan on how to meet the increasing demand for milk due to the national feeding program.

“Organization and partnership are two key strategic elements to increase dairy farmers’ income and provide milk for children. To achieve this, we need to build the capacity of the co-ops to manage the dairy value chain. Our goal is to reduce importation of milk by increasing local supply through a cooperative-supported dairy industry,” Cresente Paez, Program Director of the Asian Farmers’ Association Cooperative Development, explained.

The 5th NCC also featured Knowledge Exhibition, technology demonstration, launching of PCC@CMU’s Bull Barn, Semen Processing Laboratory and ‘Bukidnon Dairy’ Processing and Marketing Outlet, ceremonial awarding of dairy buffaloes to conduit cooperatives under the Accelerating Livelihood and Assets Buildup (ALAB) Karbawan project, Knowledge Café, and milk toast with elementary schoolchildren and PCC’s mascots Kalaboy and Kalagirl.

Some 600 carabao keepers, dairy farmers, partners, entrepreneurs, local government officials and representatives from various government agencies and private organizations gathered in the two-day event.

5th NCC to underscore harvest, income in carabao production

In support of the Department of Agriculture’s vision of a food-secure country with prosperous farmers and fisherfolks, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) will hold its 5th National Carabao Conference (NCC) with the theme “Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita sa Pagkakalabawan” on November 14-15 at the Central Mindanao University (CMU) Convention Center in Maramag, Bukidnon.

The annual conference aims to gather participants, trustees, and all those who are benefitting from the dairy carabao-based industry. It serves as a venue for meaningful interaction among the participants and a source of significant information, ideas, and good practices for sharing and disseminating, which is expected to inspire more to participate in the Carabao Development Program (CDP).

This year’s confab, to be hosted by the PCC@CMU, will feature plenary sessions pertaining to the “new thinking” in dairy management and carabao industry in general, aimed at contributing towards more abundant harvest and higher income among farmers.

“We will be able to witness and experience a trailblazing event, which will comprise new vision, system, practice, policy, and technology as answers to the pressing issues and demands of people for food security,” Rowena Bumanlag, Information Officer III and Head of the Applied Communication Section of the PCC headquarters and 5th NCC overall chairperson, said.

With the advent of climate change, Bumanlag further mentioned the need to shift thinking in producing food and its pertinent practices to continuously augment production and improve its quality while cost of production is lowered and process is streamlined.

Despite these notable changes, she assured PCC’s adherence to its mission of serving smallhold Filipino farmers, which is geared toward establishing viable enterprises in rural villages for increased incomes and sources of empowerment not only of farmers and their families, but also of their communities.

The participants of this learning event will be provided with insights on PCC’s unrelenting efforts and initiatives to promote the carabao industry; PCC’s partnerships with the local government units in CDP implementation; and government-funded activities through the following topics: Convergence for the Milk Feeding Program, Technology and Innovation Forum, Scaling up the Carabao-based Enterprise Value Chain, and Strengthening the Provincial Livestock Extension System.

The speakers, reactors, and moderators for the plenary sessions will be coming from the government institutions and private sectors to encourage collective engagement and participation of all partners in the CDP, which is considered as PCC’s flagship program.

Aside from the plenary sessions, the 5th NCC will also feature Knowledge Exhibition, technology demonstration, launching of PCC@CMU’s Semen Processing Laboratory and ‘Bukidnon Dairy’ Processing and Marketing Outlet, awarding of dairy buffaloes to conduit cooperatives, Knowledge Café, and milk toast with grade schoolchildren and PCC mascots Kalaboy and Kalagirl.

Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, and Department of Agriculture Acting Secretary Dr. William Dar are expected to be present in the event as guests of honor.

Some 400 carabao keepers, dairy farmers, partners, entrepreneurs, local government officials and representatives from various government agencies and private organizations are anticipated to participate in the two-day event.