CDO farmers engage in carabao farming

More than 50 select farmers and their families in Malasag, F.S. Catanico, and Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City, will soon benefit from the Carabao Development Program (CDP) under a Php2 million-worth project that will help usher carabao-based enterprise development (CBED) in said communities.

This project was initiated through an orientation activity on the components of the CDP and CBED, particularly on draft animal management, last July 2.

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at Central Mindanao University (DA-PCC at CMU) partners with the Oro Integrated Cooperative (OIC) as the conduit cooperative.

Killian Deveza, business development officer of OIC, gave the farmer-beneficiaries a heads-up on how they can fulfill all the requirements before the animals can be released to them.

“As members of the cooperative, our farmers will be prepared to take on the project and prosper in this new endeavor. The co-op will be supportive of them in this cause and we will see them through until they succeed,” Deveza said.

Fifty female native carabaos and two purebred bulls are scheduled for entrustment to the qualified farmers. The draft animals will aid farmers in tilling their land and in transporting their farm produce.

During the orientation, DA-PCC at CMU Center Director Dr. Lowell Paraguas gave the farmers an overview of what they can expect from being part of the CDP such as services they may avail of in production, marketing, and extension.

“PCC is mandated to conserve, propagate and promote the carabao as a source of milk, meat and draft power. We will continue to uphold this mandate for the benefit of the rural farmers and of the communities that we serve,” Dr. Paraguas said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Elena Paraguas, DA-PCC at CMU’s CBED coordinator, gave her insights on the business opportunities in dairying. While farmers will be initially entrusted with draft animals, she encouraged them to eventually have their animals upgraded for dairying.

“Do not settle for less. Your native carabaos when upgraded into crossbreds are potential source of milk. You can soon engage in the dairy business, which can give you more income,” Dr. Paraguas said.

Topics on animal entrustment and OIC cooperative membership procedures were also discussed  by Jeson Candole, regional information officer of DA-PCC at CMU, and Joie Saquilayan, OIC membership and marketing development officer, respectively.

Facilitating the workshops were Lina Navarro, office staff of CDO 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez, and Ilarda Tabalba, barangay councilor of F.S Catanico.

This project was agreed by Congressman Rodriguez and DA-PCC Executive Director Dr. Arnel Del Barrio during a budget hearing at the House of the Representatives on September 19, 2019.