The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (DA-PCC at UPLB), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) CALABARZON, recognized 445 farmer-enrollees during its School-on-the-Air on Dairy Buffalo Production (SOA-DBP) graduation ceremony on October 13, 2023, at Baker Hall, UP Los Baños.
The first-ever SOA-DBP program in the region, dubbed “CaraWow! Radyo Eskwela sa Gatasang Kalabaw,” was conducted from June to August 2023. Its aim was to deliver information on dairy buffalo production, the latest technologies, and business enterprise opportunities. The graduates learned about buffalo management, nutrition management, health management and breeding, milking procedures, milk handling, milk quality testing, and carabao-based enterprises. With this knowledge, they embark on the journey of carabao entrepreneurship, serving the nation.
The guests and participants received a warm welcome from Dr. Mary Grace Bustamante, Provincial Veterinarian of Laguna, in her opening remarks. The farmer-enrollees, represented by Mr. Celerino Genuino (Cavite), Mr. Ruben Rubina (Laguna), and Ms. Runabet Abanico (Batangas), expressed their gratitude for the program’s implementation and their newfound knowledge in dairy buffalo production. Ms. Violeta Rayos of Manggalang Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (MARBENCO) shared their commitment to carabao development programs and encouraged fellow farmer-enrollees to work together for success.
Representatives from the provincial governments of Cavite, Batangas, and Quezon congratulated the graduates in their messages, expressing gratitude to the agencies and local government units (LGUs) involved in the program’s success. They hope that the knowledge shared will motivate farmers to engage in the carabao and dairy industry in their respective provinces.
Senator Cynthia A. Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food, and Agrarian Reform, in a recorded video message, expressed her gratitude to DA-ATI CALABARZON and DA-PCC at UPLB, emphasizing that the SOA program equips farmer-enrollees with valuable information to start carabao dairying for additional income, improving dairy production and increasing local milk supply.
Dr. Eric P. Palacpac, Information V and Chief of the Knowledge Management Division (KMD) of DA-PCC National Headquarters, congratulated the 445 farmer-enrollees on behalf of DA-PCC OIC-Executive Director Dr. Caro B. Salces. He expressed gratitude to its partners (DA-ATI, DA-RFO, and LGUs) for the event’s success. He emphasized the fresh graduates’ essential role in the local carabao and dairy industry and their contribution to government goals, such as increasing the local dairy supply and supporting milk feeding programs.
DA-PCC at UPLB Center Director Dr. Thelma A. Saludes extended her gratitude to partners and highlighted the graduates’ significance as key players in milk feeding programs, increasing milk supply in the country, and improving the nutritional status of Filipino children.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Rolando V. Maningas, DA-ATI CALABARZON Center Director, celebrated the success of dairy farmers and encouraged graduates to share their knowledge and contribute to abundant agriculture and a prosperous economy. He concluded by saying, “Mabuhay dairy farmers in CALABARZON!