Carabao as good source of meat underscored in PH Livestock Expo

In dispelling the myths and misconceptions that carabao’s meat is tough and darker in color, thus hindering market acceptability, the DA-Philippine Carabao Center’s (DA-PCC) experts stressed that buffalo meat can be equal to, if not better than, the more popular and widely accepted beef. 

Attesting to this are the results of a series of studies conducted by the research team of the DA-PCC to compare the slaughter yields and carcass characteristics of crossbred buffalo and crossbred cattle at the same age and diet. It was found out that based on carcass quality evaluation, buffalo meat is comparable to beef in terms of carcass yields, processing traits, and sensory characteristics. 

Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, former DA-PCC executive director, reechoed such findings in his presentation on “Potential of Buffalo Meat as Beef” during the Livestock Philippines Expo 2022. 

“The DA-PCC promotes buffalo as a good source not only of milk but also of quality meat. If the male buffaloes are not fit for breeding, then they are qualified to be fattened and marketed for a good quality meat. The agency already has initiatives to develop a breeding program for buffalo meat production as well,” Dr. Del Barrio said.

As for the economic viability of carabao’s meat, the Head of DA-PCC’s Business Development and Commercialization Unit Zadieshar Sanchez assures potential investors of carabao fattening and Kardeli retail business that, through collaboration and available technologies, there is a ready market for their products and the economic potential of this venture is very promising. 

Kardeli is the DA-PCC’s brand of premium carabao’s meat. It is available at the Milka Krem in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

Sanchez was also invited as one of the resource persons at the expo wherein he tackled the economic viability of value-added carabao meat products.

“According to our ongoing study, there is a ready market for carabao’s meat and opportunities for this commodity are many. To fully realize this potential, more carabao fattening farms need to be raised,” he stated.

The DA-PCC has also conducted studies and breeding technologies for this purpose and ensures that the market is ready to absorb fattened animals that are about to be produced in the future. 

To further prove the agency’s claims about the good quality of carabao’s meat, a cooking demo hosted by DA-PCC was also held at the Livestock Expo with Chef Francis Sibal, Executive Chef of CZ Ranch Restaurant. 

Chef Sibal demonstrated how to cook different cuts of carabao’s meat featuring signature dishes from Kardeli’s cara-riblets, kielbasa and Hungarian sausage, and tenderloin steak. Immediately after, he offered a free sample of the prepared dish to hundreds of visitors who flocked to the booth to witness the demo.

“To see so many people shocked that what they were tasting was carabao’s meat only shows that there’s so much more room to grow for this local product. Don’t conform to the norm, carabao’s meat is more than just tapa, just wait and see,” Chef Sibal asserted. 

The DA-PCC was among the roster of more than 200 exhibitors who showcased their products, services, technologies, and other innovations to more than 3,500 participants from all walks of the livestock industry during the three-day Livestock Philippines Expo 2022 held on August 24-26 at the World Trade Center Manila, Pasay City.

Senator Mark Villar graced the event and expressed his fervent support to help boost the livestock, poultry, and dairy sectors in the country.

“As a government official and legislator, I want to express my full support for this livestock summit and trade fairs. I believe it is through these trade fairs that we will quickly move to the development of our agriculture sector and the whole economy as well,” Sen. Villar said. 

The Livestock Expo is considered to be the premier international trade platform for industry stakeholders. It is organized by the international exhibition expert group Informa Markets and is hosted by the Department of Agriculture.

DA-PCC-assisted co-ops generate billion-peso revenues from Milk Feeding Program

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) flexed about the beneficial impact of the Milk Feeding Program on nation-building and stakeholders’ well-being, citing that the program provided a total gross revenue of PHP1.9 billion to 45 assisted cooperatives nationwide from its inception in 2019 to the first quarter of 2022.

This was reported by Joel Cabading, DA-PCC’s milk feeding coordinator, on the first day of the two-day program titled “#WeFlex: Stakeholders Milk Feeding Program Achievements and Policy Consultation” held on August 22-23 at the agency’s national headquarters and gene pool in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. It was participated in by officials and employees of the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), DA-PCC, and some partner-carapreneurs. 

Rolly Mateo, chairperson of Bantog Samahang Nayon Multipurpose Cooperative (BSNMPC), and Janice Domingo, general manager of Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperatives (NEFEDCCO), corroborated the report and shared their respective testimonies and success stories regarding the program.

Mateo averred that their income from the Milk Feeding Program enabled them to purchase vehicles for the delivery of milk, a packaging machine, a baking facility, and six hectares of farmland. It also created employment opportunities as they hired 116 workers for the venture.

Domingo proudly shared that the Milk Feeding Program had helped their federation’s assets increase from PHP8 million in 2018 to PHP28 million in 2021. It even provided jobs to 200 people in their community and with the income they earned, they were able to renovate their office to a three-story building. She also admitted that the program helped them bounce back as they were ensnared in financial distress before they ventured into the feeding program.

“It’s not about the DA-PCC but rather the effects that we planned to create side by side with our accountability partners that is to help curb the nutritional deficiencies of children and at the same time create livelihood opportunities for farmers through the National Feeding Program led by the DepEd and DSWD,” DA-PCC Executive Director Dr. Liza Battad said.

Meanwhile, DepEd-Bureau of Learner Support Services Director Dr. Lope Santos III and DSWD Supplemental Feeding Program (SFP) Unit Head Ma. Elena Carreon gave their respective messages of support for the implementation of the 2022 School-Based Feeding Program and 12th SFP Cycle, respectively.

A policy consultation will be held on the second day wherein among the slated topics for discussion include Food Science of the Milk Feeding, Updates of Costing, Standardization of Milk Formulation, and Different Milk Product Terminologies.

The participants will also present the draft revised Milk Feeding Program Policy and Guidelines for finalization and approval. The stories of the BSNMPC and NEFEDCCO are only two of the many successes in the implementation of the Milk Feeding Program. They serve as concrete proofs of the planned effects of the national feeding program that are worth flexing and sustaining.

DA-PCC installs CDP KIOSKs for info dissemination

To provide easy access to its knowledge products and information about the Carabao Development Program (CDP), the DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) has set up CDP KIOSK (Karunungan, Impormasyon at Oportunidad sa Kalabawan) units at the select clients in the agriculture sector.

The CDP KIOSK, initiated and facilitated by the Knowledge Management Division-Learning Events Coordination Section, is one way of supporting the dissemination of information anent the DA-PCC’s dairy buffalo production programs, services, and technologies, as well as the distribution of the agency’s knowledge products.

Currently, two CDP KIOSKs were already installed at the Municipal Agriculture Office in Surallah, South Cotabato and Caraga State University in Butuan City. Other strategic areas identified for CDP KIOSK installation include the Municipal Agriculture Office in Mati, Davao Oriental, Municipal Agriculture Office in Carigara, Leyte, and the Provincial Agriculture Office in Albay.

The CDP KIOSK comprises three materials, i.e., portable display panels, a table with a brochure holder, and a magazine rack.

The identified recipients will enter into a Memorandum of Agreement for the installation of the CDP KIOSK, which also aims to transfer the accountability of the installed facility to the recipients.

First ever Dairy Box in CALABARZON to boost local agri-tourism

Referred to by historians as “a little piece of paradise”, Jalajala, Rizal is soon to boast yet another attraction aside from its scenic landscape formations. 

Soon to rise in the town is the first-ever Dairy Box in CALABARZON.

The chosen site is close to Laguna de Bay, the country’s largest lake, making it the backdrop for the soon-to-rise carabao-based products outlet. For tourists who love to experience the calming waves of the lakeshore, including recreational activities during weekends, the Dairy Box is a good stop over for that fresh and natural dairy delicatessen. 

The Llano Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LFMPC), which started dairy processing in 2006, will oversee its operation. Through the DA-Philippine Carabao Center at the University of the Philippines Los Baňos (DA-PCC at UPLB), 45 members of the LFMPC were entrusted with crossbred carabaos, of which 19 are already pregnant.
LFMPC, with over 200 members to date, has been serving as a channel of blessing to the locals whose main source of income is agriculture. They buy fresh milk from dairy farmers at PHP70 per liter. 
“Lubos ang pasasalamat namin kasi naging kaagapay kami ng aming mga kababayan sa paglutas ng problema ng unemployment. Hindi po namin ‘yon magagawa kundi rin sa tulong ng iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno na laging nakasuporta sa amin,” shared Tagumpay Panguito, manager of LFMPC.
They are also an active partner of the Department of Education (DepEd) in the implementation of the national milk feeding program. 
A groundbreaking and ceremonial entrustment of dairy carabaos was done in Bayugo, Jalajala, Rizal last August 15. 
The father of the town, Mayor Elmer Pillas expressed his support for the project. Saying that this will not only create livelihood for the locals but also help boost tourism and promote local products.

Rizal Governor Nina Ricci Ynares, former Executive Director of DA-PCC Dr. Arnel del Barrio, DA-PCC’s Deputy Executive Director for Administration and Finance Dr. Caro Salces, and a representative from the Office of Sen. Cynthia Villar Engr. Renz Aquino graced the event.

Various national agencies and local government units such as the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) IV-A, Department of Agriculture (DA) IV-A, Department of Trade and Industry IV-A, Department of Agrarian Reform-Rizal IV-A, Office of the Municipal Mayor, and Office of the Provincial Governor also attended the occasion each with their own pledge of support to the project.

The construction of the Dairy Box is a component of the project Carabao-based Business Improvement Network (CBIN) or popularized as Accelerating Livelihood Assets Buildup (ALAB) Karbawan of the DA-PCC. It was funded by the Office of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform through its chairperson Senator Cynthia Villar and is geared towards providing income opportunities to farmers and progressing the carabao dairy industry. 

Dairy co-op in San Jose, N.E. sets to operate PHP2.8M dairy processing center

The Simula ng Panibagong Bukas Multipurpose Cooperative (SIPBU MPC) in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija has taken its dairy enterprise to the next level, as it will soon have its own processing facility for value-added dairy products.

This was after the co-op signed, today, August 12, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Agrarian Reform-Nueva Ecija Provincial Office (DARPO), DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC), LGU-San Jose City, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the Enhancement of the Dairy Processing Center under the DAR’s Village Level Farm-Focused Enterprise Development Project.

Said project aims to establish viable and profitable enterprises and facilitate access to mainstream markets, allowing the participation of smallholder farmers and other members of the community in various livelihood opportunities within the dairy value chain. 

The co-op’s collection center will be upgraded to a two-story structure for the processing and production of different milk products, including the Karabun, a nutrient-rich bread made with fresh carabao’s milk. Such development is one of the SIPBU MPC’s strategic plans to diversify revenue streams through value-added products.

As stipulated in the MOA, the SIPBU MPC, DARPO, and LGU San Jose City shall chip in PHP1.8M, PHP300,000, and PHP700,000, respectively, for the construction of the processing center.

The DA-PCC, on the other hand, will provide necessary training and technical support on carabao health and dairy production management, record keeping, milk quality, and product development. It will also assist in establishing a dairy processing center, a Karabun production facility, and marketing strategies.

The DTI will provide, among others, technical and extension assistance in the improvement of the processing facility through the provision of processing equipment or shared service facility. Meanwhile, the DOST will provide technical assistance in the acquisition of a license to operate (LTO), crafting the Good Manufacturing Practices manual by providing a series of training, product laboratory testing for nutrition facts and shelf life analysis, and technology consultancy.

“The project can bring livelihood and income opportunities to 78 family members of the cooperative. The co-op’s current supply of at least 350 liters of milk production daily is sold only as raw milk, which has a lower value. With the help of the facility, the farmers can produce quality products and earn more profit,” Joel Cabading, DA-PCC’s OIC section head of the Carabao-based Enterprise Development, said.

SIPBU MPC chairperson Freddie Carlos accepted the challenge and vowed to do their part for the project to pan out. The facility, he said, would help them satisfy the milk demand of the National Feeding Program.

“Lubos po kaming nagpapasalamat sa DAR, LGU, DTI, at DOST sa walang sawang pagsuporta gayundin sa DA-PCC sa patuloy na paglinang sa aming kakayahan upang mapagtagumpayan ang negosyong salig sa kalabaw,” Carlos expressed.

Punch in a scoop! Karabella launches new gen of gelato

Karabella Dairy, a social enterprise that proudly uses 100% carabao’s milk and natural ingredients in its products, launches a new line of its artisanal gelato in partnership with Destileria Limtuaco & Co., the oldest extant distillery in the country.

The new flavors introduced were Amadeo (coffee liquor gelato), Very Old Captain (artisan crafted dark rum), Intramuros (liqueur de cacao gelato), Paradise (mango rum liqueur gelato), and Manille (liqueur de calamansi gelato).

“These were very own brands by Filipino craft spirits, and we try to limit our suppliers and work with local farmers and cooperatives. The use of 100% carabao’s milk was a factor in the decision since we don’t like to compromise on quality and we want a 100% natural product,” stated Alfred Ng, Karabella Dairy’s president and chief financial officer.

Olivia Limpe-Aw, CEO of Destileria Limtuaco & Co., on the other hand, said Karabella and their company share the same goal of promoting quality local products.

Karabella Dairy sources its fresh carabao’s milk from the General Trias Dairy Raisers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (GTDRMPC), a cooperative assisted by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (DA-PCC at UPLB).

GTDRMPC chairperson Samuel Potante said that Karabella Dairy weekly picks up about 200 liters of fresh carabao’s milk from them.

“Sana magtuluy-tuloy ang partnership namin with Karabella kasi napakalaking-tulong nito sa mga farmers, lalo na ngayong wala pang milk feeding program sa aming lugar,” Potante hopefully said.

DA-PCC scientist is PRC’s 2022 Outstanding Veterinarian

DA-PCC Deputy Executive Director for Production and Research Dr. Claro N. Mingala was recently named Outstanding Veterinarian in the 2022 Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Awards last July 29 held at The Manila Hotel with the theme PRC@49: “Forging Ahead Towards Professionalism, Resiliency, and Competitiveness.”

Dr. Mingala, who was also recently conferred the rank of Scientist IV under the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST), was recognized for his commitment and noteworthy contributions in the fields of veterinary research and animal biotechnology while serving farming communities as a PCCean. He is among the few selected individuals to receive the PRC Outstanding Professionals of the Year Award for 2022.

The two other categories include Outstanding Accredited Professional Organization of the Year and the Nubla Excellence Award.

“Professionalism, resiliency, competitiveness–all these are distinct qualities highly required among professionals today to be able to come to terms with the changing work environment,” Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Hon. Bienvenido Laguesma said in a written message read by DOLE Legislative and Legal Affairs Undersecretary Atty. Felipe Egargo Jr.

“It is my hope that you will continue to be effective models of professionalism, resiliency, and competitiveness as we all respond to present-day challenges. In so doing, we inspire others to become beacons of hope and change,” he underscored.

Beyond the recognition, the PRC awards aim to breed the values of professionalism, integrity, responsibility, competence, and excellence among workers in different fields of discipline while championing nationwide progress.

DA-PCC hosts training for ASEAN researchers on livestock biotech innovation

Understanding the use of livestock biotechnology in speeding up livestock food production to satisfy the demand of the world’s growing population was the focus of the recent month-long intensive training at the DA-PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool (NHGP) participated by researchers in ASEAN member countries.

Said activity was conducted under the project titled “Capability building of ASEAN Biotechnology Researchers for Livestock Resiliency and Sustainability” which was held from July 4, 2022 to July 29, 2022.

Outputs of this development intervention all lead, ultimately, to boosting farmers’ incomes, enhancing productivity as well as discovering better ways to manage livestock production amid climatic changes that affect the dynamics of the livestock industry.

Said training is also seen as an avenue to foster regional cooperation among ASEAN Member States (AMS) on biotechnology research for livestock resiliency and sustainability by creating an enabling scientific environment for young researchers engaged in livestock innovations.

The participants include 14 researchers (one participant each from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand; two from the Philippines; two extra slots prioritized for Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam; and two researchers from Japan). The participants underwent a screening process, while the two participants from Japan were selected in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF).

The activities include orientation on the general objectives of the program and current developments in livestock biotechnology in the Philippines, Japan, and other countries; a two-day research proposal writing workshop; training on different laboratory techniques; research proposal writing for the research collaboration; and presentation of significant findings or knowledge and skills gained during the training.

Experts from DA-PCC research units and other local and international PCC collaborators who have relevant knowledge on Livestock Biotechnology were invited. Dr. Satoru Konnai from the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, Department of Disease Control, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine in Hokkaidu University served as a resource person on the current status of livestock biotechnology research in Japan.

The participants showed their key findings, and newfound knowledge, and presented their own written proposals at the end of the training. They were also required to complete a pre- and post-evaluation to identify potential learning subjects and assess the new information, abilities, and understanding they acquired over the month-long program.

“I hope that the Philippines not only imparted with you some breadth of scientific knowledge about the technologies that we have here but also our own brand of hospitality. We are one as an ASEAN community, so we should act as one in development when it comes to sharing our knowledge and talents,” Dr. Claro Mingala, DA-PCC’s Deputy Executive Director for Production and Research and Director of DA Biotech Program Office, said.

The final report and training results will be posted on the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) website. In order to maintain the initiatives and outputs of the training, DA-PCC will also work to establish ongoing collaboration with and among AMS taking off with the research proposals generated during the training. Participants were also encouraged to submit their research proposals to AJC to continue building up meaningful scientific collaborations.