To guarantee the consistent support offered by the agency to the dairy farmers in the province amidst community quarantine, the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at Central Mindanao University (DA-PCC@CMU) commenced projects in line with the DA’s “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra COVID-19” program at the Municipal Hall, Don Carlos, Bukidnon last May 29.
The DA`s ALPAS COVID-19 goal is to ensure a food-secure Philippines in time of the health emergency crisis.
Under the ALPAS COVID-19 program, the DA-PCC implements the four projects, which include the Unlad Lahi Project (ULaP); Creating Opportunities Through Value Innovations and Development (COVID) Project; Gatas, Isda, Gulay, at Karne (GIGK) project; and Cara-Aralan project to enhance food productivity, food supply availability, food accessibility and food price stability of the country.
“The agency`s programs are ideal and applicable to our dairy farmers to recover from the devastating impact caused by this pandemic. We are helping the farmers to be more productive and progressive through these initiatives. Also, PCC is always there if they need our assistance or help concerning about dairying,” DA-PCC@CMU center director Dr. Lowell Paraguas said.
Dr. Paraguas also shared the significance of the KADIWA ni Ani at Kita Buffalo Milk on Wheels or Kadiwa BMW mobile store, which serves as one of the marketing strategies to market the dairy products produced by the assisted farmers.
The ULaP project aims to increase milk and meat production, which can create opportunities in creating jobs for the farmers and in providing livelihood.
Under ULaP, the center awarded three dairy buffaloes and two draft animals, and provided animal biologics and feeds for lactating animals, molasses and milk cans to recipient farmers of Muleta Side Dairy Buffalo Association (MUSBUDA), Dologon-Kisanday Dairy Buffalo Association (DOKIBUDA) and Don Carlos Dairy Buffalo Association (DCDBA).
The GIGK project promotes the integration of urban agriculture or mixed farming system in the villages to enhance food and feed production, and availability and sustainability of supply.
In support of the GIGK project, the center provided animal manure to the nearby barangays in support of the organic vegetable garden of the community. Likewise, the center provided farm machinery to cultivate the soil in the supported sites.
Under the COVID project, the applicable technologies and value innovations will be utilized to improve productivity, availability, accessibility, and sustainability of food, which also aims for the creation of livelihood opportunities through value innovations.
In this project, the center temporarily subsidized the purchase of milk from the farmers affected by the global pandemic. The purchased buffaloes’ milk was processed into pasteurized milk and distributed to the adopted community, health workers and other selected beneficiaries.
For the Cara-Aralan project, the center utilized the radio program time slot in the DXMU 88.9 FM titled “The PCC Hours” for sustaining access to information, education, and communication of farmers and carabao industry stakeholders about the current carabao development program initiatives of the agency.
“Despite this pandemic, the center is beyond willing to provide our extension services to our dairy farmers. We motivate them to never surrender, as the support of PCC will consistently be visible,” Dr. Elena Paraguas, carabao-based enterprise development coordinator said.
Efraim Alayon, a member of Don Carlos Dairy Buffalo Association (DCDBA) expressed his gratitude to PCC for its never ending support to dairy farmers in their municipality.