DA-PCC supports ‘LAB for All’ initiative, showcases Cara Cuero products

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center at Central Luzon State University (DA-PCC at CLSU) expressed solidarity with First Lady Atty. Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos’ ‘LAB for All’ initiative. As a show of support, the center offered dairy products to 350 beneficiaries, particularly indigenous people, and showcased Cara Cuero products in Nabuclod, Floridablanca, Pampanga.

Cara Cuero is a brand that showcases local craftsmanship and innovation by utilizing carabao hide and horn to produce high-quality leather products, accessories, and decor items, among others.

Attendees were treated to a range of dairy delights, including choco milk, fresh milk, coffee milk, and lacto juice, personally distributed by DA-PCC at CLSU Center Director Dr. Ericson Dela Cruz.

In recognition of her efforts, the First Lady received a special token from DA-PCC, which contained a variety of Cara Cuero products, including a mini Christine handbag, back scratcher, comb, carabao figurine, and candle holder.

The “LAB for All” caravan aims to provide primary healthcare services through free laboratory testing for various diseases, medical check-ups, family planning services, distribution of free medicines, tree-planting activities, coastal clean-up drives, and feeding programs, among other services, to underserved communities.

Carabao’s milk delights Kalinga’s Bodong Fest attendees

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at Cagayan State University (DA-PCC at CSU) showcased the high-quality carabao’s milk, highlighting its creamy texture, rich flavor, and impressive nutritional profile during the celebration of the 5th Bodong Festival and 29th Founding Anniversary of Kalinga from February 12 to 16, 2024 in Tabuk City.

Both children and adults formed a queue to try out this product, which they described as fresh, delicious, and nutritious. Many of the guests commended the milk’s natural sweetness and lack of the strong flavor frequently associated with cow’s milk.

During the event, the representatives from DA-PCC at CSU provided valuable information about carabao’s milk. They highlighted that carabao’s milk is not only refreshing but also contains higher levels of calcium, vitamins, and minerals compared to cow’s milk. Moreover, it has lower levels of cholesterol and lactose, which makes it an ideal source of essential nutrients, particularly for individuals with lactose intolerance or those who are looking for a heart-healthy option.

DA-PCC at CLSU Agri Center Chief receives CSC Pagasa Award

Dr. Ericson N. Dela Cruz, Agricultural Center Chief IV of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at Central Luzon State University, was honored with the prestigious CSC Pagasa Award. This recognition, presented as part of the 2023 search for outstanding government workers by the Civil Service Commission (CSC), was bestowed upon him during the awarding ceremony held today at the Ceremonial Hall of Malacañan Palace. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. led the ceremony.

Dr. Dela Cruz earned this accolade for his unwavering commitment to sustaining the achievements of the national carabao development program, resulting in the successful attainment of 100% of targets for improving the genetic potential of buffaloes.

“God is great all the time. Para sa Diyos, sa bayan, at sa bawa’t magsasakang pamilyang Pilipino sa Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao ang karangalang ito,” Dr. Dela Cruz expressed.

In accordance with Executive Order No. 292, the CSC Pagasa Award acknowledges individuals or groups who demonstrate exceptional dedication in serving the public. This annual award is part of the CSC honor awards program and stands as the highest recognition bestowed upon a government employee.

CBED coordinators capacitated to design market study

A wider market for local dairy cooperative’s carabao-based products is the new way forward for the regional Carabao-Based Enterprise Development (CBED) coordinators after they were immersed in an in-depth market study writeshop on February 12-13, 2024 at the DA-Philippine Carabao Center National Headquarters and Gene Pool (DA-PCC NHGP), Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

The coordinators explored the prospective market for carabao milk and carabao-based products, evaluated its strengths, opportunities, and weaknesses, and bridged the gaps and emerging trends in the carabao-based enterprise.

The activity is part of the implementation of the milk feeding program of the Department of Education (DepEd) and DA-PCC adapting the Negotiated Procurement-Community Participation (NPCP) as a mode of procurement to ensure that local cooperatives will be prioritized as suppliers of milk.

Central Luzon State University (CLSU) professors Katrina Sedillo and Sherwin Celestino emphasized the framework and process of marketing, the value of market research and economic analysis in decision-making, the comprehension of the marketplace, and the identification of target customers’ needs and desires.

A market study per region and a consolidated national market study are the outputs of the writeshop.

DA-PCC collaborates with agri insts in NegOcc to boost livestock industry

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) recently explored partnership with agricultural institutions in Negros Occidental to boost the livestock sector in the province.

In a series of talks, Dr. Claro Mingala, DA-PCC’s deputy executive director for production and research, Dr. Marvin Villanueva, OIC chief of DA-PCC’s Research and Development Division, and Eva Alvarez, center director of DA-PCC at La Carlota Stock Farm (DA-PCC at LCSF) initially identified livestock initiatives with the Provincial Veterinary Office, City Veterinary Office, Negros Occidental Research Outreach Station, and State University of Northern Negros on February 5-7, 2024.

The parties are expected to collaborate on cryobanking, capacity building on semen processing, technology adaptation, nutrition and disease management, and the promotion and utilization of DA-PCC’s mobile applications.

“The province of Negros Occidental strongly supports livestock production led by the Governor and the Provincial Veterinary Office. The DA-PCC is collaborating to strengthen its support for technical assistance in improving livestock production in the province. This is potentially so considering that Negros has abundant land resources and favorable climatic conditions for agriculture production,” DA-PCC at LCSF Center Director Eva Alvarez said.
The DA-PCC at LCSF is working on the development plan of Negros Occidental in cryopreservation and the provision of technical training—all toward boosting AI efficiency.

The center also established partnerships with LGUs (Cadiz, Sagay, Victorias, Kabankalan, Candoni, Sipalay, Canlaon, EB Magalona, among others), state universities (Central State University, State University of Northern Negros), and other national government agencies in Negros.

DA-PCC at DMMMSU shares the love under ‘LAB for All’

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DA-PCC at DMMMSU) supported the program of First Lady Atty. Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos “LAB for All” by providing 500 bottles and sachets of chocomilk and 700 packs of Karabun (bun with carabao’s milk) at La Union Convention Center, Sevilla, City of San Fernando, La Union on February 6, 2024.

Said program is in accordance with the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law, also known as Republic Act No. 11223, which aims to bridge the health disparity gap for poor communities and those living in remote areas who are unable to afford their medical bills by increasing access to quality health care and providing free medical consultations, laboratory services, and medication distribution.

Vilma C. Gagni, center director of the DA-PCC at DMMMSU, said the center supports Marcos’ advocacy for bringing medical services closer to the people, particularly the less fortunate Kaprobinsyanihan.

“DA-PCC shares with the purpose of advocating for Healthy Pilipinas, Bawat Buhay Mahalaga tungo sa Bagong Pilipinas. One of the products of DA-PCC is milk, which is also considered a complete food because it contains all the essential nutrients needed by our body to become healthy,” she added.

On the other hand, LUcals (LU locals) who were able to attend the event relished dairy products produced by DA-PCC at DMMMSU’s assisted co-op.
LAB (Lingap at Alagang Bayanihan) is a mobile health service program that offers free health services, consultations, and checkups, such as laboratory testing, X-rays, consultations with specialists, and free medications.

DA-PCC strengthens herd buildup with training on silage production

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) is taking a step forward in its nationwide Dairy Herd Buildup Program (DHBP) by partnering with local farmers to ensure sustainable feed supply for its expanding buffalo herd.

On February 6, the DA-PCC at Cagayan State University (DA-PCC at CSU) conducted an “Integrated Training Program for Improved Corn Silage Production, Conservation, and Utilization in Dairy Buffalo Farming” for the farmer-members of Ar Vyk Eco-Farm in Sta. Maria, Isabela.

This initiative, facilitated by the DA-PCC’s Production System and Nutrition Section (PSNS), equipped farmers with the knowledge and skills to produce high-quality corn silage, a crucial feed source for dairy buffaloes. The training covered best practices for corn cultivation, effective silage conservation techniques, and the potential for turning silage production into a profitable business venture.

“The DHBP requires a reliable and sustainable feed source to optimize the health and milk production of our buffaloes,” said Dr. Rovina R. Piñera, OIC-center director of DA-PCC at CSU.

“We hope that after this training program, you will have a better appreciation of the benefits of silage production and eventually consider venturing into it. Imagine turning knowledge into a thriving business, you will not only be supplying for the DHBP but also catering to the wider ruminant farming community in the region. This could be a game-changer, addressing feed scarcity and making high-quality silage readily available to all,” Dr. Piñera added.

This partnership between the DA-PCC and Ar Vyk Eco-Farm exemplifies the agency’s commitment to building strong collaborations with local stakeholders. By empowering local communities and businesses, the DHBP can achieve its goal of increasing the national dairy buffalo herd and boosting local milk production, contributing to food security and economic development not only in Region II but nationwide.

DA-PCC at UPLB, RPCO 4A partner to scale up carabao dairy industry in CALABARZON

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (DA-PCC at UPLB) collaborated with the Regional Project Coordination Office 4A (RPCO 4A) to enhance the carabao dairy industry’s market and income in Region IV-A, CALABARZON, under the DA-Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).

RPCO 4A recently organized a business conference on dairy carabao on February 2, 2024, at Argosino Hall, DA CALABARZON, Lipa, Batangas. The event aimed to create awareness about DA-PRDP priorities and identify collaboration opportunities within the region.

The activity’s participants were DA-PCC at UPLB, Financial Agencies, Farmer Cooperatives and Associations (FCAs), and Private Agribusiness Entities (PAEs).

“Our goal is to utilize DA-PRDP to boost dairy farmer’s prosperity and income and attain significant developmental results in CALABARZON,” said RPCO 4A Deputy Project Director Engr. Redeliza Gruezo.

DA-PCC at UPLB Senior Science Research Specialist Anna Reylene J. Montes discussed the carabao dairy industry’s status in CALABARZON and DA-PCC’s value chain approach. This includes prioritizing interventions, efficient resource allocation, and promoting public-private partnerships.

Ma. Edna N. De Jesus, RPCO IVA I-PLAN component head, presented the Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP) wherein they identified the emerging regional carabao dairy industry as a beneficiary requiring interventions like land improvement, technical training, farm machinery, production support programs, market linkages, and research studies.

The program included a plenary workshop where they identified a potential subproject focusing on the establishment of a carabao dairy milk processing and marketing enterprise. The identification stemmed from their needs assessment, covering aspects of production, processing, marketing, input supply, and financial assistance.

“We will utilize the opportunities and collaborative efforts offered by the DA-PRDP for the carabao dairy industry commodities in CALABARZON,” said DA-PCC at UPLB Agricultural Center Chief IV Dr. Thelma A. Saludes while expressing her gratitude to RPCO 4A for including the carabao dairy industry.

The DA-PRDP, a World Bank-supported project, aims to establish a government platform for a modern, climate-resilient, and market-oriented agri-fishery sector through partnerships with local government units and proponent groups for key rural development programs and investments.

First taste in carapreneurship for DA-PCC at CLSU’s assisted farmers’ group

It’s just the first month of the year, but the Samahang Pangkaunlaran ng Magsasaka sa Calancuasan Irrigators Association Corporation (SPMCIAC) in Calancuasan Norte, Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija has already begun to reap the rewards of their carapreneurship endeavors after the buffaloes owned by six of its members gave birth in January.

This event gave inspiration to the members of the association to actively participate in seminars and training sessions being conducted by the DA-Philippine Carabao Center at Central Luzon State University (DA-PCC at CLSU).

“Hinihikayat ko silang dumalo sa mga trainings at seminars upang mas lumalim pa ang kaalaman nila sa wastong pangangalaga ng gatasang kalabaw at kung ano pang mga dapat at hindi dapat gawin sa pag-aalaga,” said Lourdes Fontanilla, chairperson of SPMCIAC.

Anthony Rodico, one of the six farmers, is happy that he is now living his dream as a dairy farmer.

“Pangarap na natupad! Maraming salamat sa DA-PCC sa CLSU at binigyang pansin nila ang aming kahilingan na magkaroon ng gatasang kalabaw dahil inakala namin noon na wala na kaming pag-asang magkaroon ng gatasang kalabaw. Salamat po sa tiwala. Ito ay amin pang pararamihin,” Rodico said.
Like Anthony, his fellow farmer Florante Presto conveyed the same story of gratitude.

“Taos-pusong pasasalamat sa ahensya dahil nabigyan nila ng katuparan ang pangarap ng aming pamilya na magkaroon ng ganitong kabuhayan. Amin po itong payayabungin,” Florante shared.

The other farmers who also had the same experience with Anthony and Florante are Artemio Ventura, Benigno dela Cruz, Allan Valdez, and Loreto Adriano.

The association was established on August 23, 2019, with 300 members.
The DA-PCC at CLSU remains dedicated to assisting farmers in Region III. This exemplifies the agency’s commitment to advancing the Carabao Development Program (CDP).