6th NCC underscores positive outlook in carapreneurship in the ‘New Normal’

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center’s (DA-PCC) efforts and interventions to continuously perform its mandate and serve its clients amidst the global health crisis were highlighted in a virtual 6th National Carabao Conference (NCC) held last November 17.

According to Dr. Eric Palacpac, chief of DA-PCC’s Knowledge Management Division and overall chair for the 6th NCC, the confab consisted of three strategic sessions to echo and realize this year’s theme: “Pag-asa Karbawan: Lahat Aahon, Susulong, Aasenso”.

“What matters most now is we press forward in unity despite all the calamities and health crisis that we have been going through. Together, we rise above challenges, we move forward, and we progress especially our dedicated carapreneurs,” Dr. Palacpac said.

The first part, which was titled “Pag-asa Karbawan, May Pag-Ahon”, tackled how the DA-PCC and its clients cope with the challenges brought about by the pandemic. It featured audio-visual presentations on government-funded activities such as Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra COVID-19 (ALPAS-COVID-19) interventions and Accelerating Livelihood and Assets Buildup (ALAB) Karbawan projects (Carabao-Based Business Improvement Network and Coconut-Carabao Development Project). A closed group convergence meeting on clustering of dairy farms led by DA-PCC’s Deputy Executive Director Dr. Caro Salces was also conducted. Meanwhile, OIC-Executive Director Dr. Claro Mingala, gave updates on the carabao development program (CDP) and the agency’s initiatives and efforts to foster the carabao industry in the “New Normal”.

“This year has placed the CDP in the most challenging period thus far. The pandemic while inflicting chaos and unrivaled economic stress worldwide has brought opportunities for the program making way for innovations that in many years would be worth reckoning,” Dr. Mingala said.

He also added that the “New Normal” ushered DA-PCC’s stride against these trying times while staying true to its mandate and approaching its operations vigorously with the unwavering commitment and significant contributions of all its partners.

In the “Pag-asa Karbawan, May Pagsulong” part, it involved launching of DA-PCC knowledge portal, digitized knowledge products, and manuals for Artificial Insemination and Farmer Livestock School on Dairy Buffalo Production. It also included discussions on School-based Milk Feeding Program by Dr. Ma. Corazon Dumlao, chief health program officer of the Bureau of Learner Support Services-School Health Division-Department of Education; Loan Program for Carapreneurs by Emmaly Guinto, chief of Agricultural Credit Policy Council’s (ACPC) Communication and Public Affairs Division and Justine Cubos, ACPC’s information officer; and DA-PCC’s technology highlights by Dr. Eufrocina Atabay, Scientist I and OIC-Research and Development Division.

“Under the new normal and DA’s new thinking, there is a great challenge and opportunity for DA-PCC to pursue the new RDD paradigms and I call it research revolution. Our new mindset is ‘research translation to innovations’ for us to contribute to boosting the industry and continuously alleviating and improving the lives of our farmers and the whole Filipinos,” Dr. Atabay shared.

On the other hand, the last part, named “Pag-asa Karbawan, May Pag-Asenso”, included a series of video presentations featuring carapreneurs who rose above adversities and winners for 2019 outstanding dairy farmers, dairy buffaloes, cooperative, and region 3 technicians.

Dr. Peregrino Duran, Scientist I and Search for Outstanding Farmers, Co-op, and Dairy Buffaloes committee chair, presented the guidelines and criteria for each award.

The “Outstanding Dairy Buffalo Farmer” awardees were Juanito Dumale of Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija (smallhold category), Corazon Badie of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental (family module category), Bonifacio Alagar of Rosario, Batangas (semi-commercial category), Roger Mactal of Botolan, Zambales (commercial category), and Dominic Paclibar of M’lang, North Cotabato (independent category).

Meanwhile, Grace Boyles of Mabini, Bohol was awarded the “Modelong Juana sa Kalabawan” (model woman in carabao dairying) while Moises Alfonso of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija was adjudged the “Modelong Kabataan sa Kalabawan”. For the second consecutive time, the Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative was bestowed the “Best Dairy Buffalo Farmer Cooperative” title. Arnold Cunanan and Victoriano Dumale of San Jose City and Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija took home the “Gintong Kalabaw Cup” for owning the “Best Senior and Best Junior Dairy Buffalo Cows”, respectively. Moreover, a special award titled “KaTropang Vlogger” was given to Richard Reyes of Bacolor, Pampanga.

Other awards were also given to outstanding technicians and bull loan recipient in Region 3. Among those recognized were Luisito Espiritu and Eduardo Dela Cruz, Jr. of San Miguel, Bulacan as Outstanding Village-Based Artificial Insemination (AI) Technicians in terms of AI services and calf drop, respectively; Lito Lopez of Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija as “Outstanding Local Government Unit AI Technician”; Arturo Pascua of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija as “Outstanding Newly Trained AI Technician”; and Renato Villeza of Talavera, Nueva Ecija as “Outstanding Bull Loan Recipient”.

The annual confab, which was initiated by former DA-PCC Executive Director Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, 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 CDP.

Minda Diloy, DA-PCC’s Integrated Management Representative; Dr. Danilda Duran, Scientist I, and Wilma Del Rosario, carabao-based enterprise development section head, served as moderators for the sessions.

DA-Undersecretary for Livestock Dr. William Medrano and Senate Committee Chair on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform Senator Cynthia Villar also joined the event online and extended their respective messages to the DA-PCC, its clients and viewers.

More than 300 online and in-person participants locally and abroad tuned into the 6th NCC.