DA-PCC launches Feed and Forage Development Project in Mindanao

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) has initiated the implementation of the Feed and Forage Development Project Technology Roll-out in Mindanao. This endeavor commenced with the ceremonial turnover of forage choppers at D&L Dairy Farm in M’lang, North Cotabato, on September 28.

The project’s primary objective is to ensure a consistent supply of feed for the growing carabao population in the country. It aims to promote sustainable carabao-based farming by encouraging the adoption of PCC technologies.

Director Benjamin Basilio of DA-PCC at USM stated, “Apart from introducing our farmers to innovative approaches in carabao-based farming through technology adoption, I am confident that this initiative will address the issue of low carabao productivity caused by inadequate feeding management.”

During the turnover ceremony, farmers from cooperatives supported by DA-PCC at Mindanao Livestock Production Complex (DA-PCC at MLPC), DA-PCC at Central Mindanao University (DA-PCC at CMU), and DA-PCC at the University of Southern Mindanao (DA-PCC at USM) actively participated in hands-on demonstrations on ensiling with Buro BoosterTM, enhanced rice straw (e-Rs) processing, and BlockMateTM production.

Ernesto Buco, a farmer-participant from Baclay Multipurpose Cooperative in Zamboanga, emphasized that the project mechanizes the production of silages suitable for animal feed. This development ensures farmers’ preparedness during climate phenomena like El Niño.

This project, funded through PL 480, aims to empower approximately 200 carapreneurs across the nation. Its key components include organizing learning events, such as technical training on forage and feeding practices, mentor-mentee mentorship programs, and the provision of forage choppers to selected carapreneurs.

In the mentor-mentee mentorship program, DA-PCC is expected to impart knowledge, techniques, and skills to mentees, covering aspects such as the establishment and management of forage areas with improved and cultivated grass species, pasture rehabilitation through enhanced soil management, forage/feed conservation (ensiling process), and demonstrations on the application of feed conservation technologies such as Buro BoosterTM and e-Rs. Additionally, starter kits containing planting materials and BlockMateTM are provided.

Basilio emphasized, “To ensure proper animal nutrition, participants must fully comprehend and apply the training and feeding management procedures.”