DA-PCC, UPLB, DTRI partner to promote livestock industry

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (DA-PCC at UPLB), in collaboration with UPLB-College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS), Institute of Animal Science (IAS), and Dairy Training and Research Institute (DTRI), officially launched the 3rd Ruminant Forum with the theme, “Dagdag 3K (Kaalaman, Kasanay, at Kita): Tungo sa Maunlad na Industriya ng Kalabaw, Baka, at Kambing” on November 7-9, 2023, at the Animal Science Lecture Hall 2, Animal Science Complex, UPLB.

This forum served as a platform for addressing challenges and capitalizing on opportunities within the livestock industry. The event provided professionals, producers, researchers, and farmers with the chance to showcase effective methods, exchange insights, and collaborate on plans to ensure the long-term viability and advancement of these industries.

Dr. Roberto Cereno, UPLB Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs, emphasized, “The livestock sector plays a crucial role in ensuring the nation’s food security and economic growth. We believe in combining scientific research with industry expertise to fully unlock the potential for the benefit of our farmers, ranchers, and communities. This platform unites stakeholders with a common vision, moving the industry towards sustainability and future-proofing. Seize this opportunity to expand your knowledge and build prospective partnerships.”

The three-day forum comprised various activities organized by UPLB IAS, DTRI, and DA-PCC.

Day 1 included plenary sessions, the KaBaKalympics (Amazing Race), and the KaBaKa Farmers Festival. Participants engaged in plenary sessions covering topics such as Opportunities of Beef Cattle and Breeder Production and Management, Use of Fixed-Time AI in Beef Cattle Breeding Production, Scaling-up Corn Silage Production for Dairy Production, Negosyong KaBaKa (Kalabaw, Baka, at Kambing), and Quality Assurance of Ruminant Feeds.

Dr. Caro B. Salces, OIC-Executive Director of DA-PCC, highlighted the purpose of the activities, stating, “[We carry the passion to serve.] Our focus should be on the ‘Why?’ – farmers benefitting, improving the nutritional status of Filipino children, and achieving self-sufficiency. The ‘How’ will follow. This activity is a step towards realizing our commitment.”

Day 2 centered around plenary sessions. The first session highlighted the “Super Kalabaw” with discussions on Super Gatasang Kalabaw and Molecular Genetic Tests Services for Cattle and Buffalo. DA-PCC Supervising Science Research Specialist Dr. Ester B. Flores and Science Research Specialist I Mr. Alexander Paraguas shared insights into DA-PCC’s Structure Breeding Program and genetic testing technologies.

The second session emphasized Carabao-based Business Enterprises, covering topics like Kumikitang Kabuhayan sa Karne ng Kalabaw, Pilot Nutrition and Livelihood Interventions, and The Dairy Cooperatives Experience. Dr. Rosalina Lapitan discussed the nutritional value of carabao’s meat and its uses, while Ms. Ma. Theresa Rodolfo-Sawit shared interventions promoting nutrition and livelihood programs.

Joseph Caguimbal, TRLAFCO Vice Chair, shared his testimony and cooperative management experience, stressing, “To become rich, we need to carry RICH and MILK – Respect, Identify, Challenge, Help, Manage Wisely, Inquire, Love the Process, Keep improving.”

Ms. Desiree Paras from General Trias Dairy Raisers Multipurpose Cooperative shared their experiences, highlighting the benefits and potential of dairy and carabao-based businesses.

Mr. Jose Canaria, GIP-CBED Coordinator, DA-PCC at UPLB, closed the event, expressing optimism for the future of carabao farming and urging collaboration to move the livestock industry forward.

Dr. Thelma A. Saludes, Center Director, DA-PCC at UPLB, requested, “Help us disseminate the information needed based on your needs.”

Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio, Director of the Dairy Training and Research Institute, added, “We hope that we are united with our one goal of improving our livestock sectors and value chains.”

Day 3 focused on the KaBaKa Farmer’s Festival with engaging activities such as a techno-demo (practicum) and culinary showdown.