DA-PCC fulfills One DA’s reform agenda on diversification in Zambo

Through a joint project of DA-Philippine Coconut Authority (DA-PCA) and DA-Philippine Carabao Center called Coconut Carabao Development Project (CCDP), the One DA’s reform agenda on diversification is being implemented in select areas in Mindanao.

One of the 18 key strategies, diversification is a development approach that aims to consolidate farming systems to bring about economies of scale, thus, reducing production cost while increasing farm productivity and incomes.

This, according to the project implementers, is the very objective of the CCDP.  To carry out this purpose, capacity building and technical support services, aside from the other components—which include production, processing, and marketing—are actively carried out in the identified project sites.

Popularized as “Cara-Aralan sa Niyugan”, this component was recently fulfilled in Zamboanga Sibugay, a coverage area of DA-PCC at Mindanao Livestock Production Center, with 27 coconut farmers participating in a season-long training for dairy buffalo production.

The training, which was concluded in a graduation rites last April 30, capacitated CCDP project stakeholders from Makilas and Tomitom, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. They are members of the Small Coconut Farmer Organizations (SCFOs), which is also a component of Coconut Agro-Industrial Hub Project.

The Cara-Aralan sa Niyugan is an 11-week learning event that utilized webinar series on capability enhancement topics and aimed to capacitate farmers on dairy carabao production, processing and marketing. The participants were also given hands-on exercises while maintaining health and safety protocols.

Course topics included: (1) Kwento at Kwenta sa Kalabaw ni Juan, (2) Forage Production and Conservation, (3) Feeding of Buffalo at Different Physiological Stages, (4) Disease Prevention and Control, (5) Proper Housing for Calves and Adults, (6) Best Practices in Artificial Insemination and Breeding, (7) Artificial Insemination in Large Ruminants, (8) Calving Management, (9) Wastong Paraan ng Paggagatas at Pangangasiwa ng Aning Gatas, (10) Hygienic Milk Handling Practices, and  (11) Basic Financial Management.

Present in the graduation ceremony were Ferdinand Acaylar, PCA Regional Director; Ariel Tomong, OIC Division Chief, PCA-Ipil; Bernadette Ventura, Municipal Cooperative Officer; Masdi Hasim, Ipil Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Manager; Fe Emelda Academia, Carabao-based Enterprise Development Coordinator; and project staff.

During the program, Academia gave an overview of the project. In behalf of DA-PCC, she warmly congratulated the graduates and conveyed her praises for them for completing the training despite the restrictions brought by the pandemic.

Acalyar, on the other hand, challenged the participants, “I challenge you to finish what you have committed to start by taking diligent care of the dairy animals that were entrusted to you. Help and support the implementing agencies as well as the stakeholders so that this project will  have its envisioned impact”.

The graduation ceremony was highlighted by a ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) of DA-PCA, DA-PCC, and the local government units of the province of Sibugay and the municipality of Ipil.

The municipality of Ipil was selected as the pilot site because of the LGU-DA-PCC’s strong partnership in the area and its potential to prosper as a dairy hub in Zamboanga Sibugay. The CCDP is an initiative of Senator Cynthia Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food and Agrarian Reform. The project aims to (1) contribute in uplifting the economic situation of coconut farmers through the establishment of carabao-based enterprises complemented by the increased coconut farm productivity, and (2) increase the local milk production in order to contribute in improving the nutrition of the community.

DA-PCC treats mom-employees to a day in the spa

Employees who are mothers in the DA-PCC headquarters were treated to a day in the salon as a tribute to them in celebration of Mother’s Day last May 11-13.

The DA-PCC’s Human Resource Management Section (HRMS) headed by Cecilia C. Abo organized this Mother’s Day Special to give its mom-employees a quick respite from their usual routines with a little pampering. Those who availed of the treat were offered with parlor services including hair rebonding and treatment and a choice of massage or foot care—all on the house.

The personal care treat for the mom-employees of DA-PCC was just a simple way to appreciate their hard work at home and at work. This, according to the organizers, is expected to somehow recognize the important role of mothers in modeling a nurturing environment in the workplace as a way to boost productivity.

One of the special treat recipients, Minda Diloy, who is also the Agency’s Management Systems Audit representative, said this is a very good initiative because when a company rewards its employees they are likely to be motivated to perform better. 

Feedback from the other moms concluded that this initiative was well received and more of this creative employee reward system are expected to become a mainstay in the Agency’s human resource development plan.

With 34 participants, the mom’s day treat was held at the DA-PCC national headquarters.

Cagayan is prepped to become ‘valley’ of milk

Team KISAVIQ, which stands for Kalinga, Isabela, Aurora, Vizcaya, Ifugao and Quirino Province, dairy zone, has successfully installed and operationalized the first ever retort facility for the sterilization of carabao’s milk in Cagayan Valley.

Said facility is seen to boost milk production and marketing in the region while fulfilling its commitment for the School-based Feeding Program (SBPF) of the Department of Education (DepEd) under the RA 11037 or the “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act”.

Spearheaded by Noime C. Liangco, owner of the Amancio Nicolas Agri-Tourism Academy Inc., Team KISAVIQ is now ready to consolidate, process, and distribute sterilized carabao’s milk to far-flung areas in the Northern part of Luzon, which is expected to improve the nutritional status of undernourished children.

The delivery and installation of said retort facility was completed last April 15. The trial run was carried out soon after. The facility can produce at least 12,000 packs of sterilized carabao’s milk in two shifts per day.

DA-PCC assisted dairy cooperatives in the region including Quirino Dairy Cooperative (QUIDACO) in Maddela, Quirino and San Agustin Dairy Cooperative (SADACO) in San Agustin, Isabela pledged to consolidate their excess milk production with the aim of contributing to the sustainability and realization of the goals and objectives of the dairy zone.

The team conducted their first meeting and strategic planning on December 11, 2020 at Amancio Hotel, Cordon, Isabela through the initiative of DA-Philippine Carabao Center at Cagayan State University (DA-PCC at CSU) headed by Dr. Rovina Piñera and Dr. Caro B. Salces, DA-PCC’s Deputy Executive Director for Admin and Finance. Also present during the meeting were DA-PCC’s OIC-Planning Officer Dr. Ericson N. Dela Cruz and National Milk Feeding Program Coordinator Ms. Mina P. Abella; Noime C. Liangco; and other key employees and staff of DA-PCC at CSU.

The strategic planning is a move to set a direction on how dairy development will prosper in the region. With the ongoing intervention, DA-PCC is certain that carabao’s milk is set to reach far, benefitting more undernourished children in previously unreachable areas.