DA-PCC, KOICA, HKNU collaborate to improve PH dairy farmers’ lives

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Hankyong National University (HKNU) recently started its collaborative project titled, “Improving Income Generation of Farmers through the Enhancement of the Value Chain Capacity from Milk Production to Sales”.

According to Dr. In-Sik Nam, project manager, the collaboration aims to achieve the following: (1) improving productivity of dairy buffaloes and quality of dairy products, (2) activating high quality milk production technology, (3) expanding high quality hygiene and safety dairy product processing technology, (4) strengthening value chain capacity in the dairy sector, and (5) training of farmers to improve the quality of local dairy farmers’ life in the Philippines.

KOICA-volunteer and Public Relations (PR) and Information Technology (IT) head leader EunGyeom Ahn, meanwhile, said that some 20 smallhold farms that are yet to be identified by the DA-PCC and KOICA will be the project beneficiaries.

“We also divided ourselves into four teams to ensure the smooth implementation of the project. The teams are the following: (1) dairy production, (2) milk processing, (3) milk hygiene and safety, and (4) PR and IT,” EunGyeom Ahn said.

The KOICA team is composed of 15 Korean volunteers and one field manager.

DA-PCC Executive Director Dr. Arnel Del Barrio said that for DA-PCC’s part, full support and assistance will be accorded to the KOICA volunteers to include sharing of database related to dairy production and management, providing an office space for the KOICA volunteers, and designating personnel who will directly assist the volunteers all throughout the duration of the project.

“This project is in support of the national dairy program and is aligned with DA’s goal of augmenting farmers’ yield and income,” he added.

The project will run for 18 months.

Bataan farmers get additional dairy buffaloes from DA-PCC@CLSU

At least 14 farmer-members of Tapulao Multipurpose Cooperative (TMC) in Orani, Bataan received additional 25 head of dairy buffaloes from the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at Central Luzon State University (DA-PCC@CLSU) last February 14.

The said cooperative first received a total of 15 dairy buffaloes from DA-PCC@CLSU last November 20. All of the dairy buffaloes entrusted to them were part of the ALAB-Karbawan project of the DA-PCC, according to DA-PCC@CLSU center director Dr. Daniel Aquino.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Aquino explained the rationale of the ALAB-Karbawan project:

“The word ‘ALAB’ in ‘ALAB-Karbawan’ is an acronym meaning Accelerating Livelihood Assets Buildup. It is a Php185M project that is currently being spearheaded by the DA-PCC to ensure the sustainable establishment of a Carabao-based Business Improvement Network (CBIN) in 16 provinces in the Philippines,” he explained.

“Senator Cynthia Villar sponsored this project,” he added.

ALAB-Karbawan also supports the main goal of the government to increase the local milk production in the country.

“The total milk production in the Philippines right now is about 24M liters a year while our total milk production requirement is around 1.764B liters. There is a huge difference between these two facts that is why Senator Villar allotted budget for this project so that our country’s milk production would significantly increase and many farmers would benefit from it,” he explained.

Bataan province, meanwhile, was among the select pilot areas of the ALAB-Karbawan. Other select provinces were: Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Albay, Palawan, Negros Oriental, Antique, Davao Del Sur, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, South Cotabato, North Cotabato, and Misamis Oriental.

“In Bataan, we selected farmers from the towns of Orani and Dinalupihan to be the beneficiaries of the project. Aside from the entrustment of dairy buffaloes, other supports such us free technical trainings on dairy buffalo production and management; milk processing; and two processing plants will be provided and established in this province, respectively,” Dr. Aquino happily said.

“More so, we will assign a person here whom you can immediately consult with if you encounter any problems in dairy buffalo production and management,” he added.

In his welcome remarks, Municipal Agriculturist Arturo Matias expressed his support to the program and technologies of PCC.

Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Albert Venturina, meanwhile, encouraged the farmer-members of TMC to take care of the buffaloes. In his message, he said: “We are very lucky here in Bataan because you have chosen us as one of the pilot areas of ALAB-Karbawan project.”

The attendees of the activity were the farmer-members of TMC, staff and employees of the local government of Orani, Provincial Government of Bataan, Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), DA-PCC National Headquarters, and DA-PCC@CLSU.

DA-PCC network, cooperatives donate relief goods to Taal Volcano victims, evacuees

A total of 4,000 (200-ml) sachets of pasteurized fresh milk, 7 boxes of used clothes, boxes of assorted canned goods, noodles, water and toiletries (e.g., soap, shampoo, and toothpaste) amounting to an estimated price of Php120,000 were donated by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) National Headquarters, DA-PCC at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DA-PCC@DMMMSU), PCCMultiPurpose Cooperative (PCCMPC), and Bantug Samahang Nayon MultiPurpose Cooperative (BSNMPC) to the Taal Volcano victims and evacuees in Batangas province last February 7.

The recipients will be some 700 families from Balete town who are currently staying at the Paligawan Elementary School evacuation center and Jowivil Socialized Housing in the same town.

The distribution of relief goods will be spearheaded by Municipal Agriculture Officer Raymond Cueto of Balete local government unit along with his staff.

The milk, meanwhile, was already distributed to the above recipients and recipients from Padre Garcia evacuation center in Batangas, according to the donors.

The donation of relief good was an activity organized by DA-PCC National Headquarters, DA-PCC@DMMMSU, PCCMPC, and BSNMPC. Organizers are from Nueva Ecija, La Union, and Pangasinan provinces.

Del Barrio takes oath as PCC Executive Director under DA Sec. Dar’s leadership

Following his appointment to continue serving as the Executive Director III of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) last January 17, Dr. Arnel Del Barrio took his oath of office before Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar last February 3 at the DA, Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City.

His oath-taking ceremony was witnessed by the PCC’s top management staff and Dr. Del Barrio’s family.

His roles and responsibilities as the executive director include: (a) overseeing the implementation of PCC’s Carabao Development Program; (b) setting of the direction for the agency’s goals and the integrated management system policy and objectives; (c) ensuring that resources are available for the effective implementation of PCC’s integrated management system; and (d) supervising the PCC to ensure that all of its targets are achieved.

Prior to his appointment, he was first appointed by former DA Secretary Proceso Alcala in June 2014 as the new head of the said agency. He succeeded former executive director Dr. Libertado Cruz who served the PCC for some 20 years before retiring in 2014.

Dr. Del Barrio was a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, had masteral and PhD degrees in ruminant nutrition in the same institution, and a postdoctoral research certificate in animal nutrition at the Kansas State University in United States of America. His first stint at PCC started as a science research specialist under the Philippine Carabao Research and Development Center (PCRDC) project in 1983, the precursor of PCC.

After that, he became the center director of PCC at UPLB in 1997.

In 2010, under his leadership, Dr. Del Barrio and PCC at UPLB were cited as “Most Outstanding Center Director” and “Outstanding Regional Center”, respectively.

Furthermore, he served as president of the following professional organizations: Philippine Society of Animal Science in 2007 to 2008, Philippine Society of Animal Nutritionists in 2003 to 2005 and the Associations of Professionals in Livestock Production in 2000 to 2001.

He was also awarded the “2000 Outstanding Young Scientist” by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) for his significant contributions to science and technology and was conferred the title Scientist I under the Scientific Career System on June 30, 2014 due to his professional expertise and credibility as an animal nutritionist and a technical specialist.

Photo Contest

Ready, set, shoot! (Attention to all PHOTO ENTHUSIASTS)

Join the DA-PCC’s Photo Contest for National Women’s Month 2020 and win as much as Php20,000!


• Theme
Photos must capture the essential and active role being played by women in the carabao-based enterprise development and the “Ani at Kita” tagline of the Department of Agriculture

• Contest Duration
PCC will accept entries from February 14 to March 15, 2020

• Who can join?
The contest is open to all amateur Filipino photo enthusiasts. Employees of PCC including their relatives up to second degree of affinity or consanguinity are not qualified to join the contest.

• Submission of Entries:
1. Each participant is allowed to submit a maximum of two entries only.
2. Participants must submit photos to pccgadteam@gmail.com
3. PCC will only accept entries submitted via email. Those that will be submitted through other means will be automatically disqualified.
4. Entries to be submitted should include the following details:
4.1 Name, sex, age, mailing address, contact number and occupation
4.2 Caption for the photo, which must be accurate and complete enough to convey the circumstances in which the photograph was taken
4.3 Place where the photo was taken (barangay, town/municipality/city, province, region)
4.4 Date when it was taken
4.5 Camera used
5. File name of photos should be pattern in this format: SURNAME_ENTRY NUMBER Sample: DE LA CRUZ_1 or DE LA CRUZ_2
6. Deadline of submission of entries is on March 15, 2020, 5PM

• Photo Image/Requirements
1. Photos must be all original and only colored photos will be considered. Black and white or sepia photos will be automatically disqualified.
2. Photos must be in digital JPEG or JPG format, in high-resolution, 25MB maximum file size. (Recommended resolution: 3,000 pixels whether horizontal image or vertical image at 300 dpi.)
3. Photos must not be digitally altered (colorizing, toning, collage, photo composites, stitched panorama, high dynamic range HDR images etc.) and/or enhanced in any way. Only simple cropping, minor adjustments in color, sharpness, contrast or digital equivalents are allowed.
4. Watermarked photos and those that have been previously submitted or have won in any local or international photography contest will be disqualified.
5. Photos to be submitted must be taken starting on February 14 2020, the official launch of the photo contest.

• Criteria
The criteria for judging will be as follows:
Adherence to theme/content (30%)
Creativity and Originality (25%)
Visual Impact (25%)
Photographic Quality (20%)

• Prizes:
Top 3 entries will receive cash prize and certificate of appreciation
1st Prize – 20,000
2nd Prize – 15,000
3rd Prize – 10,000

• Selection of Winners
1. Pre-Screening: Panel of judges from PCC will pre-screen all the submitted entries to ensure that the contestants have complied with the prescribed guidelines and it has no violent content, nudity or obscenity.
2. Winners deliberation: PCC will invite panel of judges from partner-organizations who will then select winners based on the short listed entries on March 20, 2020. The decision of the judges is final and not appealable.
3. Announcement of Winners: Winners will be notified via e-mail. The winning photos will also be showcased in the PCC website (www.pcc.gov.ph) and official Facebook account (https://www.facebook.com/PhilippineCarabaoCenter). Awarding ceremonies will be scheduled anytime between March 25-30, 2020 at the PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool.

Preparation of Urea-Molasses Treated Rice Straw showcased in Ilocos Norte

Farmers and livestock raisers from various towns in Ilocos Norte attended a techno-demo titled “Enhancing Feeding Management Practices of Ruminant Raisers: A Urea-Molasses Treated Rice Straw (UMTRS) Demonstration and Technology Showcase” held in Marcos, Ilocos Norte on January 30, 2020.

The techno-demo is part of a project titled “Development of Sustainable Rice Straw Management Practices and Technologies for Ruminant Fodder in the Philippines” (RiceStraw PH), which is a collaboration between the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice). The project is funded by the DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR).

Participating farmers came from the towns of Marcos, Currimao, Dingras, Solsona, Nueva Era, Banna and Pinili and the City of Laoag.

It is a common knowledge that rice straws are being burned after harvest either because it is difficult to collect, it has been the practice for a long time, or farmers don’t have enough knowledge on the use and benefits of rice straws. This project highlights not only the economic benefits that can be derived in utilizing the rice straws, but also the positive environmental impact of not burning them.

Dr. Daniel Aquino, center director of PCC at Central Luzon State University (PCC@CLSU) and study leader gave an overview of the project and also discussed the importance of rice straw as animal feed. He also presented the needed materials and discussed the step-by-step preparation and efficient utilization of the UMTRS.

The following materials are needed for the mixture to make a 100 kg UMTRS: 4.40 kg urea, 4 kg molasses, and 91.6 kg water. Simply dip the rice straws (preferably chopped) in the mixture. Then put it in a drum or in a silage bag, making sure that it is compact before sealing it.

The UMTRS can be fed directly to ruminants 30 days after ensiling. It ensures higher milk production for lactating animals, improved weight, and additional nutrient value.

The participants, themselves, divided into two groups and guided by PCC personnel, prepared the UMTRS during the hands-on activity. After which, they were taught on the right way to ensile and seal the silage bags.

Participants were also taught on how to store rice straws by using the bailing machine or an improvised stationary wooden bailer.

Utilization of the UMTRS as an ingredient of the Total Mix Ration (TMR) was also demonstrated.

The adoption of the UMTRS technology will benefit cooperatives with farmer-members, agricultural entrepreneurs, livestock producers and extension workers, as it ensures additional income and sustainable source of livestock feed.

AI Tech in Regions XI, XII, Maguindanao underscore low AI output in 2019

With the aim of underscoring the low output in artificial insemination (AI) in 2019, the DA-Philippine Carabao Center at University of Southern Mindanao (DA-PCC@USM) conducted the 10th Artificial Insemination Forum last February 6-7, 2020 at the Agricultural Training Institute Satellite Office, Kabacan, North Cotabato.

There are almost 90 AI technicians coming from Region XI, Region XII and Maguindanao who participated in and tackled the 2019 accomplishment report, issues and concerns; laid down the strategies to be used in increasing AI-related services; and presented their 2020 target and commitment.

“The solution for our problem is not only about the efficiency of the technology (AI), the person (AI technician) also matters,” DA-PCC Deputy Executive Director Dr. Caro B. Salces said.

Dr. Salces added “being effective AI technicians means they need to be a salesman who is good in marketing a product and for us our product is our technology.”

Part of the program is the presentation of Dr. Antonio Obsioma, retired professor of UP Mindanao, on the recent updates about increasing AI efficiency in cattle and buffaloes along with strategies to be used.

PCC@USM Center Director Benjamin John C. Basilio emphasized that the key to well-coordinated program implementation, monitoring and evaluation is to equip the program implementers with integrated competencies.

Aside from addressing the concerns in AI, PCC@USM AI Coordinator Jeffrey A. Rabanal gave recognition to the most outstanding AI technicians in Region XI and Region XII; and Most Outstanding AI Program Implementer in terms of AI services, calf drop monitoring, and calf drop output covering Calendar Year 2017-2019.

“Determination to work as an AI technician and orienting the farmers about the benefits of PCC programs are the tools I use to encourage the farmers to adopt the technologies being offered to them,” Mary Jane Edquila, AI Technician LGU Mongkayo and Most Outstanding AI Technician for Region XI, said.

PCC garners 3rd place among DA operating units in cash utilization

With a total unused Notice of Cash Allocation (NCA) balance of only Php446.24 for FY 2019, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) ranked third among the 31 different operating units of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in terms of the usage of NCA, which was awarded during the FY 2019 DA Year-End Financial Evaluation and Assessment Workshop last January 27-31 held in Iloilo City.

Other awardees were as follows: DA-Regional Field Office (RFO) – Region VIII for the top spot, followed by DA-RFO – Region VII for second place, DA-RFO – Region VI for the 4th place, and the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), who were conferred 5th and 6th place, respectively.

The PCC received a total NCA of Php675,872,243.00 for the period January – December 2019 and has spent a total amount of Php675,871,796.76 or almost 100% of the given cash allocation, which translates to effective public service delivery.

The NCA represents the cash requirements of government agencies for the implementation of their programs, activities and projects for the year. Prudent financial management dictates that the NCA should be fully utilized in order to ensure that the Filipino people feel the benefits of their hard-earned taxes.

DA Undersecretary for Administration and Finance Roldan Gorgonio took part in the event with a keynote speech. According to him, every government employee should be knowledgeable about the pertinent rules concerning government transactions as everyone is considered stewards of government wealth.

‘Common grounding in CBIN’: A farmer-to-farmer talk

In line with the idea of understanding concept and practices through common grounding, a total of 15 identified recipients of dairy buffaloes from Highland Agricultural Credit Cooperative (HACC) of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato underwent field exposure to the successful dairy buffalo farmers duly assisted by the Philippine Carabao Center at University of Southern Mindanao (PCC@USM) in Region XII last January 30-31under the Carabao Business Improvement Network (CBIN).

The objectives of the said activity were to let the HACC members experience and conduct interview among the successful farmers with dairy production activities in order to elucidate their queries in terms of management of dairy buffaloes, and collect ideas and strategies to increase milk production and dairy management practices.

Nasrola Ibrahim, PCC@USM CBED Coordinator, mentioned that letting the farmers learn from the experience of their co-farmers is a great approach in terms of learning dairy buffalo management.

Among the visited sites of dairy buffalo farmers supported by PCC@USM in Region XII were the dairy farms of Canahay Dairy Farmers Association (CADAFA) members Gemma Bengil and Rodel Estañol in Surallah, South Cotabato wherein they were exposed to milking and pasteurizing freshly harvested buffalo’s milk. Another site they visited was Abner Panaligan’s dairy farm in Sto. Niño, South Cotabato where they saw the piles of sweet corn silage. Lastly, HACC members observed the constructed animal shed and feeding of calves in D&L Dairy Farm owned by Dominic Paclibar in M’lang, Province of Cotabato.

“As we visited the dairy farm of CADAFA members, I saw the key to be successful in the field of dairying. We need perseverance to work and strengthen the camaraderie in our cooperative,” Rodelyn Estaba, member of HACC, emphasized.

“When we started dairy farming through the CBIN project, we take all the lessons and tactics we need in order to be successful in our chosen project,” Merlinda Go, HACC Chairwoman, expressed.

In response to what Ms. Go said, PCC@USM Center Director Benjamin John Basilio stressed that the conduct of the activity was part of the preparation of the cooperative for its upcoming dairy project. Director Basilio added that PCC serves as a channel of blessing and not an additional burden to the dairy farmers.

Meanwhile, Gemma Bengil, member of CADAFA, uttered that they were overjoyed as they impart knowledge on buffalo dairying to their fellow farmers.

“We are happy because we cannot imagine that we are the ones who are teaching future dairy farmers because before, we were the ones sitting and taking time to learn the technologies being taught to us by the PCC@USM,” Bengil added.

Aside from field exposure, participants also toured PCC@USM institutional herd and they had lectures on pasture development, breeding management, and health management with the PCC@USM Farm Superintendent Dr. Virgilio V. Lopez.

The HACC was the second cooperative under the stewardship of PCC@USM that has undergone the said activity following the Linoan Farmers Intergrated Cooperative (LIFICO) of Montevista, Davao de Oro who did the same on December 4-6, 2019.