Crossbred buffalo hits a peak yield of 20 kg milk, highlights DA-PCC’s genetic improvement efforts

Records show that a crossbred buffalo at the DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) reached a yield of 20 kg and maintained a daily yield of over 15 kg at its peak for two months during its second trimester of lactation.

Said crossbred buffalo maintained an average daily milk yield of 12.9 kg during its last lactation.

This, according to the agency’s National Coordinator of the Genetic Improvement Program (GIP) Dr. Ester Flores, is a groundbreaking record showcasing the program’s success.

This remarkable achievement was accomplished by a crossbred buffalo identified as 7UP15001, which yielded a total of 3883.7 kg of milk over a 299-day lactation period— the highest milk yield ever recorded among female buffaloes in the agency’s institutional herds.

It now holds the highest 100 days-in-milk average daily milk production (16.6 kg) and the highest 200 days-in-milk average daily milk production (15.6 kg).

7UP15001 has surpassed the typical lactation period of 265 days observed in dairy buffaloes within DA-PCC herds, which typically ranges from 200 to 369 days. Moreover, its milk production exceeds the 4.5 kg and 10 kg average milk yield per day per lactation for dairy buffalo and dairy cattle, respectively, during a 305-day lactation period under Philippine conditions.

This crossbred stands as a testament to the concerted efforts of DA-PCC’s GIP, specifically focused on backcrossing to harness the genetic potential of carabaos for enhanced milk and meat production. Born on January 6, 2015, at DA-PCC’s institutional herd at the University of Los Baños (DA-PCC at UPLB), this buffalo boasts a genetic composition of 87.5% Bulgarian Murrah and 12.5% swamp buffalo.

“7UP15001 is the result of our strategic backcrossing initiatives aimed at augmenting the population of dairy buffaloes in the Philippines while enhancing genetic selection to produce superior offspring,” Dr. Flores emphasized.

Backcrossing approach involves mating purebred riverine buffaloes with native swamp buffaloes (carabaos). The resulting offspring—crossbred carabaos—are bigger, meatier, and produce more milk than native carabaos, which can only provide an average of one to two liters of milk a day.

Imported purebred (riverine) buffaloes were initially used as semen donors in artificial insemination of swamp buffaloes. The resulting offspring are called crossbred carabaos. The resulting offspring, which has 50 percent riverine blood and 50 percent swamp blood, is called the first filial generation (F1).

The second filial generation (F2) is produced by mating a purebred bull with an F1 cow. They will now have 75% riverine and 25% swamp offspring. After that, the F2 cow is mated to a purebred bull to produce offspring that have 87.5% riverine and 12.5% swamp blood, leading to the third filial generation (F3). Mating a F3 cow to a purebred bull produces the fourth filial generation (F4), which has 93.75 percent riverine blood and 6.25% swamp blood. It is worthy to note that the DA-PCC’s backcrossing program follows a protocol of a no-father-daughter mating to avoid inbreeding depression.

When Murrah buffalo and Philippine carabao are crossed (mated), the resulting first generation crossbreeds grow up to 70%–100% quicker and yield 200% more milk than their native parents without compromising draftability or reproduction. A further increase in milk yield has come from the ongoing backcrossing of crossbreds with purebred Murrah.

The financial situation of small-scale farming households is anticipated to greatly improve as a result of the additional revenue brought in by this increased productivity.

“We are producing animals that can adapt to the tropical climate with little input and resource requirements. Our goal is to provide our farmers with the finest dairy carabao genetics through breeding,” Dr. Flores continued.

The processes of selective breeding and genetic evaluation under Philippine conditions include the recording of pedigree and phenotype, maintenance of pedigree and performance database, genetic evaluation and progeny testing, cryobanking of frozen semen, and continuous backcrossing.

“Animals like 7UP15001 are the result of a long-term effort to produce better buffalo with higher productivity. It didn’t come over night; it’s a series of actions. We cannot implement it without the sacrifice of the institutional herds using the semen of young bulls, recording the production of females, and doing it again from generation to generation,” Dr. Flores said.

Dr. Jesus Rommel Herrera, supervising science research specialist of DA-PCC at UPLB, clarified that there was no special treatment in raising 7UP15001, the animal just like carries favourable genes for high milk production suitable in a tropical climate.

“Even if a female has the genetic potential to produce more milk, this will only occur under the right management and feeding conditions. Effective management begins at birth,” said Dr. Herrera.

Wide-scale upgrading to benefit more families is being carried out through the judicious use of artificial insemination (AI) and natural mating (via the DA-PCC’s Bull Entrustment Program) in key carabao development areas.

Currently, DA-PCC has 12 institutional herds across the country collaborating to achieve the agency’s noble mission to conserve, propagate, and promote the carabao as an important source of milk and meat, in addition to draft power and hide.

DA-PCC at DMMMSU champions carabao products in Zero Hunger Summit

With a shared mission of ending hunger and malnutrition through a feeding program, the DA-Philippine Carabao Center at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DA-PCC at DMMMSU) is in full support of the Zero Hunger Alliance as the center shared 200 Karabuns and chocolate milk for the ceremonial kick-off of the Kusina ng Kalinga+ (KnK+) Bacnotan 2nd cycle during the Zero Hunger Summit held at the International Convention Center, DMMMSU North La Union Campus, Sapilang Bacnotan La Union, on March 15.

The Zero Hunger Alliance project, formed by Gawad Kalinga, Zero Hunger, Century Pacific Group-RSPo Foundation Inc., and Century Pacific Food, Inc. (CNPF), aims to activate local partnerships to end hunger within communities.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, keynote speaker of the event, mentioned that illiteracy and hunger are the battles that society has been fighting.
In pursuit of healthy citizens in the community, the LGU-Bacnotan, under the leadership of Municipal Mayor Divina C. Fontanilla and Gawad Kalinga, signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the Kusina ng Kalinga+ Bacnotan that helps in alleviating malnutrition and hunger in barangays with prevalent undernourished children.

“KnK+ Bacnotan was initiated via a MOA in 2022, a collaboration between LGU-Bacnotan and Gawad Kalinga. The feeding program commenced in January 2023 and ran for 123 days, until July,” John Philip Gabriel, municipal nutrition action officer of LGU-Bacnotan, said.

They recognized that while hunger cannot be eradicated alone, it can be alleviated when individuals and institutions work together.

With that, they tapped the DA-PCC at DMMMSU to provide carabao-based dairy products, as part of its mission to improve the health of Filipinos through the milk feeding program, in partnership with the Department of Education and Department of Social Welfare and Development.

During the previous cycle of the KnK+ Bacnotan, the Elyu Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, formerly known as Rosario Dairy Farmers Cooperative, an assisted co-op of DA-PCC at DMMMSU, also supplied carabao’s milk for the said project.

Gabriel said that they will continue to incorporate carabao’s milk into their feeding program due to its scientifically proven benefits in combating stunting.

Among the beneficiaries of the KnK+ Bacnotan were undernourished children, senior citizens, and pregnant women. The feeding program will begin this March and will last for 120 days.

To fulfill the goal of this project, they adopted the 5M strategy of the Zero Hunger Alliance: Magtulungan: Partnership for Zero Hunger; Magpakain: Supplemental Feeding; Magpakalusog: Health and Nutrition Education; Magtanim: Community Food Farming; and Mag Connect: Online Platforms for Zero Hunger.

Aside from providing buns and chocolate milk, the center also featured other carabao-based products through an exhibit booth.

Two newly opened Dairy Boxes in Davao region offer scale-up dairy biz for Davaoeños

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center at University of Southern Mindanao (DA-PCC at USM) unboxed a wider scale of dairy business opportunities in the Davao region as two new Dairy Boxes were opened in Cateel, Davao Oriental, and Sta. Maria, Davao Occidental on March 12 and March 15, respectively.

The Dairy Boxes, designed to offer tourists and local customers products made from fresh carabao’s milk, will be managed by the Taytayan Irrigators Farmers Agriculture Cooperative (TIFACO) in Cateel and the United CARP Beneficiaries Association Incorporated Multipurpose Cooperative (UNICARBAI) in Sta. Maria. These facilities are part of the Accelerating Livelihood and Assets Buildup (ALAB Karbawan) project, funded by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform, chaired by Senator Cynthia A. Villar.

“Mahalagang mapataas natin ang local milk production upang maging abot-kamay ng ating mga kabataan ang masustansyang gatas. Ang Dairy Box ay isang kapaki-pakinabang na daan upang maipaabot sa mga tao ang locally produced dairy products mula sa mga local farmers,” in a video message, Senator Villar emphasized these areas of priorities for the country’s dairy industry.

According to TIFACO Chairperson Joenil Madani, they will actively collaborate not only with DA-PCC at USM but also with other agencies as they see the advantages resulting from this cooperation.

“The TIFACO will tap the DSWD, DTI, Municipal Agriculture Office, and other agencies for this project to prosper. This initiative will help the children and farmers of Taytayan,” Madani said.

DA-PCC Executive Director Dr. Liza Battad highlighted in her statement that the carabao products market has experienced significant growth due to collaborative efforts of local chief executives and various government agencies. She also affirmed that the Dairy Box initiative would provide an opportunity to boost income for dairy farmers and enhance their cooperatives’ revenue streams.

Moreover, DA-PCC at USM Center Director Geoffray R. Atok challenged the key players of the carabao upgrading program in the region to accelerate artificial insemination and bull services.

“Pag may buntis, may gatas! Lahat tayo ay may papel sa pagpaparami ng kalabaw. Husayan natin ang pagpaparami ng genetically improved dairy buffaloes para sa kapakanan ng ating mga magsasaka.” Director Atok said.
The Davao region will see the addition of two new Dairy Boxes to complement the three existing ones located in Matanao, Davao del Sur, Montevista, Davao de Oro, and the City of Mati, Davao Oriental.

DA-PCC’s island clusters anniv celebrations highlight successes in CDP implementation

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) underscored the importance of fostering collaboration and shared goals in achieving transformative success, particularly in championing the Carabao Development Program (CDP), as it celebrated its 31st anniversary across different island clusters.

Marking a first in the agency’s history, the anniversary celebration took place in different island clusters to highlight the DA-PCC’s consortia tie-up with the National Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Network and its host universities.

The island cluster celebrations, themed “Excellence in Unity,” were hosted by the DA-PCC at Central Luzon State University (DA-PCC at CLSU) for the Luzon cluster on March 8, 2024, DA-PCC at Visayas State University (DA-PCC at VSU) for the Visayas on March 12, 2024, and DA-PCC at University of Southern Mindanao(DA-PCC at USM) for the Mindanao on March 14, 2024.

During the celebrations, DA-PCC Executive Director Dr. Liza Battad showcased the advancements made under the CDP through audio-visual presentations, highlighting industry milestones for each cluster. (WATCH HERE-Luzon:

Dr. Battad took the opportunity to thank all stakeholders for their contributions to the growth and success of the carabao sector, noting the establishment of a robust carabao supply chain economy as a key outcome of these collective efforts.

Industry partners voiced their support for the DA-PCC’s endeavors in advancing the livestock sector.

Dr. Edgar Orden, speaking at the Luzon cluster event, affirmed the DA-PCC’s impact on the country’s carabao industry, mentioning its surpassing achievements over 31 years. An impact assessment by CLSU researchers highlighted that the DA-PCC’s efforts had significantly advanced the livestock sector, including a notable increase in milk production and the genetic improvement of carabaos.

In the Visayas, Board Member Matt P. Palabrica emphasized the strong partnership between Iloilo Province and DA-PCC at West Visayas State University, endorsing resolutions to further the carabao industry’s growth in line with the province’s goals.

Similarly, in Mindanao, Board Member Jonathan Tabara conveyed Cotabato Province’s commitment to the carabao industry, announcing funding for dairy buffalo procurement, which will aid the country’s agricultural sector in achieving milk sufficiency and the enactment of the Enhanced Carabao Propagation and Promotion Ordinance to help DA-PCC in achieving carabao industry goals in the province.

The industry’s pledge of support, signed by partners nationwide, underscored a shared dedication to promoting carabao products and encouraging agricultural engagement among the youth.

Additionally, a Memorandum of Commitment was signed between DA-PCC at VSU and the Visayas Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Program, alongside the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, which aims to promote science, technology, and innovation applications in Region 8 through research and development.

Recognition was given to DA-PCC’s program implementation partners, alongside initiatives like the Dairy Herd Buildup project and the turnover of dairy buffaloes to cooperatives, which reflect the collective commitment to promoting the carabao industry.

Furthermore, a symbolic act of unity took place as leaders and staunch supporters of DA-PCC poured milk into a bottle, symbolizing their dedication to collaborative efforts and resource-sharing for present and future initiatives.

The event also featured an exhibition showcasing the diverse products derived from carabaos, including hide, meat, and dairy delicacies.

DA-PCC, USM partnership fosters innovation in Mindanao

“Let us present our research priorities. If we can produce a compendium of the best practices in genetically improved calf production and the underpinnings of Dairy Box vis-à-vis the community in terms of providing livelihood, we will work our best to hold the 1st One Mindanao island cluster. We want to work closer with you,” Dr. Liza G. Battad, executive director of DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) underscored these areas of priority under the partnership of DA-PCC and the University of Southern Mindanao (USM).

In a brief meeting on March 14, 2024, Dr. Battad and USM President, Dr. Francisco Gil Garcia, shared their plans and priorities as partners.

President Garcia said that they co-exist with DA-PCC at USM, particularly in the areas of research, and acknowledged the positive impacts that the partnership caused.

“We perform and we achieve our milestones because of our strong ties with our consortium,” President Garcia said.

Dr. Battad further expressed that the partnership between DA-PCC and its host university should be intensified.

DA-PCC tops fiscal management rankings at DA year-end financial assessment

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) emerged as the leading agency showcasing sustained and efficient financial and cash management practices for the fiscal year 2023 among all the DA Regional Field Offices, bureaus, and attached agencies.

This recognition came about during the DA’s Year-End Financial Evaluation and Assessment for FY 2023, held in Baguio City from March 11 to 15, 2024.

The DA-PCC also clinched its fourth consecutive award as the first place in the attached agency category. This award recognizes the agency’s continuous commitment and dedication to managing its financial resources from 2020 to 2023 effectively.

Said awards highlight DA-PCC’s ongoing commitment to serving its clients with efficiency and accountability, ensuring the judicious use of taxpayers’ money. They also exemplify the proper coordination, planning, and congruence between the agency’s operating units and the administrative, financial, and management groups. With these recognitions, the agency is devoted to introducing different innovative initiatives to streamline its systems and processes.

Cherry Pearl Rivera, head of DA-PCC’s accounting section, along with Angelica Villa, accepted the awards on behalf of DA-PCC, signifying its ongoing efforts to maintain high standards of financial management and operational efficiency.

DA-PCC highlights unity in advancing cara-industry in Mindanao

Situated amidst a diverse cultural landscape on Mindanao island, the DA-Philippine Carabao Center showcased unity in advancing the carabao industry despite cultural differences.

With centers across Mindanao, including DA-PCC at USM in Cotabato, DA-PCC at Central Mindanao University in Bukidnon, and DA-PCC at Mindanao Livestock Production Center in Zamboanga, the agency fosters strong partnerships, as emphasized during its Mindanao island cluster anniversary celebration with the theme “Excellence in Unity” held today, March 14, at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato.

“Wow, Carabao! One Mindanao!” exclaimed DA-PCC at USM Center Director Geoffray R. Atok, as he delivered his welcome remarks during the island cluster anniversary event. He highlighted the steadfast support of various agencies in reaching milestones in the Carabao Development Program across the southern part of the country.

Board Member Jonathan Tabara, representing Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza as the keynote speaker, emphasized the provincial government’s robust support for advancing the carabao industry. He announced the allocation of funds by Cotabato Province this year to procure dairy buffaloes, which will aid the country’s agricultural sector in achieving milk sufficiency.

In addition, Governor Mendoza approved the Provincial Ordinance 684 also known as the Enhanced Carabao Propagation and Promotion authored by Board Member Tabara. This resolution is poised to help DA-PCC in achieving carabao industry goals in the province.

DA-PCC Executive Director Dr. Liza Battad also delivered the noteworthy advancements made in the Mindanao island throughout the years of CDP implementation.

“PCC has changed the profile of the carabao population—darker, stockier, smarter, stronger…a resilient beast of burden no more but of fortune. The carabao is now a national symbol of hope for myriads of lives and farming communities. From these ripples of effect, we are now witness to a fresh perspective on caring for them—a perspective, indeed, of a great future established by testimonies of carapreneurs,” Dr. Battad said.

“We are here today because of YOU who stayed by us and with us and taught us about grit and resilience. We have courage to forge on without reluctance, simply because we stand firm on our shared vision of fostering innovation and transforming communities,” she added.

Activities such as ceremonial turnover of new ALAB-Karbawan project sites in Mindanao, dairy boxes exhibit, symbolic act of unity, and vowed commitment of partners took spotlight during the island celebration.

In his closing message, Deputy Executive Director Dr. Caro B. Salces emphasized the importance of individual culture as the cornerstone of excellence, saying: “The core values are the foundation of excellence. If there is excellence, there should be unity in order to achieve our goals.”

Strong ties pave the way for successful CDP implementation in Visayas

The DA-PCC underscored the importance of unity in achieving transformative success, particularly in championing the Carabao Development Program (CDP) during the agency’s Visayas island cluster anniversary celebration today, March 12.

The celebration, themed “Excellence in Unity,” was hosted by the DA-PCC at Visayas State University (DA-PCC at VSU), along with other regional centers in Visayas, including DA-PCC at Ubay Stock Farm (DA-PCC at USF), DA-PCC at West Visayas State University (DA-PCC at WVSU), and DA-PCC at La Carlota Stock Farm (DA-PCC at LCSF).

Dr. Daniel Leslie S. Tan, OIC President of VSU, expressed his support, emphasizing the growing demand for carabaos as a valuable commodity. He highlighted how this enables dairy cooperatives to thrive with greater independence and success in their carabao-based ventures.

“Today, we celebrate DA-PCC’s 31 years of service. Our shared goals to conserve, propagate, and promote the carabao as a source of milk, meat, draft power, and hide to benefit rural farmers unite us, making us champions in excellence beyond measure. Because of our combined efforts, our 31-year journey—characterized by resilience, persistence, and unwavering efforts—shines brighter,” Tan said.

Board Member Matt P. Palabrica from the 3rd District of Iloilo Province, serving as the keynote speaker, highlighted the partnership between the Province of Iloilo and DA-PCC at WVSU in advancing the carabao industry. He endorsed three resolutions aligned with the province’s objectives.

“Our goal of food security, employment opportunities, and sustainable management of resources is attainable through harmonious collaborations with agencies like DA-Philippine Carabao Center…Together, you have championed excellence, innovation, and inclusivity in all your endeavors, thereby enriching the lives of farmers, stakeholders, and communities not only in Leyte and the Visayas but also across the nation,” Palabrica said in his address.

Dr. Liza Battad, Executive Director of DA-PCC, outlined the significant progress made in the Visayas island towards the CDP.

“Today, we dedicate our 31st anniversary to all who allowed us to grow, build strong alliances, gain trust in the national and international spheres, and most importantly, affirm with us our formidable efforts in giving birth to a vibrant carabao supply chain economy,” she said. DA-PCC’s partners in program implementation were also acknowledged during the program.
A ceremonial turnover of dairy buffaloes to the AGRACA Agrarian Reform Cooperative in Dumalag Capiz, Pinoy Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Southern Leyte, and Lico Agrarian Reform Cooperative in Biliran province was conducted, with a total of 170 carabaos entrusted to the three cooperatives.

Furthermore, a symbolic act of unity took place as leaders and staunch supporters of DA-PCC poured milk into a bottle, symbolizing their dedication to collaborative efforts and resource-sharing for present and future initiatives.

The event also featured an exhibition of carabao-based products, showcasing the dairy delicacies from co-ops assisted by DA-PCC in the Visayas island.

DA-PCC Luzon cluster anniv celeb underscores milestones in carabao industry

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at Central Luzon State University (DA-PCC at CLSU) hosted the DA-PCC’s Luzon island cluster 31st anniversary celebration with the theme “Excellence in Unity” today, March 8 at the CLSU Multi-Purpose Gym.

The five regional centers in Luzon comprising DA-PCC at Central Luzon State University, DA-PCC at Cagayan State University (DA-PCC at CSU), DA-PCC at Mariano Marcos State University (DA-PCC at MMSU), DA-PCC at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DA-PCC at DMMMSU), and DA-PCC at University of the Philippines Los Baños (DA-PCC at UPLB).

“Ang mga universities natin give birth to PCC, dito sa PCC at CLSU isinilang ang PCC through Philippine carabao research and development center and it just shows the excellence ng ating mga university. It is through unity that we have excellence, so ‘yung pangalan na naka-attach sa atin is symbol of excellence because our universities are the center of excellence at sana ay magawa natin ang excellent in service na ito,” Dr. Caro B. Salces, DA -PCC Deputy Executive Director said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Liza G. Battad, executive director of DA-PCC, presented the Cluster Industry Briefer in her speech.

“We want you to be as proud as we are, proud ako to share that the carabao population has been steady despite the high extraction rate of buffaloes and committed to produce at least 45,000 a year to somehow cope with the extraction rate. Gusto kong maging proud kayo kasama namin dahil we use our own Philippine dairy carabao breed as source of PCC’s genetic improvement and expertise in genomics and breeding to build a carabao herd in strategic areas” Dr. Battad emphasized.

Also present during the celebration were Dr. Ericson N. Dela Cruz, DA-PCC at CLSU Center Director; Dr. Rovina R. Piñera, DA-PCC at CSU Center Director; Joel F. Cabading, DA-PCC at MMSU OIC Center Director; Vilma C. Gagni, DA-PCC at DMMMSU Center Director;Jose C. Canaria, DA-PCC at UPLB OIC-Center Director; and Dr. Eric P. Palacpac, DA-PCC Chief of Research and Development Division, as well as awardees and partners.

During his keynote speech, Dr. Edgar A. Orden, the Director of the Central Luzon Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium, underscored the notable achievements of the PCC in advancing the Carabao industry over a span of 31 years. Additionally, he praised the DA-PCC for its commendable accomplishments.

“In 2023 ang atin pong kalabaw sa buong bansa ay umaabot ng halos 2.8 at mahigit 250, 000 ang nandito sa ating Luzon cluster and the volume of milk produced in the country based on the 2021 data is about 26.3 million and the contribution of the PCC is 29%, and this is more than 100% of what you have promise. Moreover, about 70, 684 heads were inseminated in the country.” Orden said.

During the program, an audio-visual production was shown to summarize the Luzon cluster industry milestones and DA-PCC’s partners were recognized.

A ceremonial kick-off for the Dairy Herd Buildup project also took place, a symbolic act of unity to bring together the DA-PCC regional centers and its partners, and pledge of support to cement future undertakings.

A carabao-based products exhibit also highlighted the event showcasing hide, meat and dairy delicacies.