Ceremonial turnover of crossbreds to LECOFADA marks partnership towards carabao-based enterprise development

Eighteen crossbred buffaloes were turned over to Leon Confed Farmers Cooperative (LECOFADA) thru a “paiwi” program of Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) on August 29 held at Auction Center, Leon, Iloilo City.

The “Ceremonial Turnover of 1st batch of crossbreds to LECOFADA”, as spearheaded by PCC at West Visayas State University (PCC at WVSU) signifies a great potential for the municipality of Leon to boost its carabao-based enterprises.

Around 100 crossbred buffaloes from Leon were gathered at the municipality’s Auction Center as a way of strengthening support towards progressive dairy industry.

During the event, PCC at WVSU center director Arn Granada provided a program briefing that allows the participants understand better the goals and mandate of PCC.

He also mentioned about the recent Communication for Development (ComDev) activation program (with a tagline “Karbawan”) in Leon as a pilot area in Iloilo City. Ensuing ComDev interventions include School-on-the Air (SOA), which has aired three sessions so far, a planned Farmer’s Livestock School (FLS) on Dairy Buffalo Production, and production (and distribution) of printed materials in the Ilonggo dialect to compliment further learning among farmers.

Dir. Granada encouraged them saying, “These learning platforms let you maximize learning and enhance your skills on dairy buffalo production based on your preferred communication interventions with the assistance of the PCC’s Knowledge Management Division.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Arnel N. del Barrio, PCC executive director, noted the event as a celebration of partnership saying, “This is not just a simple turnover of buffaloes, but this marks alliance with National Dairy Authority (NDA), Local Government Unit (LGU), Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office VI (DA-RFO VI), Department of Agriculture – Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Services VI (DA-RAFIS VI), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Non-Government Agencies (NGAs), Agricultural Training Institute Regional Field Office VI (ATI VI) and other stakeholders.”

He expressed gratitude to more than 100 carabao raisers gathered in the event that signify commitment along with other agencies that continuously support PCC at WVSU in implementing and disseminating its programs and services in reaching more dairy farmers.

Thus, he challenged Perlito Echeche, LECOFADA chairman, to contribute in PCC’s aim for higher milk production in the country in support of the RA 11037 – Healthy Food for Children Act, which includes Milk Supplementation Program.

The guests that joined and gave inspirational messages were NDA PDO III Arden Calesina, Consultant of DA-ASEC for Visayas and Regulations Ramona Gonzaga, 2nd district Political Affairs Officer III Ramie D. Corillo, representative from the Municipality of Davao City, Leon City Mayor Cahiling and Brgy. Captain Jalandoni.

They emphasized that this is an opportunity of the government to communicate with the farmers towards adoption of PCC-developed technologies and create a sustainable source of livelihood anchored on buffaloes.

The ceremonial turn over was also capped by a Php1.8 million buyback fund from NDA, Php 3.7 million for biologics and veterinary supplies from DA-RFO VI, and Php1 million for ComDev campaign, SOA, and FLS-DBP from RAFIS VI and ATI VI.

The event also saw the oath taking of elected AI technician officers and a response to the turnover of buffaloes from Mr. Echeche and PAFC chairman Isabelo Luscares.

They both expressed their commitment and eagerness to maximize the dispersed crossbreds for Carabao-based Enterprise Development (CBED). As Mr. Echeche encourages teamwork and unity among the members, Mr. Luscares reminded the cooperative-members about the constant proper feeding management. He emphasized the importance of secured forage grasses to be given to the crossbreds.

Throughout the event, the Karbawan jingle for Iloilo was played and heard in the venue, as its composer Virgilio Petchelier gave an intermission number, followed by a closing remarks from Dir. Granada.