‘Common grounding in CBIN’: A farmer-to-farmer talk

In line with the idea of understanding concept and practices through common grounding, a total of 15 identified recipients of dairy buffaloes from Highland Agricultural Credit Cooperative (HACC) of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato underwent field exposure to the successful dairy buffalo farmers duly assisted by the Philippine Carabao Center at University of Southern Mindanao (PCC@USM) in Region XII last January 30-31under the Carabao Business Improvement Network (CBIN).

The objectives of the said activity were to let the HACC members experience and conduct interview among the successful farmers with dairy production activities in order to elucidate their queries in terms of management of dairy buffaloes, and collect ideas and strategies to increase milk production and dairy management practices.

Nasrola Ibrahim, PCC@USM CBED Coordinator, mentioned that letting the farmers learn from the experience of their co-farmers is a great approach in terms of learning dairy buffalo management.

Among the visited sites of dairy buffalo farmers supported by PCC@USM in Region XII were the dairy farms of Canahay Dairy Farmers Association (CADAFA) members Gemma Bengil and Rodel Estañol in Surallah, South Cotabato wherein they were exposed to milking and pasteurizing freshly harvested buffalo’s milk. Another site they visited was Abner Panaligan’s dairy farm in Sto. Niño, South Cotabato where they saw the piles of sweet corn silage. Lastly, HACC members observed the constructed animal shed and feeding of calves in D&L Dairy Farm owned by Dominic Paclibar in M’lang, Province of Cotabato.

“As we visited the dairy farm of CADAFA members, I saw the key to be successful in the field of dairying. We need perseverance to work and strengthen the camaraderie in our cooperative,” Rodelyn Estaba, member of HACC, emphasized.

“When we started dairy farming through the CBIN project, we take all the lessons and tactics we need in order to be successful in our chosen project,” Merlinda Go, HACC Chairwoman, expressed.

In response to what Ms. Go said, PCC@USM Center Director Benjamin John Basilio stressed that the conduct of the activity was part of the preparation of the cooperative for its upcoming dairy project. Director Basilio added that PCC serves as a channel of blessing and not an additional burden to the dairy farmers.

Meanwhile, Gemma Bengil, member of CADAFA, uttered that they were overjoyed as they impart knowledge on buffalo dairying to their fellow farmers.

“We are happy because we cannot imagine that we are the ones who are teaching future dairy farmers because before, we were the ones sitting and taking time to learn the technologies being taught to us by the PCC@USM,” Bengil added.

Aside from field exposure, participants also toured PCC@USM institutional herd and they had lectures on pasture development, breeding management, and health management with the PCC@USM Farm Superintendent Dr. Virgilio V. Lopez.

The HACC was the second cooperative under the stewardship of PCC@USM that has undergone the said activity following the Linoan Farmers Intergrated Cooperative (LIFICO) of Montevista, Davao de Oro who did the same on December 4-6, 2019.