8th NCC highlights convergence effort in championing Carabao Dev’t Program

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) underscored the culture of convergence in achieving transformative success, particularly in the implementation of the agency’s flagship program–the Carabao Development Program (CDP).

“Braven! Let us coexist as creative leaders of making great changes happen,” DA-PCC Executive Director Dr. Liza Battad exhorted as she reported the progress briefer on the CDP.

Dr. Battad delivered the message during the 8th National Carabao Conference (NCC) anchored on the theme “Mga Kwentong Tibay, Pagbangon at Pasasalamat sa Pagkakalabawan”, on November 15-16. The theme of the confab elucidated how working together toward a common goal becomes one of the gratifying reasons why the carabao subsector has been able to rise above adversities with mettle and resilience.

She emphasized the significance of the carabao as a multi-purpose commodity used for milk, meat, hide, draft power and many different agriculture purposes providing livelihood opportunities to legions of carapreneurs nationwide. She also thanked the lawmakers and implementers and staunch supporters of the carabao-related programs for making all these possible.

Similarly, former DA-PCC Executive Director and Licaong Agriculture Cooperative Business Manager Dr. Libertado Cruz substantiated the importance of convergence and cooperative development in a plenary session, citing a quote by Edward Everett Hale: “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success”.
Dr. Cruz also enumerated different levels of convergence in the carabao value chain such as technological convergence at the level of production and dairy processing, policy convergence on smallholders and co-op development, and business convergence on smallholders and dairying.

He presented a concept program of convergence titled “Focused and Accelerated Sector Growth thru Resource Use Optimization (FASGROW)”, which is a possible platform in merging various entities along the value chain to support a common program initiative and enhancing sustainable rural development thru buffalo-based enterprises.

DA Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban, represented by DA Regional Executive Director Crispulo Bautista, acknowledged the active participation and significant contribution of carapreneurs in supporting the projects implemented by the government such as the Carabao-based Business Improvement Network (CBIN) and the Coconut-Carabao Development Project (CCDP), and the DepEd’s and DSWD’s National and Supplemental Milk Feeding Programs.

“These programs and projects have truly catalyzed and invigorated the spirit of cooperativism and entrepreneurship among the many players in the carabao industry,” he said in his statement.

The conference featured multi-sessions in the form of plenaries, techno-product exhibition, and fora that served as venues for meaningful interaction among key stakeholders, participants, and carabao value chain players.

The participants of this two-day learning event were provided with insights on DA-PCC’s unrelenting efforts and initiatives to promote the carabao industry; best practices on buffalo production; and government-funded activities through the following plenary sessions: Maalab na Pagkakalabawan by Estella Valiente, Science Research Specialist II; Investment Opportunities in Carapreneurship (iREB, MFO dashboards) by Catherine Santiago, manager of the Rosario Livestock and Agricultural Farming Cooperative; SINAG: Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Awareness for Filipino Farmers by Dr. Diane Paras of UP-PGH Department of Dermatology Community Committee Doctors; Corn Silage Production and Management by Albert Estrella, owner and chief operations officer of Cattle and Production Farm in Pangasinan; Victoria’s City Animal Health and Welfare Management by Dr. John Michael Cabuagason, City Veterinarian of Victorias City, Negros Occidental; Herd Upgrading Services by Crisanto Munoz, President of Pampanga AI Technicians Association; Production Management and Environmental Requirements of Dairy Animals by Dr. Cyril Baltazar, DA-PCC National Genepool Coordinator; Producing Superior Buffalo Genetics for the Philippines by Dr. Jesus Rommel Herrera, Supervising Science Research Specialist; Farm Management by Michael Pascual, owner of MCCR Pascual Dairy Training Center; DepEd School-Based Feeding Program Future Prospects by Dr Lope Santos III, Director IV, DepEd-SBFP; Innovation in Product Development by Engr. Noel Laforteza, President and General Manager of Bagong Pag-asa Engineering Inc.; Milk Feeding Program Outlook and its Potential Contribution to the Dairy Carabao Industry by Joel Cabading, DA-PCC’s National Milk Feeding coordinator; The Lamac MPC Way of “Unboxing” the Dairy Box Business by Justine Limocon, Business Manager of Dairy Box Parian and Dairy Box Pinamungajan of Lamac MPC; The Economic Viability of Value-Added Carabao Meat Products by Zadieshar Sanchez, OIC Chief, Administrative and Finance Management Division; and the Potential of Buffalo Meat as Beef by Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, Professor of the College of Agriculture and Food Science.

Another highlight of the program was the recognition of the 8th NCC awardees across the DA-PCC network. Joselino C. Cabino won the Outstanding Dairy Buffalo Farmer-Family Module Category, followed by Grace G. Boyles as the first runner-up and Narciso A. Dela Cruz as the second runner-up; for the Semi-Commercial Category, Joseph Nathaniel E. Caguimbal was declared as the champion and Dominic P. Paclibar as the first runner-up; and for the Commercial Category, the ACDI Aces Phil Producers Corporation bagged the award. The Rosario Livestock and Agriculture Farming Cooperative (TRLAFCO) was bestowed the “Best Dairy Buffalo Farmer Cooperative” title.

Other awards were also given to Outstanding Village-Based Artificial Insemination Technicians: Jesus B. Suson, Jr. (champion), Christopher Q. Sagadraca (1st runner-up) and Reyjohn R. Estañol (2nd runner-up); and Outstanding Bull Recipients: Rhommel C. Gamponia (champion), Enrico N. Napone (1st runner-up) and Angelito B. Cajes (2nd runner-up).
Also, awardees for Best Dairy Purebred-Junior Cow: ID no 2NIZ17730-BMB managed by Arnold Cunanan (champion), 2LSC19004-BMB managed by Gregorio B. Cueco (1st runner-up), 2UMC19034-BMB managed by Rodel B. Estañol (2nd runner-up); for Best Dairy Crossbred-Junior Cow: 6MMC21312-CB75 managed by Rhommel C. Gamponia (champion; for Best Dairy Purebred-Senior Cow: ID No. 2LSC16013-BMB managed by Jeffrey B. Cueco (champion), IT20121135-ItMB managed by Melgin M. Zenith (1st runner-up), GR1566-ItMB managed by Tolentino A. De Leon (2nd runner-up); and for Best Dairy Crossbred-Senior Cow: ID No. 7LSC15015-CB87 managed by Jose Glenn P. Pabroquez (champion) and 6RDF10018-CB75 managed by Richard C. Reyes, were recognized.

The testimonial narratives video titled “Faces of Success in Carapreneurship” was also premiered followed by the holding of a Cara-ugnayan with DA-PCC officials and media partners from the Philippine Information Agency, Sonshine Radio, UNTV, and DWNE.

Apart from the above-cited activities, a Dairy Box convergence meeting, presided over by DA-PCC Deputy Executive Director for Administration and Finance Dr. Caro Salces, was also conducted to form a National Dairy Box Business Council. This council will examine the Dairy Box Business models and its local value chain hubs and provide recommendations to improve the business system.

DA-PCC preps 2 new suppliers of Milk Feeding Program

Two more cooperatives have been added to the roster of DA-PCC-assisted co-op suppliers for the Milk Feeding Program—the Bongabon Agriculture Cooperative (BAC) and the Delaen Farmers Agriculture Cooperative (DFAC).

The DA-PCC conducted different kick-off activities to prepare the new supplier-cooperatives for the implementation of the 12th Cycle Supplementary Feeding Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office III.

A “Milk Feeding Program Municipal Kick-off” with DFAC as the supplier took place today in Poblacion Sur, Rizal, Nueva Ecija, which was participated in by 150 guests and beneficiaries including the officials of the local government unit and Municipal Social Welfare and Development.

The activity served as a simulation for the Milk Feeding Program’s actual implementation, allowing the DFAC to take into account the different parameters that may emerge before, during, and after the execution of the program.

“Ang sarap po ng gatas ng kalabaw. Ito ay pandagdag nutrisyon at nakatutulong sa kabuhayan ng mga farmers natin. Buong-puso po ang aming suporta sa mga ganitong programa dahil alam po namin na makatutulong ito sa bayan ng Rizal,” Municipal Mayor Hanna Katrina Andres said.

The same simulation activity was conducted in the municipality of Bongabon, Nueva Ecija last October 17 with BAC as the supplier.

“Nagpapasalamat po kami sa DA-PCC dahil nabigyan kami ng pagkakataon na mapabilang sa Milk Feeding Program. Salamat din po sa suporta ng LGU Bongabon. Makakaasa po kayo na patuloy kaming maglilingkod sa ating bayan sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng masustansyang gatas ng kalabaw para sa mga batang residente ng ating bayan dahil sila po ang mga susunod na henerasyon at balang araw ay magpapatuloy ng ating nasimulan,” Mario Dela Cruz, BAC chairperson, assured.

Farmer-carabao tandem underscored in Mati City’s Sambuokan Fest

Nineteen “beautified” carabaos with carrozas or bamboo carriages paraded in the City of Mati, Davao Oriental to showcase the unique crafts and bountiful harvests of the town’s different barangays.

“Kabaw sa Kadalanan (carabao parade)” was one of the highlights for the week-long celebration of the 22nd Sambuokan Festival and 2nd Abunda Festival of the City of Mati on October 22-29—the first time that such activity was included in the festival.

Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat said that this activity not only shows off the farmers’ harvests but also demonstrates to the younger generation that the city still maintains its farming traditions in spite of new and developing farming technologies.

Mayor Rabat also pledged to regularly include this activity in the festival to pay tribute to the local farmers and their best ally, the carabao, as they are the original farming duo.

After a thorough evaluation, Barangay Badas was declared the winner of the competition for the carabao parade. It received a trophy and a cash award of PHP60,000. Barangay Buso came in first runner-up with a cash prize of PHP40,000 and Barangay Don Martin Marundan came in second runner-up with PHP30,000.

DA-PCC at University of Southern Mindanao Center Director Benjamin John Basilio served as one of the judges for the competition.

Derived from the Mandaya term “buok” meaning “one”, Sambuokan is a yearly celebration for oneness and unity among the general population of Mati. Mandaya is an indigenous clan in Mindanao that occupies generally the hinterlands of Davao Oriental.

200 farmers complete 16-episode SOA on DBP in North Cotabato

A total of 200 graduates of School-On-the-Air on Dairy Buffalo Production received their certificates of completion in a mass graduation ceremony held at the Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center 12 (ATI RTC 12) satellite office, University of Southern Mindanao in North Cotabato on October 27.

Said learning modality, which ran from June 8 to September 21, used radio and Facebook as platforms to educate farmers about the technologies and skills involved in dairy buffalo farming.

ATI RTC 12, in partnership with DA-PCC at USM, organized the learning event which was facilitated by SOA coordinators of Alamada, Midsayap, Pigcawayan, Aleosan, President Roxas, Kidapawan, Mlang, Kabacan, Matalam and Makilala in North Cotabato. It was broadcast on DXVL Kool FM.

“Sa aking grupo dapat may commitment tayo at isipin natin na dito tayo uunlad kaya mag-aral at maglaan tayo ng oras,” said Fidel Dorado, one of the graduates from President Roxas.

Meanwhile, officials from the DA-PCC, ATI, and LGU also delivered their respective messages of support for the activity.

In his message, ATI RTC XII Assistant Director Jessie Beldia emphasized that everything they will be, now depends on their own hands, challenging the graduates to utilize the knowledge and technologies to their advancement.

DA-PCC at USM Center Director Benjamin John C. Basilio said the SOA-DBP provides its learners the key to unlocking a myriad of opportunities in dairy buffalo production with appropriate use of knowledge and technologies from DA-PCC.

“Malaki ang naghihintay sa inyong dagdag kita kung gagamitin ninyo ang susing ito. Nariyan ang milk feeding program ng Department of Education (DepEd) at Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD) at mga suking mamimili ng gatas ng kalabaw. Sa lahat ng SOA-DBP graduates, sana hindi ito ang huling pagkikita natin. Sasamahan namin kayo sa pagpasok ninyo sa negosyong salig sa pagkakalabawan.” he added.

Start-ups or spin-offs, NBW symposium tells the difference on research projects progressing bench to business

Aligned with the 18th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) theme, “Responding to the Challenges: Business Opportunities in Biotechnology”, today’s symposium is an (NBW) build-up activity bearing its own theme entitled, “From Bench to Business: Bridging Biotechnology Updates for the Philippine Livestock Industry” on November 25-26, 2022 via a hybrid set-up at the Eusebio-Castillo Halls, DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) National Headquarters and Gene Pool and through virtual meeting platform.

The goal of the event’s organizers, the DA-Livestock Biotechnology Center and DA-PCC’s Research and Development Division, is to highlight cutting-edge biotechnologies, products derived from them, or industry-specific biotechnology applications.

They also hope to explore business, trade, and investment opportunities and to educate the general public about the advantages of biotechnology in terms of both the economy and the society.

The symposium underscored the opportunities through biotechnology and its products and by-products, which contribute immensely to agriculture and food security, equitable health care services, development of industries, business enterprises, sustainable environment, and economic development.

This activity also highlighted the goal of promoting judicious use of biotechnology and bringing the scientific advancement it carries in helping improve Filipino lives.

With the challenges and opportunities presented by biotechnology to researchers in both the government and private industry stakeholders, Dr. Liza G. Battad, Executive Director of DA-PCC, calls for, “strengthened policies and advocacy for strengthened research activities” to policy analysis and development as critical aspects of biotechnology development.

Featured presentations and open forum further highlighted how biotechnology applications can progress from laboratory benches to commercialization.

Resource persons include representatives from Technology Application and Promotion Institute, Ms. Cecil Dyann C. Daniel and Ms. Mylene A. Alano, Blitzkrieg Animal Diagnostic Center owner and veterinary medicine professor, Dr. Clarissa Yvonne J. Domingo, Commercialization and Extension Division Head of the Small Ruminant Center, Mr. Neal A. Del Rosario, Chief Technical Officer of Bionova Livestock Group, Dr. Alfonso E. Serrano, apiculture practitioner and owner of Pia’s Bee Farm, Mr. Lee S. Gaitana, and Dir. Battad.

59th PSAS convention underscores growth of the animal industry

Once again, the significant role of science and technology (S&T) in the animal industry was highlighted during the 59th Scientific Meeting and Annual Convention of the Philippine Society of Animal Science (PSAS), hosted by the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) on October 19-20.

Said event featured plenary and parallel sessions, which are anchored on the theme: “Inclusive Growth of the Livestock and Poultry Industry through Future-ready S&T Innovations”.

Plenary speakers included Dr. Claro Mingala for the topic “Innovative Livestock Tools for Inclusive Growth”, Dr. Noel Lumbo for the topic “Innovative Energy and Protein Substitutes for Swine and Poultry Diets”, and Dr. Ramon Maluping for the topic “Understanding the use of bacteriophage to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance”.

In his message as the Convention Chair, DA-PCC Deputy Executive Director Dr. Caro Salces said that scientific paper presentation is the lifeblood of PSAS and that the latter is the society of choice for the researchers, extension workers, and industry key players in the livestock and poultry sector.

Meanwhile, the parallel sessions featured competing scientific papers in various categories. The winning papers include the following:
• Socio-economics category – “Measuring Economic Efficiency of Dairy Buffalo Farms in Nueva Ecija Using Data Envelopment Analysis” presented by Dr. Eric Palacpac
• Breeding and genetics category – “Development of Selection Indexes for Milk Production Traits in Dairy Goats in the Philippines” presented by Dr. Nora Cabaral-Lasaca
• Biotechnology category – “Evaluation of the Cryopreservation Protocol for the Blood Primordial Germ Cells (bPGCS) from Gallus gallus domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758)” presented by Dr. Sarah Micah Dalisay
• Nutrition category – “Effect of Digestible Lysine to Metabolizable Energy Ratio on Growth Performance, Nitrogen and Energy Balance in Improved Philippine Mallard Ducks (ItikPINAS) from 0 to 8 Weeks of Age” presented by Dr. Julie Ross Datuin
• Disease and diagnostics category – “Persistence and Antimicrobial Resistance of Salmonella in Native Chickens: A Sustainability Challenge in the Free-range Production System” presented by Dr. Lotis Balala
• Production and processing category – “Growth and Sexual Maturity Performance of Crossbred Doe Kids Fed with Different Sources and Levels of Dietary Protein” presented by Dr. Adelia G. Putri

• Undergraduate thesis – “Genotypic Analysis of Kappa-Casein, Beta-Casein and Beta-Lactoglobulin Polymorphisms in Siquijor Native Cattle and Sahiwal x Holstein Hybrid Cattle Stocks in the Philippines” presented by Luis Alfonso Pefianco

Business meeting was also held, which updated the members on the current status of the society through the president’s report and financial report. Induction of new regular PSAS members and online election of new PSAS officers followed.

Newly elected officers include Dr. Claro Mingala as vice president, Dr. Maria Cynthia Oliveros as secretary, Dr. Ione Sarmago as treasurer, and Dr. Noel Lumbo as auditor.

Meanwhile, new PSAS governing council members include Dr. Undine Hurtada-Quimio, Prof. Julie Ross Datuin, Dr. Mary Joy Cañolas, Dr. Manuel Gacutan Jr., and Dr. Paul Limson.

Outgoing PSAS President Dr. Jesus Antonio G. Derije handed over the gavel (symbol of authority) to Dr. Salces through a short ceremony proclaiming that he will hold the duties and responsibilities as the new head of the organization from 2022-2023.

Some 55 new regular members pledged an oath to share an effort in learning and engaging with the overall activities of the society. It signifies that PSAS shall continue to spread the value of S&T to the R&D community and to the animal industry.

“Let us never forget to contribute ideas and skills as it is not just about serving the economy and preventing health risks anymore. It deals with redesigning our roles as effective partners of policymakers and key decision-makers. Let us aim to be better than who we are than yesterday,” Dr. De Jesus underscored.

Next year, the 60th PSAS convention will be held in Bohol, hoping to have face-to-face interaction among its members.

Supplementary Feeding Program underway for children in Don Carlos, Bukidnon

The DA-PCC at Central Mindanao University (DA-PCC at CMU) and LGU-Don Carlos, Bukidnon signed today a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the implementation and launching of the Supplementary Feeding Program.

Said initiative aims to combat and eventually eradicate the problem of undernutrition among children in the locality.

A total of 266 severely wasted children in Don Carlos will each receive a Karabun and 200 ml pasteurized carabao’s milk daily for 90 feeding days.

Child wasting, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), refers to a child who is too thin for his or her height and is the result of recent rapid weight loss or the failure to gain weight.

Severely wasted, meanwhile, is a very thin child whose body mass index-for-age is below -3 z-score line based on WHO-Child Growth Standards.

Present in the activity were DA-PCC at CMU Center Director Dr. Lowell Paraguas, Carabao-based Enterprise Development Coordinator Dr. Elena Paraguas, Municipal Nutrition Officer Lenie Baylo, Municipal Mayor Ma. Victoria Ontanillas-Pizarro’s representative and executive assistant Rex Mercadera, and select beneficiaries.

Hungarian delegation visits DA-PCC, commits to future collab, cooperation

A delegation from the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (MATE) visited the DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) headquarters yesterday on future cooperation and expert exchange.

Dr. László Máthé, head of External Relations and Coordination Centre and Dr. Gábor Lehőcz, deputy head of Mission for the Hungarian Embassy in Manila, led the team.

The visit to the agency was part of their itinerary to tour the different government agencies in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

DA-PCC Executive Director Dr. Liza G. Battad and Deputy Executive Director for Production and Research Dr. Claro Mingala led the welcome party.

Drs. Battad and Mingala in their welcome message emphasized on the agency’s pursuit of strengthening ties with international institutions to further partnerships on research and development.

Dr. Mingala had initial talks with the university on possible collaboration in these areas and a signing of Memorandum of Understanding during his visit to Hungary in May with Dr. Marvin Villanueva, OIC chief of the Research and Development Division.

Drs. Máthé and Lehőcz positively responded to the warm welcome and said that they commit to any other future undertakings between the two countries.

Following a luncheon, the visiting party heard a short presentation from DA-PCC given by Dr. Excel Rio Maylem, Senior Science Research Specialist and head of the Reproductive and Physiology Section (RPS) of the RDD. Said presentation mentioned possible areas of research collaboration with the Animal Biotechnology and Embryo Breeding Lab MATE and the RPS and RDD of DA-PCC.

A quick tour of the DA-PCC facilities including the National Livestock Cryobank, National Gene Pool, Milka Krem, and the Central Dairy Collecting and Processing capped the team’s visit.

2022 R4D in-house review highlights calibration of agency’s R4D priorities

In continuously fulfilling the mandate of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) to be a lead agency in livestock biotechnology research and development, the Research and Development Division (RDD) hosted the 2022 R4D In-House, MFO-Oriented, and Special Projects Review at the DA-PCC National Headquarters, last September 21-23.

Aside from its mandate to conserve, propagate, and promote carabao as a source of livelihood and nutrition for rural farming communities, the DA-PCC proves to be a premier institution for livestock research through its various completed and ongoing R4D initiatives.

“In this activity, there will be active discussion and thorough evaluation of the researches that will be made, reassessment, and refocusing on research priorities in directly addressing the industry problems, strategizing for a more holistic approach in doing research, and establishing connection or collaboration, especially with the peer evaluators,” underscored by DA-PCC Scientist and RDD OIC Chief Dr. Marvin A. Villanueva.

Dr. Villanueva pointed out three things that the researchers must inculcate: the focus that helps in assessing the most important, the innovation that generates continuous development including the technology transfer, and the collaboration inside and outside the agency for a more holistic approach to the projects.

Said event presented 28 R4D studies with the seven thematic areas of reproductive biotechnology, animal nutrition, institutional development, breeding and genetics, animal health, socio-economics dimensions of CDP Implementation, and product development, wherein 13 are completed and 15 are still ongoing.

The papers were evaluated by the research experts and notable professors from the different campuses of the University of the Philippines (UP), namely Dr. Jessica D. Rey, Assistant Professor from UP-Diliman; Dr. Lotis E. Mopera, Director and Associate Professor VII from UP-Los Baños, and Dr. Pedcris M. Orencio, Associate Professor from UP-Open University. Along with them is another research wizard, Dr. Santiago T. Peña, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at the Visayas State University (VSU).
Through the in-depth critiques of the evaluators, the winners for Best Completed Paper and Best Oral Presenter in the 2022 In-House Review were declared on the third day of the event.

Best Completed Papers were awarded to Ms. Laarni Parungao for the development category, Ms. Jonalyn Delos Santos for the biotechnology category, and Ms. Lilian Villamor for the student thesis category. Also, Ms. Villamor was acknowledged as the Best Oral Presenter.

The event also recognized Dr. Lawrence Belotindos as the earliest researcher to submit a paper; for that, he received the Early Calf Awardee. This additional recognition encourages all participants to submit their papers on time.

Meanwhile, DA-PCC Deputy Executive Director Dr. Caro B. Salces also inspired young and prominent researchers by sharing strategic plans to continuously align the R4D studies until the next generation, in which he mentioned the significance of career growth and economic growth.

“We have the opportunity to review our works. We need to analyze these studies to acquire change and improvement, as well as answer the industry questions,” said Dr. Salces.

The R4D in-house review is annually conducted to track the status and showcase the achievements of the DA-PCC’s livestock studies, which benefit its stakeholders, clients, and partnered agencies.