Dairy Box in Agusan Del Sur now open

Agusanons can now indulge in a range of treats made from carabao’s milk following the opening of the first Dairy Box in Agusan del Sur.

Said facility, which will be managed by the Katipunan Agricultural Producers Cooperative (KAPCO), was established as part of the Accelerating Livelihood and Assets Buildup (ALAB) Karbawan project implemented by the DA-PCC and funded by the Office of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform, chaired by Senator Cynthia Villar.

The Dairy Box is an infrastructure support for smallholder dairy farmers designed to provide them with an opportunity to gain access to the commercial market for greater income.

This newly opened one-stop shop in barangay Mabuhay, Bayugan City, offers a variety of milk-based products, including pastillas, fresh milk, white cheese, chocomilk, and mango- and ube-flavored milk drinks.

Present in the turnover ceremony were Agusan Del Sur Provincial Governor Santiago Cane, DA-PCC at Central Mindanao University Center Director Dr. Lowell Paraguas, Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Joriz Elevazo, Bayugan City Veterinarian Dr. Ramjun Pore, and KAPCO Chairperson Gina Mojado.

DA-LBC spearheads advancement of research initiatives through Gene Sequencing and Fragment Analysis training

The Department of Agriculture-Livestock Biotechnology Center (DA-LBC), with the coordination of the Medical Test Systems, Inc. initiated a three-day capacity enhancement activity entitled, “End-User Training of the SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer” on February 1-3, 2023 at the Livestock Innovations and Biotechnology Complex, Philippine Carabao Center National Headquarters and Gene Pool, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

This capacity enhancement activity comprised of both lecture and hands-on training and was attended by technical staff from the DA-LBC and its counterpart institutions, the Crop Biotechnology Center (DA-CBC) and Fisheries Biotechnology Center (DA-FBC), hosted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI), respectively. Said training also invited participants from the DA-LBC’s Livestock Biotechnology Research for Development (R4D) Network, namely, the Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) and the National Dairy Authority (DA-NDA).

Mr. Dale S. Pinili, M.Sc., and Ms. Eden Beth B. Asilo, M.Sc., Field Application Scientists from Medical Test Systems, Inc. presented their lectures and supervised the hands-on training on Capillary Electrophoresis Techniques, Sanger Sequencing and Fragment Analysis Workflows. They also provided operational instructions in Sequence and Fragment Data Analysis using the Sequence Analysis and GeneMapper Software as well as Data Troubleshooting.

With the conclusion of the 2017-2021 Livestock Biotechnology Research for Development and Extension (RDE) Agenda, the Biotechnology Centers (Crop Biotechnology Center, Fisheries Biotechnology Center, and Livestock Biotechnology Center) under the banner of the DA, proposed for the establishment of a sequencing facility to elevate the research capabilities of the Biotechnology Center’s Research for Development (R4D) Network for expansion of research initiatives for food security and sufficiency. This proposal was then later approved for funding by the Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries Biotechnology Program (DA-BPO).

The sequencing facility was established last January 2023 and is currently housed under the DA-PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool, the host agency for the DA-LBC.Photos by Joel A. Miguel Jr., Anne Franchette C. Asuncion & Arren Christian M. De Guia

DA-PCC’s repro biotech scientist upgraded in rank by SCS

Dr. Danilda “Dang” Duran, DA-PCC’s Senior Agriculturist, has been upgraded to Career Scientist II under the Scientific Career System by the Department of Science and Technology and the Civil Service Commission effective January 27, 2023.

As a scientist in animal reproductive biotechnology, Dr. Dang dabbles in conducting research at the DA-PCC Reproduction and Physiology Section.

She specializes in the following: production and cryopreservation of water buffalo embryos, separation of motile and non-motile sperm cells of bulls with low post-thaw motilities, and use of embryo transfer that resulted in the birth of live calves and realization of advanced reproductive biotechnologies as a tool for genetic improvement in water buffaloes.
She also demonstrated the efficiency of using Fourier Harmonic Analysis in classifying high- and low-fertility bulls and addressing the problems of inactive/non-performing bulls to enhance buffalo calf production in the country.

“I want to concentrate on solving the issues affecting inactive and underperforming bulls to optimize their reproduction potentials. Addressing this problem is necessary since it has an impact on calf and milk production, buffalo farming profitability, and the livestock industry in general,” Dr. Dang shared.

Dr. Dang has made significant contributions in the field of animal reproductive biotechnology and has won numerous accolades for her work as a researcher. To name a few, she was an Achievement Awardee of the National Research Council of the Philippines, a Life and Work Awardee of the International Buffalo Federation, and a Distinguished Researcher in Animal Science by the Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc. and the Philippine Society of Animal Science.

CapSU takes on the challenge of conducting biotechnology research for livestock in the region

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center Research and Development Division and the DA-Livestock Biotechnology Center held a capacity enhancement workshop on crafting livestock biotechnology research methodologies last January 30-31, 2022 at the Training Center, Capiz State University (CapSu), Dayao Satellite College, Roxas City, Capiz.

“All research initiatives will be industry driven and will be addressing the needs of the community.” This was the challenge posed by Dr. Leo Andrew Biclar, CapSU Research Director during his welcom remarks to participants and in the same light, he expressed hope in advancing research and being apprised with the new trends of the animal industry. Along with other research funding institutions as collaborators of the CapSU, he also welcomed the possibility of boosting scientific publications, a current challenge faced by the SUCs.

The capacity enhancement activity was attended by students, faculty-researchers and representatives of the Office of the Provincial Veterinary Office through the effort of the Livestock Research and Development Center Director, Dr. Emely J. Escala. Dr. Escala reported that the CapSU has close partnership with the Bureau of Animal Industry, helping the latter in the field especially that the region has reported cases of African Swine Fever (ASF).

Raymark Paul T. Rigor presented the DA-PCC’s thematic areas for buffalo research, Anne Franchette C. Asuncion discussed about the blood testing for common diseases in livestock, Dr. Arren Christian M. De Guia talked on primer design, loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and using online and offline softwares for these tools. Finally, Joel A. Miguel, as requested by Dr. Escala, presented gene marbling and its ties to genetics, nutrition, and farm management.

The activity was also attended by Dr. Claro N. Mingala, Director of the DA-Biotechnology Program Office who listened and critiqued capsule proposals of the participants. Dr. Mingala stressed that the biotechnology is just an option in addressing pressing problems especially in the livestock industry and that there are also other initiatives being pursued by the DA such as organic and traditional agriculture.

Participants were able to craft and present their capsule proposals and were subsequently offered suggestions by the DA group.

Dr. Salces is the new DA-PCC OIC Exec. Director

Dr. Caro Salces officially accepted the duties and responsibilities as the new DA-PCC’s Officer-in-Charge (OIC), Executive Director in a turnover ceremony held today at the PCC national headquarters in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

This is pursuant to the Department of Agriculture Special Order No. 44 Series of 2023 designating Dr. Salces as OIC, Executive Director of the PCC and Special Order No. 56 Series of 2023 designating DA-PCC Executive Director Dr. Liza Battad as Technical Adviser to the Executive Director of PCAF issued by Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban.

Dr. Salces has been with the DA-PCC since its creation in 1992. He is also among the pioneers in the implementation of national carabao development program having served as a researcher under the Philippine Carabao Research and Development Center (PCRDC), a precursor of DA-PCC.

Prior to his appointment, Dr. Salces is the DA-PCC’s deputy executive director for administration and finance. He also served as the center director of DA-PCC at USF from 1994 to 2018.

As a researcher, he has conducted more than 20 studies in the fields of animal nutrition and agriculture. He also received the “Gawad Saka Award” of the Department of Agriculture for applied research in 2000-2001. He is currently the president of the Philippine Society of Animal Science. Dr. Salces finished his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Education at the Bohol Agricultural College in 1983 with Latin honors. Seven years later, he earned his Master’s Degree in Animal Science at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. In 2000, he earned his Doctor of Philosophy in the same field also at the UPLB.