From mining of seaweeds as an alternative feed supplement for water buffaloes, conversion of carabaos milk into solid form, to innovated techniques in determining and treating diseases in water buffalo and others; these were the areas for Research and Development (R&D) collaboration discussed during the succeeding visitation of DA-PCC National Headquarters and Genepool (NHQGP) to the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in La Union, and Swisspharma Research Laboratories, Inc. in Laguna.
On April 5-6, the DA-PCC NHQGP team led by Deputy Executive Director for Production and Research Dr. Claro N. Mingala, Production System and Nutrition Section (PSNS) Head Mary Rose De Guia, Livestock Biotechnology Center staff, and DA-PCC at DMMMSU Center Director Vilma Gagni, met with DMMMSU-Fisheries Research and Training Institute (FRTI) Director Dr. Andie John Tadeo to discuss the research project titled: Mining Alternative Feed Sources Using Seaweeds for Water Buffaloes.
De Guia presented the important benefits and components of seaweed to consider as an alternative source of feed supplement for water buffaloes in the country. Dr. Mingala was also stern to instruct precautions while conducting the project to avoid any unfavorable effect on seaweed production and sustainability of the said resources.
The following day, the team visited the seaweed farm while observing and assessing the environmental condition in the area.
On the other hand, another batch from DA-PCC NHQGP composed of Research and Development Division (RDD) Chief Dr. Marvin A. Villanueva, Product Development and Innovation Section (PDIS) Head Mina P. Abella, with Patrizia Camille O. Saturno, Science Research Specialist II, and Teresita M. Baltazar, Science Research Specialist I also met with Swisspharma President Benjamin G. Tantiansu on April 7.
President Tantiansu with R&D Head Tess Plazo and Quality Management Department (QMD) Head Sotera Jordan discussed with the DA-PCC team about research plans to convert carabao milk into powder or tablet form, particularly to support the milk feeding program of DA-PCC and DSWD. This is in response to the concern raised by PDIS head and Milk Feeding Program Coordinator Abella about their struggle on keeping Milk products fresh, particularly when reaching to clients in far flung communities.
The discussion also involved collaboration on testing of antibiotic meds for Carabao, having a customized dosage of Praziquantel as treatment for Schistosomiasis in water buffalo, development of lateral flow assay or analysis for several cattle diseases like Leptospirosis, and testing of antibiotic residues in carabao milk.
Pres. Tantiansu also indulged the team with an exclusive visit throughout the research facility, particularly in their microbiology section, R&D office, molecular testing lab section, stem cell area, and nutrition center, while also introducing to them some of their high-end research instruments and technologies in the laboratory.
Swisspharma, a Filipino- Swiss joint venture is engaged in contract manufacturing, R&D of pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, and food supplements for the international and local markets employing state of the art technology as well as the latest procedures in the industry.