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.